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Paul J. Bucknell
Purpose: 2 Samuel 23:8-39, David’s Great Companions, provides a glorious description of David's mighty men that aided him in victory. There is no greater mark of success than to acknowledge those who have made one great, including Uriah the Hittite.
“8 These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains, he was called Adino the Eznite, because of eight hundred slain by him at one time; 9 and after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there to battle and the men of Israel had withdrawn. 10 He arose and struck the Philistines until his hand was weary and clung to the sword, and the LORD brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to strip the slain.” (2 Samuel 23:8-10).
“Uriah the Hittite; thirty-seven in all.” (2 Samuel 23:39).
David was not great only because of God’s work in his life but through the valor of the men around him. 37 of these men were listed. Behind each feat is a man of faith and valor. All of our lives are the same. Our strength is founded upon the encouragement, guidance, care and help of others.
Some of their amazing feats are mentioned like the man who fought so powerfully that he couldn’t separate his hand from his sword. Behind each feat is a man of faith and valor. All of our lives are the same.
Our strength is founded upon the encouragement, guidance, care and help of others. It is only fitting that while we are yet living we appreciate those around us. A spirit of gratefulness helps keep jealously from eroding our companionship.
It is interesting that Joab was not mentioned. He certainly was not forgotten! His two brothers were listed there, Abishai (18) and Asahel (24). Joab was the general over the whole army (2 Sam 20:23) but because of his plotting of innocent Amasa (2 Sam 20:10) and aiding Absalom’s overthrow of David’s kingdom, he was blacklisted. His name is not included. Notice that this list is also in 1 Chronicles 11.
Reflection: When was the last time you quietly thanked the Lord for all those around you whether at home, church or work? What great things could you do without them?
Scripture as well as history reveal God’s glorious truths. History is sovereignty worked out in time. As we get to know Him, His truth is embedded in our history.
Uriah’s name is cleverly listed at the very end of the list where it was sure to be noticed. Uriah was a great man who attached himself to the Israelites (a Hittite by birth). David through death now joins up with Uriah. By acknowledging Uriah’s efforts here it becomes as much as an apology that David could make. David so much appreciated Uriah but allowed his selfish person override his appreciation for the cover of his own evil deed.
Reflection: How are our jealousies and selfish desires related to our appreciation of others?
Chapter 23 presents an amazing picture of David’s success. Outward achievements in the end always bow before the development of character and devotion to God. Personal blessing and devotion to God is paraded by an awesome tribute of David’s brave companions.