With summer months comes big budget, action packed blockbusters. They are movies that are sure to leave your eyes wide and ears ringing as you walk out of the theater. Last week I saw the movie A Team which certainly fit that description.
However, the best action stories of history are sitting in front of me right now. The Bible contains stories of men of God who would not back down against all odds. Men who were skilled with bows, shields and swords. Men who were experts in battle and professional killers. One of my favorites is found in II Samuel 2 and I Chronicles 11-12.
Both of these chapters recount the mighty men of David. These men were 30 warriors who were the most trusted and greatest skilled among King David’s army. The description of them reads like a movie script. Among the 30 there were three men who attained the greatest rank.
- Josheb-basshebeth (dwelling in rest) a Tahchemonite (thou wilt make me wise)- This man was chief of the three. In one setting he fought against 800 men with a spear and killed them all.
- Eleazar (God has helped) the son of Dodo (his beloved) , son of Ahohi (brother of rest)- The only thing unmanly about this guy was probably his father’s name. He fought with David against Israel’s arch enemy while the rest of their countrymen retreated in battle. He fought so hard, and so long that his hand stuck to the sword. II Samuels 2 says that the men who retreated only came back to where he was to strip the dead of their gear.
- Shammah, the son of Agee the Hararite- Another man who stood against Israel’s most hated enemy while his countrymen ran away in fear.
The chapter goes on to recount a heroic act on the part of these men. David was holed up in a cave while they were entrenched in battle against the Philistines. Thinking out loud, he wished that someone who be able to bring him some water to drink. The closest well was at a military post where their enemies were stationed. These men broke through that military post, got to the well, and brought David back a bucket of water.
Other men listed…
- Abishai, the brother of Joab- This man was the chief of the 30 warriors. He used a spear to kill 300 men in one fight.
- Benaiah, the son of Jehoiado- He is described as a doer of great deeds. He killed two men who were heroes of Moab- a fierce enemy of the Israelites. The following testimony of his bravery provides an incredible imagery: On a snowy day he went down into a pit and killed a lion. This reminds of the scene in Gladiator when Maximus barely escapes and kills all his captors while a gentle snow falls to the ground. He also went one-on-one with an Egyptian man who was 7 1/2 feet tall. The Egyptian had a spear while Benaiah had only a rod. In a testament to his great fighting skills, Benaiah snatched the spear away and killed them man with his own weapon. Because of his great skill he was set in charge over David’s body guard.
The chapter goes on to list the rest of these men. There heroic tales we are left to only wonder about.
I Chronicles 12 gives a further description of the skill these men had. They were bowmen who could shoot arrows. They were able to use a sling shot with either hand. They were experienced warriors who were experts with shields and spears. There faces were like the faces of lions and there movements were as swift as gazelles. The least skilled of these men could go up against a 100 men and the greatest skilled could fight against a 1,000.
“We are yours, O David,
and with you, O son of Jesse!
Peace, peace to you
and peace to your helpers!
For your God helps you.”
“…for they were like an army of God.”
I Chronicles 12:22