God’s Mighty Men

“And David became greater and greater, for the LORD of hosts was with him.” (1 Chronicles 11:9)

The vast majority of the first nine chapters of First Chronicles is a genealogy, and most people simply breeze over the names and relations listed there. And after a description of Saul’s and Jonathan’s deaths and David’s ascension to the throne, another list of names is given. Whereas the first lists were genealogies, this list is very different.

In the U.S. Memorial Day is a holiday which is normally celebrated with picnics and barbecues, a long way from the its intended purpose. Memorial Day was originally set aside as a day to remember or memorialize the men and women who have fought to defend our country in the armed services. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. currently has 58,272 names of those who died or remain missing in the Vietnam War.

So what’s my point? My point is that lists of names mean something. And not only to their family and loved ones. This becomes incredibly clear in 1 Chronicles 11:10-12:40 where the names of King David’s mighty men are given along with some of their accomplishments. These were great men of war and courage. Some fought against unthinkable odds and everyone fought with great courage and faithfulness to the king.

Here are a few thoughts I had about these men:

  • Like David, the mighty men were only successful because the Lord had given them success–they knew it. The beginning of a great fall begins with pride!
  • Their faithfulness to King David was a faithfulness to the Lord who had placed David upon the throne. Mighty men recognize God’s leaders and do all they can to support them.
  • The mighty men had different ranks based upon their abilities, performance, and successes. There is “the three,” “the thirty” and the those who were very great, but “did not attain to the three” or “the thirty.” Everyone isn’t equal. Performance, skill, and effort matter. In a day when everyone gets a participation ribbon, this shows that mighty men strive and push themselves to be their best in the service of the Lord.
  • The mighty men loved their king and were willing to go above and beyond to serve and please him, even risking their lives to give him water from his hometown well (1Chron 11:15-19). This devotion was matched by David’s unwillingness to indulge himself with this sort of sacrifice. There was mutual love, respect, and loyalty between the king and his mighty men.
  • The mighty men had a great kinship and loving respect for one another built around their devotion to the Lord and his king. They were united in purpose and vision, each doing his own part for the common cause.

The virtues of honor, devotion, courage, selfless service and sacrifice are not exclusive to the military. These are the virtues that members of the Church should uphold as well. Our King is Jesus and our goal is clearly given in the Great Commission. May the Lord be pleased to raise up mighty men (and women!) from within our own churches to his glory and honor!

Four Critical Ways Every Husband Needs to Love His Wife

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

(Ephesians 5:25–33, ESV)

With A Sacrificial Love (Ephesians 5:25)

“Just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself up for her”

Sacrificial love was demonstrated on the cross. Christ died for unlovable sinners while we were in the mire of our sins and enemies with God. Romans 5:7-8 says, “For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare to even die. But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Husband, this means that you are commanded to love your wife sacrificially even when you think that she is unworthy of such radical love.

Sacrificial love is a willingness to serve others. Christ demonstrated a servant’s attitude that was willing to give himself completely and totally to demonstrate his love. We can sometimes believe that we would be willing to give our lives for our wives, yet we fail in the everyday duties of serving our wife and family as Christ did. John 13:14 reminds us of the words of Christ, “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” This further illustrates Paul’s point of mutual submission in Ephesians 5:21. In Philippians 2:7 we see our Savior himself setting the example for us, he who…“emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.”

Sacrificial love is a willingness to lay down you own life for another. First John 3:16 describes love not in romantic terms, but in radical sacrifice. It says, “We know love by this, that He laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

With A Purifying Love (Ephesians 5:26-27)

Purifying love desires the best for the wife and wants to see her pure and undefiled. Husbands who discourage their wives in Bible reading, church attendance, serving in ministry, going to church functions where she can be edified and grow in Christ are undercutting this type of love. Husbands who encourage their wives to get involved in sin to allay their own guilt are also guilty of pulling down their house with their own hands. They are like those described in Romans 1:32 “they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Purifying love is exemplified in:

  • Husbands who are the spiritual leaders in their homes. (Eph. 5:23; 1Cor. 11:3; 14:35)
  • The husband leads by example-He is a godly man growing in maturity and obedience. 
  • Time spent in the word and prayer as a family (Eph. 6:4)
  • Time together at church worshipping together (Heb. 10:25; Deut 6:7)
  • Encouraging involvement in ministry and other activities
  • Confronting and confessing sin in loving and biblical manner (James 5:16)

With A Caring Love (Ephesians 5:28-30)

This is a love that not only sacrifices and purifies, but nurtures and embraces. Does this passage teach that we need to love ourselves before we can love others? No. It says we already love ourselves. Those who claim to hate themselves really don’t.

  • We feed ourselves.
  • We clothe ourselves.
  • We clean our bodies.
  • We avoid pain and abuse.
  • We protect ourselves from danger.
  • We give ourselves shelter from the elements

Nurturing can include providing in many ways:

  • Providing for the family by working hard at your job.
  • Providing housing, food and clothing (physical needs).
  • Providing security and protection.
  • Providing love and affection.
  • Providing attention and shared experiences.

With An Unbreakable Love (Ephesians 5:31-33)

  • A love that no man or woman can separate. This means, husbands that are still hanging on to their mama’s apron need to cut the strings. Wives that are still “Daddy’s girl” need to cling to their husband instead.
  • You need to cling to one another in the storms of life understanding that divorce is not an option. If you leave even the option of divorce as a possibility, that crack will widen when difficult times come.
  • Separation should be as impossible as Christ separating from His Church-Rom 8:38, 39.