Chapter 11 opens with one of the coolest moments in the Bible: David’s anointing as king. God had His hand on David, and this would be the promise of his reign. He will never be surpassed in the measure of his kingship, save Jesus Himself. We could talk about this exhaustively today, but I want to look at a later part of this passage and pull it into focus. It’s the story of David’s mighty men.
A handful of men would prove to stand out above any other warriors and soldiers in Israel. Their “trophy case”, per se, is found in this chapter. My favorite mentioned here, though, is Eleazar. He was son of Dodo. Not sure why that’s important, but it sounds funny. Yet there was nothing funny about him. He was all business.
And next to him among the three mighty men was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite. He was with David at Pas-dammim when the Philistines were gathered there for battle. There was a plot of ground full of barley, and the men fled from the Philistines. But he took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and killed the Philistines. And the LORD saved them by a great victory. (1 Chronicles 11:12-14 ESV)
Here is the other account we find about Eleazar, and from it, I’d like to give us some practical application:
And next to him among the three mighty men was Eleazar the son of Dodo, son of Ahohi. He was with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel withdrew. He rose and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clung to the sword. And the LORD brought about a great victory that day, and the men returned after him only to strip the slain. (2 Samuel 23:9-10 ESV)
There are a ton of spiritual battle-type parallels to explore in light of these verses. Here are a few that struck me:
First, Eleazar knew he was in a battle. Many of us traipse around in our lives without realizing the spiritual warfare surrounding us. It would behoove us to recognize the battle, but not just that.
The second thing that Eleazar teaches us is that he fought like he was in a battle. Not only did he know he was in one, he refused to lose. We need this tenacious spirit in our spiritual battles.
Third, he didn’t fight alone. There were others at his side fighting in those same battles. For us, we need to invite and enlist other solid Christians to help in us in our difficult spiritual struggles. The more we think, “I’ve got this on my own”, the greater the fall will be. Check out Proverbs 27:17 this week. God’s plan for biblical community is an army of brothers and sisters in Christ engaging in spiritual warfare together.
Finally, he clung to his sword. He didn’t let go. It was his weapon for battle, and it stayed in his hand. The spiritual parallel is clear: the Bible is our sword. Most of us treat the Bible as an anecdotal book we turn to for advice or a little theology. It is what we have to cling to in every season and circumstance. Don’t let it go. Love it. Read it. Memorize it. Heed it. Arm yourself with it.
What else did you learn in this chapter today? What did you learn from Eleazar and the others mentioned in our reading?
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor