1 Chronicles 12 continues the description of David’s mighty men and the transition to the throne. The mighty men were quite a group:
- “They were bowmen
- could shoot arrows
- sling stones with either the right or the left hand;
- mighty and experienced warriors
- expert with shield and spear
- faces were like the faces of lions
- swift as gazelles
- the least was a match for a hundred men
- and the greatest for a thousand”
That is quite a list of traits for these guys. They were not just great marksmen and warriors – they alsso were leaders.
We read throughout the description that they “were all mighty men of valor and were commanders in the army”. David not only surrounded himself with great fighters, but also great leaders. They knew how to lead, and maybe equally as importantly, to be led. That is one of the traits of a great leader. They can get in front and lead when the time calls for that, but when they are not in that role, they know how to be led. These men came to David, scripture tells us “from day to day men came to David to help him”. He didn’t have to go recruit. They were drawn to his leadership and mission.
But wisely as men came, David knew he needed to make sure they were on the bus with him. “If you have come to me in friendship to help me, my heart will be joined to you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, although there is no wrong in my hands, then may the God of our fathers see and rebuke you”. David certainly knew that trust was something that needed to be earned. He had lived most of his life looking over his shoulder wondering who would be trying to kill him next. So it’s no wonder that he wants to be sure that these men were all in as they came.
But they were, and assured him of such. Why would they line up behind David – after all they were mighty men and leaders in their own right. The scripture tells us this reason: “For your God helps you”. They could see that David was walking with God and that God’s hand was upon him. When we walk with Jesus and His hand is guiding us – people notice. And people want to be aligned with a leader that God has control of and is using to do great and mighty things. So the groundswell grew well beyond the mighty men, to hundreds of thousands – “All these, men of war, arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with full intent to make David king over all Israel”. They came to be part of the ceremony of making David king. Hope was being restored. Scripture tells us “there was joy in Israel”. That had been missing for quite some time. David is restoring the future and the hope!