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David’s Mighty Men: Courage and Honor


Have archaeologists discovered the palace of King David? Not everyone agrees, but researchers Yossi Garfinkel and Saar Ganor believe that they have excavated it at the modern  city of Khirbet Qeiyafa, southwest of Jerusalem, traditionally considered the site of the battle between David and Goliath. “The palace that is now being revealed and the fortified city that was uncovered in recent years are another tier in understanding the beginning of the Kingdom of Judah,” they said.

The historical account of King David has been debated among scholars. Some say he was more of a tribal chieftain; others say he may not have existed at all, or if he did, he was more of a legend than an actual person. Archaeological support can be helpful and intriguing, but on the authority of Scripture both Jews and Christians regard David as Israel’s greatest king and warrior. Today’s reading lists his “mighty men” and retells highlights from their exploits (cf. 1 Chron. 11:10–47).

The elite warriors named and described here were the best of the best, like modern Green Berets or Navy Seals. Though many were from Judah, David’s tribe, others were foreign mercenaries, as explained yesterday about Uriah the Hittite. Many had been with him since his early days running from King Saul, so their relationships and trust were built on a solid foundation of sharing and enduring hardships together.

The episode in our reading today is an example of these men’s courage as well as the relationship they had with their king (vv. 13–17). By breaking through enemy lines, the “Three” showed their bravery and loyalty. By pouring out the water as a drink offering to the Lord, David in turn honored both his soldiers and God. Their achievements were evidence that God, who is also described as a mighty warrior, was with David (see Zeph. 3:17).

Apply the Word

Be encouraged: Our all-powerful and all-loving God is with us, too! “The LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome” (Deut. 10:17). “My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge” (Ps. 62:7). Therefore, “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Eph. 6:10).

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer and editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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