Shall we turn now to First Chronicles, chapter one, and let’s see what. You know, we used to say to our kids they could get juice out of anything when they ate. They could make a cracker so juicy that when they were through it was all over the place. But we’ll pray that the Holy Spirit will help us to draw some juice out of First Chronicles and the listing of all of these genealogies.
Now the list begins where it should, of course, with,
Adam [And then his sons], Sheth and Enosh (1:1).
And gives the names of the sons, the descendants down to Japheth who was one of Noah’s sons. And then it’s interesting as you watch it, it will take off and give you just a few descendants of Japheth and it drops Japheth. It will give you a few descendants of Ham, but it’s going to drop Ham. And then it centers in on the descendants of Seth, because it is from the descendants of Seth that Abraham came. From Abraham whom David came. From David who Christ came. And that’s the genealogy really that the Scripture is interested in and really following. And so we get a few of the sons of Japheth, and as we read the names of the sons of Japheth, immediately we’re aware of the fact that the descendants of Japheth were actually the Europeans and the Russians. And so Gomer, Magog and so forth, those that went north and west were the descendants of Japheth.
As we read the descendants of Ham, beginning with verse eight, we realize that they are those who went south from Israel down into the African continent, and they populated the area of the African continent. And so that leaves Shem with the children of Israel and those towards the east from Israel.
Now in verse nineteen of chapter one, it mentions this fellow
Peleg; and it was in his days that the earth was divided: and his brother’s name was Joktan (1:19).
Now just what is meant by “the earth is divided” is a matter of speculation. It could be that it is a reference to the time of the tower of Babel when the people were separated and went out from there with the confusion of tongues and really the beginning of nationality groups. Or there are some who believe that this is a reference to some great cataclysmic event in which the continents were divided. They are talking now of the continental drifts and that the possibility at one time they were all together, and so, if that indeed be so, who knows? But an interesting phrase at least.
Now we take in verse twenty-four to twenty-eight, you have a direct line now from Shem to Abraham. And as we read these in the book of Genesis, we find that Abraham actually was still alive, or was born when Shem was still alive. And then we move to Ismael’s sons in verse twenty-nine. And then, of course, to the sons of Abraham by Keturah, his concubine. And then we come to Isaac and Esau and Israel in verse thirty-four.
Then we follow for a little while the sons of Esau, who became the Edomites. And then when we get into chapter two, we take Esau’s twin brother Jacob.
Now these are the sons of Israel (2:1);
And the twelve sons of Jacob. And then we follow for a little bit the sons of Judah, and then we are now zeroing in. As I tell you, we keep coming back zeroing in on the line of Christ. And as we get to Judah, because the Messiah was to come out of Judah, we find the descendants from Judah to Jesse. He was to be a root out of the stem of Jesse. And so that’s the family we’re interested, and then from Jesse, of course, we want David, who was the seventh son of Jesse. His brothers are all named in verses thirteen through fifteen.
Now, you remember, as we were going through Kings that David had a general who gave him problems. He was a mighty man; his name was Joab. And yet Joab did create problems for David, along with his brother Abishai. And they actually were David’s nephews. They were the sons of David’s sister. Now we jump way back from David, we’ve come out to David, but we have left a lot of unnamed people. And so we go to another family in the tribe of Judah, the family of Caleb. He was the one who was a spy with Joshua that brought back the good report and the rest of the chapter deals with the descendants of Caleb. You’re dealing still with the family of Judah.
Now we center in on chapter three on David’s family and it lists all of the children that were born of David in Hebron there in chapter three. Later we’ll get a further list of his children that were born in Jerusalem. Verse five deals with those that were born in Jerusalem. The others were born in Hebron before he was brought to Jerusalem and placed on the throne.
And then we get a direct line of David’s descendants down to the carrying away into captivity beginning with verse ten. They just list in order the descendants, one following another, to follow the line from David to Zedekiah, the last king, the king that was carried away captive to Babylon at the end of the dynasty of David.
In chapter four, we follow another line from Caleb through one of his sons called Er. And you get a different line of Caleb from that which was earlier given. Now in this particular line in verse nine, as we’ve been listing a lot of names, suddenly he pauses on one fellow who stands out. Now in all of these names, suddenly you get a man and he stands out. Now why does one stand out above the other?
Jabez was more honourable than his brothers: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bore him with sorrow (4:9).
Now the word Jabez means sorrow, and thus, why a parent would tag a name like that upon a child, I really don’t know. It is rather, to me, unfortunate name to place upon a child. It would seem to me that it could cause some psychic problems. She bore him with sorrow, whether or not it was a difficult pregnancy, or whether or not some deformity existed in the child when he was born that created sorrow. It could be that he was blind. It could be that he was impaired some way physically. And so rather than the great joy of having a son, because of a physical impairment it would create sorrow. Oh, Jabez, you know, sorrow. And so they named him sorrow for whatever cause or reason. But that is… The name isn’t the thing that makes him outstanding. It’s his character that makes him outstanding.
And Jabez called upon the God of Israel (4:10),
He was outstanding because he was a man of prayer. There are far too few men of prayer. And yet, the men of prayer are the men who really do accomplish things for the glory of God. There is a book called Power through Prayer that I would like to recommend for excellent reading by E.M. Bounds. Andrew Murray has also written a beautiful book on prayer. There is a biography of Hyde; it’s called Praying Hyde. Whenever I read of these men of prayer, I long in my heart to be a man of prayer. I really don’t consider myself a man of prayer. I know that I don’t pray enough. These men of prayer, these men that were capable of spending hours in prayer. Praying Hyde would spend up to eight hours a day. Now that I call a man of prayer.
And the things that were wrought for God. You know, we think we got to be out there, you know, hustling for the Lord. And we find ourselves always so deeply involved in activities for God, as though we can accomplish so much by our activities. But I am convinced that we can accomplish more for God through prayer than any of our efforts that we get involved in, especially if those efforts are not backed by prayer.
Now you say, "If you’re not a man of prayer then how come the Lord has done so much through your ministry?" ‘Cause I got so many people praying for me. And I appreciate your prayers. And the work that is wrought here is wrought as a result of prayer. God has blessed the ministry of Calvary Chapel because of prayer. And years ago when we were just twenty-five people, I said to them, "Alright now."
Because it is interesting, we made a survey in the summer camp that I was conducting one time. We sought to sort of get the spiritual tenor of the children, you know. And how often do you read your Bible, and how often do you pray? And on that little question, most of them put three times a day. And immediately of course, we figured out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And realizing that people usually pray for their breakfast, lunch and dinner, we suggested that they put a little sort of a postscript on their breakfast, lunch and dinner prayers as they asked the Lord to bless the food and give thanks for the food, we told them to put a little addition to their prayer, "And Lord, please bless Calvary Chapel."
And fourteen-and-a-half years ago, we began praying, "And Lord, please bless Calvary Chapel." And He has. Now, of course, I think that's one of the great sources of power in the church. And this is the thing that the people who come to analyze and to study and to find, you know, the program and so forth, this is the thing that they never see. Nor do they take into consideration, and that is the place of prayer in the ministry of Calvary Chapel. You see, they don’t come all night and see the light on in the Prayer Room and realize that there are men there in the Prayer Room praying all night unto the Lord for the needs of the church and for the requests that have been brought in and those requests that are called in all night long. Oh, what power is generated by those men in their prayer, in the times of prayer all night long.
Now I’d like to recommend to a lot of you fellows, get started; get involved. You know, when I go to the men’s prayer meeting on Saturday night and I hear the men praying, I can tell you the men who are in the all-night prayer times. I’ll tell you, they really learned to pray. And it’s thrilling to have men of prayer within the body. But it’s also thrilling to have so many women that also have banded together in prayer, the Monday morning prayer fellowship there. And the many prayer fellowships throughout the area where the ladies gather during the day and homes for a time of prayer. And so we’ve got ladies praying all day and men praying all night. No wonder God is blessing Calvary Chapel in such a glorious way.
“And Jabez called upon the God of Israel.” Now his prayer was really sort of for personal things.
Oh Lord, bless me indeed, enlarge my coast, keep your hand on me, keep me from evil, that it would not grieve me! And God answered his prayer, granted his request (4:10).
You know, God wants to bless you and to me. That’s always exciting to realize that God wants to bless me. For as I look at myself I say, "How could God ever bless me?" Now He doesn’t bless me because I’m so good, but because He’s so good. And He just likes to bless people. I need the blessings. I like the blessings. I want the blessings. "Oh Lord, bless me indeed."
“Enlarge my coast.” I think that one of the problems that we all have is that of narrowness. We always seem to want to define our borders, draw our close circle. "O God, enlarge my borders." You see, it’s our church. "Oh, but they’re Baptist. They’re Nazarene. They’re..." And we want to sort of exclude others. We’ve got this special exclusive fellowship. Foolishness! We have no corner upon God at all. We used to sing, "Jesus loves us all one and all, you and me, everybody one and all." And the Lord is no respecter of persons. The Lord is no respecter of churches. "God, enlarge my borders. Help me to see beyond the narrow walls of denominationalism."
I have found that the more spiritual a person becomes, the less denominational he becomes. And we quit talking about my church, and we start talking about His church, and we see it made up of Catholics and Presbyterians and Lutherans and Methodists. And the whole shebang, you might say. All of us a part of His glorious church. We see the purposes of God wrought in the many fellowships that have been created.
One of the signs of cultism is that of narrowness and, "We are the only ones. We’re exclusive. Everybody else is Babylon. Everybody else is wrong. We’re the only ones that have the true truth. Everyone else has, well, how could you have a false truth? So we are the truly true church." And this narrowness, sectarianism, it is carnal.
Paul said, “While some of you say, 'I’m of Cephas, I’m of Paul, I’m of Apollos'” (I Corinthians 1:12). He said that’s a mark of spiritual immaturity. You’re a babe in Christ. You haven’t grown up. It’s a mark of carnality. Are you not carnal? Do you not walk as men as long as one is saying, "I’m of Cephas, I’m of Paul, I’m of Apollos?" And it’s a mark of spiritual immaturity. “O God, enlarge my coast.” Lord, enlarge the borders of my life. Let me see the whole kingdom of God. The whole body of Christ.
Then of course, “Keep your hand upon me.” Oh how important it is that God keeps His hand upon my life. David said, “You held me by my right hand” (Psalm 73:23). Lord, keep holding my hand. I need You to hold me up. But Lord, if You don’t hold me up I’ll surely fall. Then finally, “Keep me from evil lest it grieve me.” Now this is farsightedness, which we need more of.
One of the problems of the world today is as Peter described. He said you only see that which is close. “You do not see that which is far off” (II Peter 1:9). And we only so many times look at an experience for the immediate benefits, but this is always, always the snare of Satan. Shortcut. You don’t have to take God’s way. You can have immediate fulfillment. And just about every enticement that Satan lays before you, the bait is immediate fulfillment.
You don’t have to go by way of the cross. You can have immediate fulfillment right now. Just turn aside from God’s path. You see, it’s over here. Here’s where you’re going to find it. And he seeks to turn us aside from God’s path. “O God, keep me from evil lest it grieve me,” because the end of that path when you turn aside from God’s path, the end of that path is always grief. You may be all excited now. You may be breathless over the thrills and the anticipation of what this experience is going to bring to you. But oh, six months down the line, the grief that you’re going to go through. “O God, keep me from evil lest it grieve me.”
Sometimes I think it would be valuable if all of you could sit in my office and just listen to the stories of grief because someone turned aside from God’s path seeking fulfillment. You couldn’t talk to them at that time. They would say, "Oh, you don’t understand. This is different. This is something special." "Yes, but God’s Word says..." "Oh, but you know this is an exception." How is it that we always think our case is our exception? The old Greek proverb was, "The dice of the gods are loaded." By which they were saying, "Hey man, you can’t go against God and win." Every time you try to go against God, you’re going to lose. You’re going to end up the loser. And so, "God keep me from evil lest it be a grief unto me." God answered his prayer.
Now we get back in the names again. One name stands out. We, with verse twenty-four, begin with the tribe of Simeon, and many of the names of those within the tribe of Simeon are given. A certain number of the tribe of Simeon, five hundred men, came down to the area of Edom, the land of Gedor. There was good pastureland there. And there they set up on the east side of the great African rift, the Dead Sea, and they found a good pasture for their flocks. They drove out the inhabitants of that land for it was good pastureland. And they dwelt there quietly and peaceably. They had driven out some of the descendants of Ham who had been there from the times of old. And this was during the time that Hezekiah was king over Israel. And they then went on down to mount Seir and took a part of the area that was of the Edomites, killing the Amaleks that were there. And it says, "They are dwelling there to this day."
Now the tribe of Simeon was, of course, one of the ten tribes from the northern kingdom. And it is interesting that a branch from Simeon went down and established there in the area of mount Seir. A rabbi recently sought to prove that those tribes in Afghanistan that are presently fighting against the Russian invasion are actually related to the tribes of Israel. They are part of the ten tribes of the northern kingdom. And he has done quite a scholarly job and research in proving that Israel is already fighting against Russia in Afghanistan. And many of these tribal people that have since, of course, embraced the Moslem religion are actually descendants from the ten tribes that were scattered at the time of the Assyrian invasion. Whether or not that is true, I do not know. But I do know that God knows where those people are, and He’s going to gather them together. During the great tribulation He is going to seal ten thousand from each tribe, because He knows exactly who they are.
Now in chapter five we get to the descendants of Reuben, who lost his birthright. It was given to the sons of Joseph, the son of Israel.
And so his genealogy is not reckoned after the birthright (5:1).
That genealogy after the birthright, of course, will come to Joseph.
But Judah prevailed above his brothers, and of him came the chief ruler or David; but the birthright was Joseph's (5:2):
So even though the birthright was Joseph, the leadership was to come from Judah, and ultimately from Judah is to come Jesus Christ.
Now in verse nine, we read concerning the tribe of Reuben.
That they went east and inhabited the entering of the wilderness from the river Euphrates: because their cattle were multiplied in the land of Gilead (5:9).
And so they went over to what is present-day Iraq, as far as Iraq, and they dwelt in that area. And so the tribe of Reuben and then next to the tribe of Gad, these are the tribes that settled on the east bank of the Jordan River. And then after them, the half the tribe of Manasseh, and it gives the names of some of those from the half the tribe of Manasseh, those all that dwelt on the other side.
But in verse twenty-five concerning the tribe of Reuben and Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh.
They transgressed against the God of their fathers, and they went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them. And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul the king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgathpilneser the king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, unto Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day (5:25-26).
And so, they were the first to fall. Those tribes that settled on the east bank of the Jordan River. And the reason for their fall is their transgression against the God of their fathers and their beginning to worship other gods.
Now in chapter six, we now get to the tribe of Levi from which was the priestly tribe.
[And the three sons which made the major families within the tribe of] Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. And of Kohath was born Amram. And from Amram was born Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam, [their sister] (6:1-3).
And so Moses and Aaron both came from the family of Kohath in the tribe of Levi. And then you follow the high priest line from Aaron, his son Eleazar and so forth. You follow that line on down to the captivity of Nebuchadnezzar when he took them away. Babylon from verse four to fifteen. You have a direct line, a bunch of unpronounceable names. And then he brings up Gershom in verse seventeen and tells you some of his sons. And then again Kohath and some of his sons. And then Merari and some of his sons. Your basic families.
Now as we get down into verse thirty-one, it is interesting in verse twenty-eight, Samuel the prophet is listed in his line, the son of Elkanah. In verse thirty-one.
And these are they whom David set over the service of song in the house of the LORD, after the ark had rest. And they ministered before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of the congregation with singing, until Solomon had built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem: and then they waited on their office according to their order. And these are they that waited with the children. Of the sons of the Kohathites: and Heman the singer (6:31-33).
And so forth. Now David actually appointed these men, and their job was just to stay in the tabernacle and just sing unto the Lord.
You know, sometimes we have some of the ladies that come and practice the organ here in the church. And I love for there to be music here in the church. In fact, one time we sought to set up a tape that we could just play music in the church all the. I like it. I like it whenever you come in to just have music of praise unto God. I think that’s great. I just, I think it’s great when God gives people the talent to sing. And if you want to rehearse or anything, come on down to the church and do your singing here. It’s great. I love it. And you’re welcome. Anytime you want to just worship the Lord or sing unto Him, just come on down. You’re free at any time to just come on in and just to worship the Lord with singing.
They had hired musicians. David appointed certain ones, and they were just to be there singing all the time. It would be great. Now I’m not much of one for choirs on Sunday morning to sing their little ditty and then that’s it, you know. But I would be all for a choir that would, you know, be here all day long or evening just singing praises and worshipping God. I think that would be outstanding. And so David had appointed from the tribe those that were to just spend their time worshipping the Lord in music.
Now another portion of the tribe, the descendants of Merari, their brothers were appointed to all of the manner of the service of the tabernacle of the house of God. So they were the janitors and those that kept the physical aspects of the thing in repair.
But Aaron and his sons [they were the ones that made the offerings unto the Lord there at the altar, the burnt offerings, and offered the incense, and made the atonements and they were the ones that did that portion of the service unto God] (6:49).
And of course, during the time of Moses problems arose, because they said, "Hey, Moses, you take too much on yourself. You’ve appointed your brother, the other priest, the other descendants of Levi." They said you’ve appointed your brother, you know, to the task of going in before the Lord and we have as much right. Korah and his little crew. "We have as much right as Aaron." And so that’s when Moses said, "Well, let’s see if this thing be of God. You guys bring in your walking canes and Aaron will bring his rod, we’ll set it before the Lord tonight and see what happens." So they set them in the tabernacle before the Lord, and in the morning, Aaron’s rod had budded and blossomed. It had ripe almonds on it. And so he says, "Well, looks like God’s trying to tell us something. But let’s make sure. Korah, you and your buddies stand out there in the field. Now this thing be of God, then let God do a new thing. Let the earth open up and swallow you guys alive." And the earth opened up and Korah and his whole rebellious crew went down into the pit and the earth closed behind them. And they said, "Well, I guess it was of God." No, it said, "And a great fear came on all Israel." I’ll bet it did.
Now it goes on now and tells the cities that were given to the priest. The cities that were given to them in Judah and the cities that were given to them in the tribe of Manasseh and in the tribe of Issachar and Reuben and Gad and Zebulun and Ephraim and all. And it names the cities that were given to the priest.
Now when we get to chapter seven, it moves now to Issachar, the son of Jacob, one of the twelve tribes, the tribe of Isaachar and it begins to list some of those from the tribe of Issachar. Until you get to verse six, and then we deal with the descendants of Benjamin. And in verse thirteen, the descendants of Naphtali. In verse fourteen, the descendants of Manasseh. Verse twenty, of Ephraim. And then more or less filling out the chapter with the areas that Ephraim inhabited.
In chapter eight, we come back to the tribe of Benjamin. And in the tribe of Benjamin, we come down to the family of Kish from which, of course, Saul was born, who became the first king over Israel, verse thirty-three,
Ner begat Kish, Kish begat Saul, Saul begat Jonathan (8:33),
And so you have Saul from the tribe of Benjamin.
You get to chapter nine and it declares,
So all of Israel was reckoned by the genealogies; and, behold, they were written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, who were carried away to Babylon because of their transgression (9:1).
Again God declares that the reason for the fall was their transgressions. Carried away to Babylon. And again we come back now to the priests and the descendants of the priests and the Levites and so forth. And in verse twenty-six, we are told that portion of them.
For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God. And they lodged round about the house of God, because the charge was upon them, and the opening every morning pertained to them (9:26-27).
And so it was their duty to just live around it to protect it from vandals and so forth, and every morning to open it up and to set things out. Set out all of the instruments, the vessels for the worship, the fine flour, the wine, the oil, the frankincense, and all.
And in verse thirty-three we get back to the singers.
These are the singers, chief of the fathers of the Levites, who remaining in the chambers were free: for they were employed in that work day and night (9:33).
In other words, they were free from the other labors in order that day and night they may spend their whole time in just praising and worshipping the Lord. That would be quite an occupation. Quite a job. Get paid for that. Just being around, worshipping God all the time and getting paid for it.
And so then we jump to in verse thirty-five, the family of Saul again through Jonathan, the descendants of Jonathan.
And in chapter ten, we have the story, once more, of Saul’s death. How in fighting against the Philistines up near mount Gilboa that Saul fell before the Philistines. He was hit with one of the arrows. An archer shot him. He realized that he wasn’t going to come out of it, but he was still alive. He…Saul you remember was a big guy. Hard to kill him. And he knew that ultimately the wound from this arrow would get him, and so he pleaded with his armor bearer to thrust him through, to finish him off. But his armor bearer was fearful to do it. And so Saul fell upon his own spear. He set it out in front of him and fell upon it and died. And of course, when his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his spear.
Jonathan and his other brothers, the sons of Saul, were slain by the Philistines clear up in the area of mount Gilboa. The next day, as the Philistines were coming around stripping the bodies, they found the body of Saul, and they cut off his head and set it through the land of the Philistines in order that they might rejoice over the fact that they had killed Saul, the king of Israel. And they put his body in the temple of Dagon there in Bethshemesh, which is at the northern end of the mount Gilboa range where Gilboa comes down to a little stream. And the men across the valley, across the Jordan River about ten miles away I guess, over in Jabeshgilead, when they heard that Saul’s body was pinned up there in the temple of the god with Jonathan, they came and they took the bodies and they took them back over on the other side of Jordan, and there they cremated them.
So in verse thirteen we are told,
Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it; and inquired not of the LORD: therefore the Lord slew him, and he turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse (10:13-14).
So Saul died for his transgression. And a fellow who had tremendous potential. I think that when God chose Saul there was demonstrated in Saul fabulous potential as a king. He was humble. He came from a good family. He seemed to be a natural leader. He was courageous. But before long, after a few victories, the women started coming out when Saul would walk down the street, and they would come out and they’d begin to dance with their tambourines. And they would sing, "Saul has killed his thousands." And Saul began to accept this praise and adulation of the people. He began to expect it. And pride began to get hold of the guy’s life. And this is the thing that destroyed him. That humility was gone. And now his arrogancy and pride, which led to the tremendous jealousy of David, trying to drive David out. And then his disobedience to the commandments of God. And finally, when God would not answer him, he went to the witch at Endor to inquire of her, and therefore God allowed him to be killed there on the mount Gilboa.
David became the king, and so in chapter eleven,
All of Israel gathered themselves to David in Hebron (11:1),
And it tells the numbers of people that gathered. Huge force of people from all of the tribes gathered to David. Hundreds of thousands actually gathered down in Hebron, and the mighty men, men of war and so forth. Now they said to David,
Behold, we are your bone and flesh. And moreover in times past, even when Saul was king, you were the one that led us out and brought us in: and the LORD thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people (11:1-2).
Now the twofold commission of God to David. Number one: you shall feed my people. And, you shall be ruler over them. David was called a man after God’s own heart. Because David had the heart of a shepherd. And would to God that every leader over the people had the heart of a shepherd. He was a shepherd made king. But coming from that background he made an ideal king. Because his interest was always in the sheep. And of course, the primary need of the sheep is to be fed.
Now in the New Testament that thought is carried over as Jesus said to Peter, "Do you love me?" "Yes." "Feed my sheep" (John 21:16). Later, Peter wrote, “Feed the flock of God which is among you” (I Peter 5:2). Jeremiah, the Lord said, “And in that day I will give them pastors who will feed them in the knowledge of God” (Jeremiah 3:15). And so the command to David to feed the sheep as you rule over the people.
And how important it is for a pastor today to teach the people the knowledge of God. To feed the sheep.
Therefore the elders came to Hebron; made a covenant with David before the LORD; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD by Samuel (11:3).
Now they did it again. He had already been anointed earlier.
And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem; and the inhabitants, [the Jebusites who were in Jerusalem] said, You can’t come in here (11:4-5).
And David said, "You just think I can’t."
And he took the castle of Zion, and he said, Whosoever smites the Jebusites first shall be the chief and the captain over the men. So Joab [his nephew] went up first, and he became the chief. And David dwelt in the castle; and they began to call [then Jerusalem the south slopes] the city of David. And David waxed greater and greater: for the LORD of hosts was with him (11:5-7,9).
The secret behind David’s greatness: the Lord of hosts was with him.
Now we get a list of some of David’s mighty men, and it’s interesting this first one that is listed is Jashobeam, verse eleven, and he was the chief of the captains. Now in the other records, nothing is spoken in Kings of this guy Jashobeam, and yet, he was a pretty powerful guy, because in one battle, he lifted up his spear against three hundred men whom he killed. I mean, three hundred to his credit in one battle. So he was not to be messed with.
Now, after him also one of the three mighties, of course, Joab was the first. And then Eleazer was the third. He was one of the three mighties.
And David was at Pasdammim, and the Philistines were gathered together in battle. And there was a parcel of ground that was full of barley; and all of the people fled from before the Philistines (11:13).
And David and this other fellow Eleazer stood in this field of barley while the Philistines attacked. And David and Eleazer defeated the Philistines.
The LORD saved them by a great deliverance (11:14).
David is a very interesting person. He has…really there’s much in David to be admired and, of course, there’s much to identify with because David was a man and he was subject to the same problems and temptations. And David wasn’t a perfect man by any means. In fact, because of some of the things that he did, he was rejected from building the temple unto God though it was in his heart to do it. But yet, he was an admirable, and here the Philistines are attacking, everybody flees, and David and Eleazer stand the ground there in the barley field and wipe out the Philistine attackers.
And so then it lists some of the others of the great. David, it speaks of how that they were near the cave of Adullam, and the host of the Philistines were encamped in the valley of Rephaim.
And David was with them there in this fortress, and the Philistines' garrison was then occupying Bethlehem. And David said, [Oh boy,] if I only had a drink of water from the well that’s at the gate of Bethlehem! So three [of David’s buddies] broke through the ranks of the Philistines, and got him a pitcher of water from the well there at Bethlehem, and they brought it back to David: and David [said, Oh, no, can’t believe it. They] took the water and he poured it out [on the ground. He said, I can’t drink this. You guys hazarded your lives. You shed blood for this water. I’ll give it to God. I’ll pour it out] to the Lord (11:16-19).
And so he poured the water out on the ground because he just felt unworthy to drink that water. He felt that those guys that were willing to hazard their lives for a thing like that better that they give it to the Lord. So he poured it out to the Lord, verse eighteen.
God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? And for the jeopardy of their lives they brought it to me. Therefore he would not drink it. But these things did these three mightiest men. And Abishai who was the brother of Joab, he was the chief of the three: for lifting up his spear against three hundred, he slew them, and had his name among the three. So yet he was not he did not attain to the first three (11:19-21).
Benaiah, one of the second three along with Abishai had done many acts. He killed two lionlike men of Moab. Now whatever that may be. Probably hairy guys with bushy hair and beards.
Also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day. And he slew an Egyptian, who was a giant, [seven and a half feet tall]; who had a spear that was like a weaver's beam; and he took and with his spear knocked the spear out of the [guy’s] hand, and then he killed him (11:22-23). And so he became one of the three, but not as mighty as the first three. And then the other thirty of the mighty men of David. He had thirty who were just really outstanding guys. And so their names come in for special mention.