The story of David, the king of Israel, has ended. The ancient historian concludes it with one of David's psalms. It is fitting that he would do so. But David was not only a soldier and a statesman and a man who had brilliant strategy, but he was also a singer of great songs. And so it was fitting that David's psalm would be used to conclude David's life; and then following the psalm there are David's words.
But before the historian puts down his pen, before he completes the saga of David's rule, this reign in which David came to the kingdom and found it sand and left the kingdom marble, the historian wants us to know that David did not fight his battles alone. He wants us to know that there were Knights of the Roundtable, 37 men who fought by his side.
They came to him from every part of the kingdom; in fact, from beyond its borders. They were the ones who fought with him. They were the ones who established the kingdom. They were the ones who extended it to its greatness. And they were the ones who protected David from danger.
Of the 37 men who made up David's guard, there were three that were David's chief men. They were like his Three Musketeers. They were the mightiest of the mighty. The strongest of the strong.
The historian tells us that one of them was Abishai. He was evidently David's minister of war. But this man did not win his stars sitting in a boardroom, planning battles on a map. He won his stars out on the battlefield. Once, we are told, he killed 800 men with a spear. That must be the Olympic record for spearfighting.
The second man that formed that trio was a man by the name of Eleazar, the son of Dodai. Eleazar too was a hard and brilliant fighter. Once, we are told, at Pass Daman, when David and Eleazar were ...
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Haddon Robinson was a preacher and teacher of preachers all over the world. His last teaching position was as the Harold John Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Text:2 Samuel 23:1317 Topic: How leaders are to relate to their followers
Three men in particular form the core of David's inner circle and are very loyal to him.
People are often very loyal to Christian leaders.
David wished for a drink of water partly because of nostalgia.
- Illustration: Robinson remembers with nostalgia the sodas at Schefnickel's in his New York boyhood.
David's three chief men show their loyalty to David.
- Illustration: David's three closest soldiers risk their lives to get David water from a well in Bethlehem.
In Hebrew, loyalty taken to the highest pitch of devotion is hessed, and expresses God's love for us.
- Illustration: The devotion of Denver Bronco fans in Denver.
Leaders should be loyal to their followers.
Leaders should respond in humble service to people's devotion to them.
- Illustration: David feels he doesn't deserve the water his men got for him.
- Illustration: Journalist's comment on 60 Minutes about elected politicians: "When a man comes to Washington these days, he comes to his office thinking of it as a prize he has won."
- Illustration: Paul and his relationship with the Philippian church.
Our loyalty to our followers should be like God's loyalty to us.
God is loyal to us no matter our sin.
- Illustration: David's adultery and murder of Uriah are forgiven by God in his hessed.
II. People are often very loyal to Christian leaders
III. Leaders should be loyal to their followers
IV. Our loyalty to our followers should be like God's loyalty to us