Dr. Dave Burnette
2 Samuel 23 - Fight the Good Fight
2 Samuel 23
1Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, 2The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. 3The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. 4And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. 5Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow. 6But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands: 7But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron and the staff of a spear; and they shall be utterly burned with fire in the same place. 8These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time. 9And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away: 10He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil. 11And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines. 12But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory. 13And three of the thirty chief went down, and came to David in the harvest time unto the cave of Adullam: and the troop of the Philistines pitched in the valley of Rephaim. 14And David was then in an hold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate! 16And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the LORD. 17And he said, Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men. 18And Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief among three. And he lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, and had the name among three. 19Was he not most honourable of three? therefore he was their captain: howbeit he attained not unto the first three. 20And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow: 21And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear. 22These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among three mighty men. 23He was more honourable than the thirty, but he attained not to the first three. And David set him over his guard. 24Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, 27Abiezer the Anethothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29Heleb the son of Baanah, a Netophathite, Ittai the son of Ribai out of Gibeah of the children of Benjamin, 30Benaiah the Pirathonite, Hiddai of the brooks of Gaash, 31Abialbon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, 32Eliahba the Shaalbonite, of the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Hararite, 34Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maachathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 35Hezrai the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 36Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37Zelek the Ammonite, Nahari the Beerothite, armourbearer to Joab the son of Zeruiah, 38Ira an Ithrite, Gareb an Ithrite, 39Uriah the Hittite: thirty and seven in all.
Today's Scripture Meaning
David's last words. (1-7) David's mighty men. (8-39) Verses 1-7: These words of David are very worthy of regard. Let those who have had long experience of God's goodness, and the pleasantness of heavenly wisdom, when they come to finish their course, bear their testimony to the truth of the promise. David avows his Divine inspiration, that the Spirit of God spake by him. He, and other holy men, spake and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. In many things he had his own neglect and wrong conduct to blame. But David comforted himself that the Lord had made with him an everlasting covenant. By this he principally intended the covenant of mercy and peace, which the Lord made with him as a sinner, who believed in the promised Saviour, who embraced the promised blessing, who yielded up himself to the Lord, to be his redeemed servant. Believers shall for ever enjoy covenant blessings; and God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, shall be for ever glorified in their salvation. Thus pardon, righteousness, grace, and eternal life, are secured as the gift of God through Jesus Christ. There is an infinite fulness of grace and all blessings treasured up in Christ, for those who seek his salvation. This covenant was all David's salvation, he so well knew the holy law of God and the extent of his own sinfulness, that he perceived what was needful for his own case in this salvation. It was therefore all his desire. In comparison, all earthly objects lost their attractions; he was willing to give them up, or to die and leave them, that he might enjoy full happiness, (Ps 73:24-28). Still the power of evil, and the weakness of his faith, hope, and love, were his grief and burden. Doubtless he would have allowed that his own slackness and want of care were the cause; but the hope that he should soon be made perfect in glory, encouraged him in his dying moments. Verses 8-39: David once earnestly longed for the water at the well of Bethlehem. It seems to be an instance of weakness. He was thirsty; with the water of that well he had often refreshed himself when a youth, and it was without due thought that he desired it. Were his valiant men so forward to expose themselves, upon the least hint of their prince's mind, and so eager to please him, and shall not we long to approve ourselves to our Lord Jesus, by ready compliance with his will, as shown us by his word, Spirit, and providence? But David poured out the water as a drink-offering to the Lord. Thus he would cross his own foolish fancy, and punish himself for indulging it, and show that he had sober thoughts to correct his rash ones, and knew how to deny himself. Did David look upon that water as very precious which was got at the hazard of these men's blood, and shall not we much more value those benefits for purchasing which our blessed Saviour shed his blood? Let all beware of neglecting so great salvation.
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of 2 Samuel with Chapter 23 and we see David's last words and a description of David's Mighty Men as he assembled a great army to fight the enemies of our God. In making application we see the need to assemble and organize many great men of God to fight the battle. Today we fight not against flesh and blood but of powers and principalities of the air, the devil and his demons. God is in control but our influence to a lost and dying world will be fought through the Church. For the leaders of the Church we must do as David did to organize an army of soldiers of the Lord who will fight. Fighting for the lost, fighting against sin, and fighting against wickedness as we raise the Blood Stained Banner of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. How about you? Do you see the battle? Are you willing to fight? Let us learn from our text today and the army of David to remember to reach the lost, preach about sin, restore the wounded, and fight the good fight.
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Sincerely, Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.