Not Feelings But Faith

David’s mighty men are mentioned in various sections of the Old Testament and they are quite phenomenal when it was necessary to do powerful deeds. However, there was a time when many of them were not so mighty. It was something God desired to change.
Not Feelings But Faith
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2016 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

There are the brave and there are the fearful. But, there is always God. As one reads throughout the entire Holy Bible they will see there were many times when God took the weakest people and changed them into powerful people. One reason these accounts are recorded in the Holy Bible is so that we may also become strong in God. For this message we will look at David’s mighty men, some, perhaps many, of which were not so mighty when we first read about them.

I. The Mice Of Feeling

Our journey from feelings to faith will take us through a

few passages in 1 and 2 Samuel. It will begin at 1 Samuel 22:2, and for your convenience we will also present verse 1 from the New America Standard Bible (NASB): “So David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam; and when his brothers and all his father's household heard of it, they went down there to him. 2    Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them. Now there were about four hundred men with him.”

Verse 2 places the approximately 400 men into three groups. The first is “Everyone who was in distress, . . .” There can be all sorts of distresses that can plague a person’s life. For our time I immediately can think of those who are depressed and discouraged. I also must include those that are spiritually oppressed, obsessed, and even those who are possessed by satan {1}.

“. . . and everyone who was in debt . . . “

Some people, either consciously or subconsciously, consider mammon a source of strength. That is gone when one is in debt. Evidently these who gathered to David sensed another strength or a haven of protection from creditors.

However, when I think of the term “debt” used here I am reminded that we are all indebted to God, not just because we depend upon Him, but because we all have transgressed His ordinances. As in many other places of Holy Scripture, David in this text can speak of Christ. If we come to Him we will not only find spiritual strength but great blessing in the fact He fully paid our spiritual debt.

“. . . and everyone who was discontented.”

In this group I can picture the unhappy and the grumps, even those grumps that are never pleased with anything and often are quite vocal about it. Such temperaments do not engender success neither in the world nor in serving God in His kingdom. Instead, there is a negativity that might just infect others and hinder them from reaching their full potential.

If we turn the pages of the Holy Word to chapter 23 and look at verse 3 we will find that many, if not all, of these men were fearful. So you have the context, I will present verses 1 to 5 in the NASB*:

“Then they told David, saying, "Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are plundering the threshing floors." 2  So David inquired of YHVH, saying, "Shall I go and attack these Philistines?" And YHVH said to David, "Go and attack the Philistines and deliver Keilah." 3 But David's men said to him, "Behold, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the ranks of the Philistines?" 4 Then David inquired of YHVH once more. And YHVH answered him and said, "Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand." 5 So David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines; and he led away their livestock and struck them with a great slaughter. Thus David delivered the inhabitants of Keilah.”

Chapter 22 indicates David and his men were already “on the run" in fear of King Saul. Now David is told by God to openly go to Keilah to deliver it from the Philistines! They were hiding from Saul and now they will be put into the position of being discovered by Saul. In fact, further in chapter 23 we learn that the men of Keilah would betray David to Saul. Why would God do that? Their fear had to be brought to the forefront in order to replace it with faith.

Before we leave the negative and move on to the glorious positive in the Lord it would be appropriate to add a few more feelings not mentioned or alluded to in our texts that many of us encounter. For example, sometimes people get a lazy streak or are just plain lazy. In another realm many bear feelings of defeat. In still another realm is our very own body from which we sense pain, discomfort.

What a bunch of men! What type of army would they be with all of these negative feelings! These are some of the feelings we might encounter when serving Christ in any way, whether it be simply going to church, witnessing, living His life in front of our family and coworkers. We must move from feeling to faith! We need to stop saying, “I do not feel like it.”

II. The Mighty Of Faith

As you will recall from above, the men who were with David acted more like nervous mice than men when God commissioned David and them to rescue Keilah from the Philistines. Nonetheless we read in verse 5 that, "David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines; and he led away their livestock and struck them with a great slaughter. Thus David delivered the inhabitants of Keilah.”

God was using circumstances and David to shape them into those who were mighty in faith. David would one day be their king after the demise of Saul. Here David figuratively points to Christ the King. When we permit Christ to dwell in our hearts and be in our midst His Spirit by His grace transforms us into mighty ones of faith. The Body of Christ is formed into a team against satan and his forces.

We shall now turn our attention to 2 Samuel 23:8-21 (unless otherwise noted or the KJV is used, most verses below will be in the NASB*) where we will find that many of these men with negative attitudes were transformed by God to become mighty in faith, operating in faith and not by feeling. God will do this for anyone, if they permit Him. One needs to have Christ as King in their heart, the center of their being. Let us now note how God used some of these men who were once encumbered with negative attitudes and feelings.

According to His sovereignty and will God can do the miraculous through those who are fainthearted and weak. Verse 8 states, "These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains, he was called Adino the Eznite, because of eight hundred slain by him at one time." While there is no account of hundreds of deaths recorded in the New Testament during the ministry of the early Church it is clear that God mightily used the Body of Christ to come against demonic forces.

Verse 9 records, "and after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there to battle and the men of Israel had withdrawn." Note that a battle was going on and the men of Israel had withdrawn. Usually that would encourage others to do the same, but not for this Eleazar. In and through Christ we can have the bravery to stand against the enemy and his demonic forces.

The account of Eleazar does not stop there as we continue to read in verse 10, "He arose and struck the Philistines until his hand was weary and clung to the sword, and YHVH brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to strip the slain." Today we might say


his hand was "frozen" to the sword. I remember that when I was a child someone showed me something like that by asking me to hold on to a stick real hard for a few minutes. I had to use my other hand to pry it open. This speaks to us that God can make us be very determined to do His will for His glory.

This next one from verses 11 and 12 is a favorite of mine: "Now after him was Shammah the son of Agee a Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered into a troop where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the people fled from the Philistines. 12 But he took his stand in the midst of the plot, defended it and struck the Philistines; and YHVH brought about a great victory."

Shammah's defense of the lentil plot speaks to the devotional point that with Christ within we no longer have to be wimps and "cave-in" to the wishes of others. We can boldly take a stand when our employer or anyone else tells us to do something against the will of God. Sure, there may be consequences, but it is better for those consequences to befall us than to disobey God and walk away from Him to the point where we have left Him.

Now let us read verses 13 to 17: "Then three of the thirty chief men went down and came to David in the harvest time to the cave of Adullam, while the troop of the Philistines was camping in the valley of Rephaim. 14 David was then in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15 David had a craving and said, "Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!" 16 So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water from the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to YHVH; 17 and he said, "Be it far from me, O YHVH, that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?" Therefore he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did."

These men were certainly daring, but it was in part because they loved David and had great respect for him. I would say that on our part this should be a core of what makes us a person faith-- that we deeply love Christ and truly desire to do anything for Him. I know that true disciples feel this way but there are times we do wonder how we would do under something like severe disaster or severe persecution. Each time I wonder that I must realize and console myself with the fact of God's grace that will give us the ability to do the right thing when the time comes.

Sometimes our conditions, surroundings and such tend to engender certain negative emotions, but, by the grace of God we can be mighty in faith as the remaining verses show us. For example, with God's help we can be mighty in faith though we are outnumbered. Consider verses 18 and 19: "Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of the thirty. And he swung his spear against three hundred and killed them, and had a name as well as the three. 19    He was most honored of the thirty, therefore he became their commander; however, he did not attain to the three."

Now look at this interesting one from the first part of verse 20 in Young's Literal Translation*: "And Benaiah son of Jehoiada (son of a man of valor, great in deeds from Kabzeel), he has smitten two lion-like men of Moab,". This reminds me of the verse in 1 Peter 5:8 where the devil is described "as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour." Benaiah conquered two lion-like men which would speak to us that through Christ we can be mighty in faith though double attacked by satan.

Our friend Benaiah seemed to specialize in lions. The other part of verse 20 states, "He also went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day." There will be times where we will find ourselves in spiritually slippery and confined situations, but we must not focus upon the conditions but upon Him Who makes us more than conquerors.

Finally, about Benaiah we read in verse 21, "He killed an Egyptian, an impressive man. Now the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but he went down to him with a club and snatched the spear from the Egyptian's hand and killed him with his own spear." Humans at times can be very intimidating, very manipulating. Human pride can overwhelm others. Yet, by the power of Christ within we can overcome human pride and authority by God’s authority.

Even To This Day

These Old Testament accounts occurred long before Christ physically came to redeem us and empower us with His life. By His grace any of us can ignore negative feelings and press on in His faithfulness. Based on Holy Bible prophecy it is evident we live at the end of the Age of the Gentiles. We are told that even at the start of the Church the spirit of the antichrist was already in the world (1 John 4:3).

Despite this, those who truly know God through Christ will be used by Him in various ways. Daniel 11:32 states, "By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action." May those who do not have Christ make Him their King now, and for those that have Him as King let us always lay aside our feelings, ignore negative conditions, and act in faith through Him as His Holy Spirit directs.

Notes:
  
{1} Not capitalized on purpose, and so throughout the article. Experts Column gives me the freedom to express myself in that way.

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by July 29, 2016 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M409 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the 1769 Authorized Version with spelling of some words updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. An * next to the abbreviation for another translation or version indicates the same for the text presented.

Not responsible for lead picture after date of publication. Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on: Last updated: 29-07-2016 59 1

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  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    Jesus' holiness and power, his presence will demand that all that makes people live in chains, more dead than alive and without hope, leave. Evil cannot stand and is overpowered by Jesus' truth and authority. The choice is to be freed or to live inhumanly. There will be reactions of fear, but those freed are sent to release others by their lives converted, and made whole by Jesus' presence in the world.
    reply 0
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