Cover me in the day of war.
Several weeks ago, I read a fictional series about David’s’ mighty men. These books contained the above line that became a plea voiced heavenward by David’s warriors as they entered into battle. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the shepherd boy turned king, you can read about much of his story throughout the chapters of I and II Samuel, I Kings, and I Chronicles. Although anointed by God as the true king of Israel, it was many years before David took his rightful place on the throne. Instead, he lived his early years as a fugitive – running for his life, hiding out in caves, facing battle after battle against a residing king who refused to give up his position, even though it was obvious he had already lost it (in more ways than one). It was during this stint as a fugitive that God brought David’s “mighty men” into his life. Only they weren’t always referred to as such.
And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him (David). So he became captain over them. (I Samuel 22:2)
From this motley crew of misfits, David’s mighty men emerged.
I can’t help but compare myself and many of my fellow brothers and sisters as a part of this present-day motley crew following after their true King. There’s no doubt that many of us sided with Jesus in the midst of our own distress, need, and overall discontent with the life we were living. But sometimes it seems much more difficult to picture any of us emerging as “mighty men.”
Today, I was reminded that there are still mighty men of valor out there in the thick of the battle, holding ground in the Kingdom of God. And these men are not just strangers; they are friends, brothers, sons, and even my own sweet husband. That’s right, my husband pulled a radical stunt this past week that moved him and two other grown men to tears as he rose up to partner in another man’s battle. Just like the mighty men of David’s time who fought side by side, covering each other in the day of war, even as they were themselves covered by the Lord of Hosts.
Just this morning, my son shared with me of a Christian friend who recently stood his ground in an Indian village filled with idol worship. When the friend was commanded to worship the village idols, he refused. Shortly thereafter, three of the village cows fell over dead. A short while later, the idol of the village’s primary deity mysteriously disappeared from its temple. The village priest directed the man to leave the village before “other bad things happened.” I couldn’t help but compare this act of God with the Old Testament story of the statue of Dagon falling before the ark of the covenant (see I Samuel 5), only this time God apparently chose to simply make the idol disappear. All because a mighty man stood firm in the day of battle.
Another friend shared with me about persecution that has been on the rise in his African country as churches are being attacked and its members beaten and killed. They continue to meet together, regardless. Mighty men, joining in their grief to continue honoring the One who is worthy of all worship.
Another country is home to one of my adopted sons who is literally a marked man. Ostracized and considered “dead” by his own family members at the tender age of 17; his birth mother was even approached and asked to help carry out an assassination plot against him. He bears scars on his body from beatings he has received and imprisonments he has endured… simply because he has chosen to embrace the cross of Jesus. While imprisoned, he overcame his despair and shared the Gospel with his cellmates. A mighty man, covered in the day of war and vocal about his love for Jesus despite the persecution.
I could continue to list beloved believers who are emerging as the King’s mighty men in our day, but the real reason for this post is not merely to share information but to pose the question: Who are you?
Are you still among the disgruntled and discontent, or are you emerging as one of the King’s mighty men?
Determined to do something radical to show God’s love to a brother in need. Determined to stand when others bow. Determined to worship when others scatter. Determined to speak when men of violence are attempting to silence you. Determined to lay your own desires aside in exchange for the desires of your King’s heart.
Regardless of your age, gender, or nationality, my prayer is that you will rally under the banner of the Lord of Hosts and give room for the rightful King to take His throne in your life. May you find yourself emerging as a “mighty man,” even as you trust in the One who covers you in the day of war.