David’s Mighty Men

David's Mighty MenText: 2 Samuel 23:8-12

In the Bible (especially in the Old Testament), we read of many who fought for the Lord, serving in His army. Some of these have names that are well-known (Joshua, Gideon, David, etc.). Some names are easily forgotten (Adino, Eleazar the son of Dodo, Shammah). These last three are referred to as David’s “mighty men.” What did they do and what lessons do they teach us?

Adino the Eznite (v. 8)

  • Killed 800 enemy warriors at one time – not only does this sound amazing, it was incredibly improbable; assuming he had a 99% chance to defeat just ONE of these enemies, with the same odds that would give him a 0.03% chance of defeating 800 of them
  • He is an example of one who defied the odds
  • We have the odds stacked against us (John 15:18-19; Matthew 7:13-14)
  • Yet worrying about the improbability of success is a worldly perspective (2 Corinthians 1:8-10)
  • We will be victorious through Christ, no matter the odds (Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 17:14; Romans 8:37)

Eleazar the Son of Dodo (v. 9-10)

  • Went to battle against the Philistines and his fellow Israelites withdrew – he fought so intensely for so long that his hand, though weary, “clung to the sword“; the people returned only afterward to strip the slain
  • He is an example of one who refused to put down his sword – refused to let go
  • We have been given “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17)
  • We must hold fast to it (2 Timothy 1:13) – long term, “with perseverance” (Luke 8:15)
  • When others do not fight with us, we cannot become discouraged (2 Timothy 4:16-18)

Shammah the Son of Agee (v. 11-12)

  • Philistines gathered against them and the people fled – he took his stand in a certain plot of ground, defended it, and did not flee as the rest; the result was that “the Lord brought about a great victory
  • He is an example of one who refused to compromise – did not give up his position
  • Our fight does not involve carnal weapons and physical locations – involves arguments and thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
  • We cannot compromise the truth (Galatians 1:6-9; 2:4-5)
  • When others attack us, we must not “abandon [our] position” (Ecclesiastes 10:4) – we will triumph through Christ, but we must not corrupt our stand for the truth (2 Corinthians 2:14-17)


  • There are important lessons we need to learn from these men – do not fear the majority; do not give up; do not compromise
  • We may not be able to wield a sword like these men did, but we can be the Lord’s mighty men/women – we need to fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith (2 Timothy 4:7)

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