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SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:

1 Chronicles 10:1-12:40

10:1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel. The Israelites fled before the Philistines and many of them fell dead on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines stayed right on the heels of Saul and his sons. They struck down Saul’s sons Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malki-Shua. 3 The battle was thick around Saul; the archers spotted him and wounded him. 4 Saul told his armor bearer, “Draw your sword and stab me with it. Otherwise these uncircumcised people will come and torture me.” But his armor bearer refused to do it, because he was very afraid. So Saul took the sword and fell on it. 5 When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword and died. 6 So Saul and his three sons died; his whole household died together. 7 When all the Israelites who were in the valley saw that the army had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their cities and fled. The Philistines came and occupied them.

8 The next day, when the Philistines came to strip loot from the corpses, they discovered Saul and his sons lying dead on Mount Gilboa. 9 They stripped his corpse, and then carried off his head and his armor. They sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines proclaiming the news to their idols and their people. 10 They placed his armor in the temple of their gods and hung his head in the temple of Dagon. 11 When all the residents of Jabesh Gilead heard about everything the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all the warriors went and recovered the bodies of Saul and his sons and brought them to Jabesh. They buried their remains under the oak tree in Jabesh and fasted for seven days.

13 So Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord and did not obey the Lord’s instructions; he even tried to conjure up underworld spirits. 14 He did not seek the Lord’s guidance, so the Lord killed him and transferred the kingdom to David son of Jesse.

11:1 All Israel joined David at Hebron and said, “Look, we are your very flesh and blood! 2 In the past, even when Saul was king, you were Israel’s commanding general. The Lord your God said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel; you will rule over my people Israel.’” 3 When all the leaders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord. They anointed David king over Israel, in keeping with the Lord’s message that came through Samuel.

4 David and the whole Israelite army advanced to Jerusalem (that is, Jebus). (The Jebusites, the land’s original inhabitants, lived there.) 5 The residents of Jebus said to David, “You cannot invade this place!” But David captured the fortress of Zion (that is, the City of David). 6 David said, “Whoever attacks the Jebusites first will become commanding general!” So Joab son of Zeruiah attacked first and became commander. 7 David lived in the fortress; for this reason it is called the City of David. 8 He built up the city around it, from the terrace to the surrounding walls; Joab restored the rest of the city. 9 David’s power steadily grew, for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies was with him.

10 These were the leaders of David’s warriors who, together with all Israel, stood courageously with him in his kingdom by installing him as king, in keeping with the Lord’s message concerning Israel. 11 This is the list of David’s warriors:

Jashobeam, a Hacmonite, was head of the officers. He killed three hundred men with his spear in a single battle.

12 Next in command was Eleazar son of Dodo the Ahohite. He was one of the three elite warriors. 13 He was with David in Pas Dammim when the Philistines assembled there for battle. In an area of the field that was full of barley, the army retreated before the Philistines, 14 but then they made a stand in the middle of that area. They defended it and defeated the Philistines; the Lord gave them a great victory.

15 Three of the thirty leaders went down to David at the rocky cliff at the cave of Adullam, while a Philistine force was camped in the Valley of Rephaim. 16 David was in the stronghold at the time, while a Philistine garrison was in Bethlehem. 17 David was thirsty and said, “How I wish someone would give me some water to drink from the cistern in Bethlehem near the city gate!” 18 So the three elite warriors broke through the Philistine forces and drew some water from the cistern in Bethlehem near the city gate. They carried it back to David, but David refused to drink it. He poured it out as a drink offering to the Lord 19 and said, “God forbid that I should do this! Should I drink the blood of these men who risked their lives?” Because they risked their lives to bring it to him, he refused to drink it. Such were the exploits of the three elite warriors.

20 Abishai the brother of Joab was head of the three elite warriors. He killed three hundred men with his spear and gained fame along with the three elite warriors. 21 From the three he was given double honor and he became their officer, even though he was not one of them.

22 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a brave warrior from Kabzeel who performed great exploits. He struck down the two sons of Ariel of Moab; he also went down and killed a lion inside a cistern on a snowy day. 23 He even killed an Egyptian who was seven and a half feet tall. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand as big as the crossbeam of a weaver’s loom; Benaiah attacked him with a club. He grabbed the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 24 Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada, who gained fame along with the three elite warriors. 25 He received honor from the thirty warriors, though he was not one of the three elite warriors. David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

26 The mighty warriors were:

Asahel the brother of Joab,

Elhanan son of Dodo, from Bethlehem,

27 Shammoth the Harorite,

Helez the Pelonite,

28 Ira son of Ikkesh the Tekoite,

Abiezer the Anathothite,

29 Sibbekai the Hushathite,

Ilai the Ahohite,

30 Maharai the Netophathite,

Heled son of Baanah the Netophathite,

31 Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjaminite territory,

Benaiah the Pirathonite,

32 Hurai from the valleys of Gaash,

Abiel the Arbathite,

33 Azmaveth the Baharumite,

Eliahba the Shaalbonite,

34 the sons of Hashem the Gizonite,

Jonathan son of Shageh the Hararite,

35 Ahiam son of Sakar the Hararite,

Eliphal son of Ur,

36 Hepher the Mekerathite,

Ahijah the Pelonite,

37 Hezro the Carmelite,

Naarai son of Ezbai,

38 Joel the brother of Nathan,

Mibhar son of Hagri,

39 Zelek the Ammonite,

Naharai the Beerothite, the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah,

40 Ira the Ithrite,

Gareb the Ithrite,

41 Uriah the Hittite,

Zabad son of Achli,

42 Adina son of Shiza the Reubenite, leader of the Reubenites and the thirty warriors with him,

43 Hanan son of Maacah,

Joshaphat the Mithnite,

44 Uzzia the Ashterathite,

Shama and Jeiel, the sons of Hotham the Aroerite,

45 Jediael son of Shimri,

and Joha his brother, the Tizite,

46 Eliel the Mahavite,

and Jeribai and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam,

and Ithmah the Moabite,

47 Eliel,

and Obed,

and Jaasiel the Mezobaite.

12:1 These were the men who joined David in Ziklag, when he was banished from the presence of Saul son of Kish. (They were among the warriors who assisted him in battle. 2 They were armed with bows and could shoot arrows or sling stones right or left-handed. They were fellow tribesmen of Saul from Benjamin. ) These were:

3 Ahiezer, the leader, and Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; Jeziel and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth;

Berachah,

Jehu the Anathothite,

4 Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, one of the thirty warriors and their leader,

(12:5) Jeremiah,

Jahaziel,

Johanan,

Jozabad the Gederathite,

5 (12:6) Eluzai,

Jerimoth,

Bealiah,

Shemariah,

Shephatiah the Haruphite,

6 Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, who were Korahites,

7 and Joelah and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham from Gedor.

8 Some of the Gadites joined David at the stronghold in the wilderness. They were warriors who were trained for battle; they carried shields and spears. They were as fierce as lions and could run as quickly as gazelles across the hills. 9 Ezer was the leader, Obadiah the second in command, Eliab the third, 10 Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth, 11 Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh, 12 Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth, 13 Jeremiah the tenth, and Machbannai the eleventh. 14 These Gadites were military leaders; the least led a hundred men, the greatest a thousand. 15 They crossed the Jordan River in the first month, when it was overflowing its banks, and routed those living in all the valleys to the east and west.

16 Some from Benjamin and Judah also came to David’s stronghold. 17 David went out to meet them and said, “If you come to me in peace and want to help me, then I will make an alliance with you. But if you come to betray me to my enemies when I have not harmed you, may the God of our ancestors take notice and judge!” 18 But a spirit empowered Amasai, the leader of the thirty warriors, and he said:

“We are yours, O David!

We support you, O son of Jesse!

May you greatly prosper!

May those who help you prosper!

Indeed your God helps you!”

So David accepted them and made them leaders of raiding bands.

19 Some men from Manasseh joined David when he went with the Philistines to fight against Saul. (But in the end they did not help the Philistines because, after taking counsel, the Philistine lords sent David away, saying: “It would be disastrous for us if he deserts to his master Saul.”) 20 When David went to Ziklag, the men of Manasseh who joined him were Adnach, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai, leaders of a thousand soldiers each in the tribe of Manasseh. 21 They helped David fight against raiding bands, for all of them were warriors and leaders in the army. 22 Each day men came to help David until his army became very large.

23 The following is a record of the armed warriors who came with their leaders and joined David in Hebron in order to make David king in Saul’s place, in accordance with the Lord’s decree:

24 From Judah came 6,800 trained warriors carrying shields and spears.

25 From Simeon there were 7,100 warriors.

26 From Levi there were 4,600. 27 Jehoiada, the leader of Aaron’s descendants, brought 3,700 men with him, 28 along with Zadok, a young warrior, and twenty-two leaders from his family.

29 From Benjamin, Saul’s tribe, there were 3,000, most of whom, up to that time, had been loyal to Saul.

30 From Ephraim there were 20,800 warriors, who had brought fame to their families.

31 From the half-tribe of Manasseh there were 18,000 who had been designated by name to come and make David king.

32 From Issachar there were 200 leaders and all their relatives at their command – they understood the times and knew what Israel should do.

33 From Zebulun there were 50,000 warriors who were prepared for battle, equipped with all kinds of weapons, and ready to give their undivided loyalty.

34 From Naphtali there were 1,000 officers, along with 37,000 men carrying shields and spears.

35 From Dan there were 28,600 men prepared for battle.

36 From Asher there were 40,000 warriors prepared for battle.

37 From the other side of the Jordan, from Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, there were 120,000 men armed with all kinds of weapons.

38 All these men were warriors who were ready to march. They came to Hebron to make David king over all Israel by acclamation; all the rest of the Israelites also were in agreement that David should become king. 39 They spent three days feasting there with David, for their relatives had given them provisions. 40 Also their neighbors, from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali, were bringing food on donkeys, camels, mules, and oxen. There were large supplies of flour, fig cakes, raisins, wine, olive oil, beef, and lamb, for Israel was celebrating.