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bible5.gif (4796 bytes)JUNE 2000 - BRO. MICHAEL A. BAKER

Greetings in the Name of Jesus!

This months Cyber-Church sermon is an interesting new troops up look at II Samuel Chapter 23 by Michael A. Baker, Vice President of a recently formed Conservative/Christian law enforcement organization, THE INLAND POLICE OFFICER'S COALITION. Visit their website and/or drop Bro. Mike a note of encouragement at

God bless you and yours
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Recently I was reading through II Samuel chapter 23. It lists the senior staff of David's military at the time and the exploits of the more notable officers. For those of you familiar with the text, it's a fascinating and insightful example of what a few can accomplish against the odds, indeed what one individual in the Lord's perfect will can overcome. I am always encouraged by reading this, especially when overwhelmed by life; by the many challenges the Church is facing today in America.

But one portion of this text always stood out to me, and up to now I could never quite put my finger on what the Lord was trying to convey to the reader, yet knowing it was here for a reason. I'm sure there has been many insightful commentaries on it but I haven't come across them. It reads:

". . . And 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. And David was then in an hold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate! And 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. And 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." (II Samuel 23: 13-17)

What's notable is that in this particular account, there was absolutely no military objective or goal to be achieved, nor was it even a defensive maneuver. David was simply expressing his desire at the moment to have a drink from the well of Bethlehem, perhaps more an ardent longing than anything, knowing the emotional and spiritual pressure he was under. At this time he was alone at the head of what was little more than a ragtag guerrilla unit in conflict with King Saul, with the Philistines as a national threat all about on top of that.

Yet, in the midst of this tenuous footing, these three “Mighty Men” took his longing to heart and, exercising personal initiative, hazarded their lives to penetrate the enemy’s lines--in comparison to their own numbers, a vastly superior force--secured the water from the well, and then returned to David’s position. Were these three self-centered egotistical show-offs? Were they promotion-minded boot-lickers with their own long-term interests at heart? Were they just plain nuts? If these three were someone you know today, would you condemn them as such? David, obviously overwhelmed by their show of affection, bravery, and dedication, poured it out as an offering to the Lord.

No, they were modeling something much more; the Lord clearly exhibiting something much more substantial and important. Character traits of the human spiritual experience that are in rare representation these days. I believe the Lord was dramatizing:

- Valor or Valiance, n. ~ adj. Great courage; heroic.
- Daring, n. 1. Adventurous courage. ~ adj. 2. Courageous or fearless.
- Courage, n. The quality of mind that enables a person to face difficulty,
danger, etc., without fear; bravery.
- Bravery, n. Brave spirit or conduct.
- Intrepid[ness], adj. Fearless, dauntless.
- Audacity, adv. 1. Bold, daring. 2. Insolent, brazen.
- Initiative (personal), n. 2 Readiness and ability in initiating action. 3. One’s personal, responsible decision.
- Service, n. 1. An act of helpful activity. 6. The work of a servant.

That’s what these three Mighty men were modeling for posterity. They accomplished nothing in the temporal realm in executing this particular action, but to honor David who at this time would be their king. The metaphor here for us is that of us as Christians, being motivated as these were in our service and life to the Lord Jesus Christ, who ‘is’ our King. True, there never was a 'lot' of people like this in Biblical history, but then ". . . Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many
or by few." (I Samuel 14:6)

But as Christians, if we feel we lack these particular attributes, what can we do to see that particular lack change? Simple. R.D. Conner states in his book, “God’s Secret Place,”

“As we study the Word of God, we grow and change. Learning more truth upgrades our lives both now and throughout eternity. Perhaps the greatest change is in how we view God Himself. Our lives center around that One Great Concept more than any other. If we misjudge God, our lives will show it, and it could be devastating.

Countless hours and days of miserable hurt and depression are often a direct result of misjudging God. That’s the most serious error we can make. God’s Word forms a Picture of Himself, and it is of paramount importance that this Picture be a True Likeness. That’s why Bible study is so important (Phil 3:8-10).”

As we study and spend great amounts of time in the Word of God and deep fellowship with the Holy Spirit, traversing the pages of The Book, the heart and soul of the individual is gradually and incrementally changed as we “have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. . . .” (Colossians 3:10) and our spiritual discernment of reality, grows in Him. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God, strengthening the inner man, opens our understanding to the awesome Power of God which is available to us as His children and enlightens us to the vast resources we have access to in His many promises, in resisting the tactics and assaults of our unseen enemy. Fear, apprehension, and timidity melts away as reality is filtered through the Truth of God’s Word, the manifold promises of God’s providence and protection brought to bear in our respective circumstances, and He becomes bigger than any opposition, seen or unseen, arrayed against us.

Today, the Lord looks for the man or woman of valor who has submitted to His training regime and has let Him equip them for the very challenging spiritual arena of battle. Indeed, today in America in the midst of an increasingly hostile social and political environment (nothing more than an outward representation of the more violent warfare in the spiritual realm) towards Christianity, the opportunity to be utilized in such a manner are many, regardless of our position in the community. Finally, the awards, the
campaign ribbons, the medals, the combat action ribbons, the “Crown of Life,” cast before the Throne of Jesus Christ as an offering on that final day.

It is written in II Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. . . .”

Be one of “them!”

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