1 Chronicles 12:8-18 (Part 2) – Willing to Follow the Vision Into the Wilderness

Posted: March 13, 2020 in 12-2 Kings

1 Chronicles 12:8-18 (Part 2 of 2)

Warriors Join David

One of the features of the success of Clemson football during its greatest decade ever is that they are not afraid to go after the best football players in the high school ranks anywhere in the nation. Since Coach Swinney took over as head coach, they have not shied away from go after athletes that experts feel are a slam-dunk for another major school. However, that’s not the greatest feature. They will go after the best athletes but their athletic prowess is always subject to whether they will fit into the type of program, the culture, of Clemson football and the university. As a result, they often sidestep the #1 guy in a position in the country and get the #2 or #3 guy because the #1 rated guy just won’t fit into the culture of the Clemson football program. There is a high degree of self-accountability established among the players within the program. Leaders among the players are expected to display real leadership and mentor and lead those that are younger than them. Getting their degree must be important to the player being recruited. Growing in a responsible citizen after college is important to the program. There is a sense of family that is instilled in the program where the guys do genuinely seem to really care about each other. I genuinely believe that Coach Swinney and his coaches will pass on a guy that is a behavior problem, a prima donna kind of player, those #1 guys who think the world owes them a favor because they are gifted athlete, even if that kid is one of those once in a generation kinds of talents if they do not fit into the type of program he has established at Clemson.

I think there is a lesson to be learned from Dabo Swinney and from David here. It is that idea of recruiting to the desired culture that came to mind when I read this passage again for the second time. Let’s read 1 Chronicles 12:8-18 once again now:

8 Some brave and experienced warriors from the tribe of Gad also defected to David while he was at the stronghold in the wilderness. They were expert with both shield and spear, as fierce as lions and as swift as deer on the mountains.

9

Ezer was their leader.

Obadiah was second.

Eliab was third.

10

Mishmannah was fourth.

Jeremiah was fifth.

11

Attai was sixth.

Eliel was seventh.

12

Johanan was eighth.

Elzabad was ninth.

13

Jeremiah was tenth.

Macbannai was eleventh.

14 These warriors from Gad were army commanders. The weakest among them could take on a hundred regular troops, and the strongest could take on a thousand! 15 These were the men who crossed the Jordan River during its seasonal flooding at the beginning of the year and drove out all the people living in the lowlands on both the east and west banks.

16 Others from Benjamin and Judah came to David at the stronghold. 17 David went out to meet them and said, “If you have come in peace to help me, we are friends. But if you have come to betray me to my enemies when I am innocent, then may the God of our ancestors see it and punish you.”

18 Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, the leader of the Thirty, and he said,

“We are yours, David!

    We are on your side, son of Jesse.

Peace and prosperity be with you,

    and success to all who help you,

    for your God is the one who helps you.”

So David let them join him, and he made them officers over his troops.

In this passage, we see that David was discerning about who was in his rebel army. They had to be “all-in” for David. They could not be there for any other reason than they believed in David as the rightful and proper king of Israel and that Saul’s pursuit of David was just wrong. They had to be sold out to protecting David. They had to believe in his leadership. They had to be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to ensure David’s survival. It was not going to be easy so they had to be sold-out in their belief that the struggle was a worthy one. They had to believe, really believe, that David was the anointed of the Lord for a time such as this one. David was recruiting

In today’s world where there are a limited number of churches that are actually growing out there while most are stagnant or declining, there is a lesson to be learned, like I said from what we see from Dabo and David. In each of these cases, Dabo with the kind of player he recruits and David with who he recruited to be in his army, there is a commonality that we can take from it as leaders of churches. What is common to all these situations is the buy-in to the vision by the people on the team. Everyone on the team must want a vision to unite them. As Solomon said, “without vision the people perish”. That is right there in Proverbs 29:18. The vision must be wrapped around a worthwhile goal and for the church, it must be the common vision of Matthew 28:19 – go and make disciples. There is no qualifiers in that statement.

We must go. That means leaving where we are at. That means leaving where we are comfortable and what we are comfortable with. We must be willing to leave things behind to be in the going. We cannot sit still and rest on the laurels of what we used to be. To reminisce, we have to sit down on a bench to run through memories. We must go and by that I mean, we must get beyond where we are at and our staunch love of where we are at. In the business world, there is a saying, “if you’re standing still, you are falling behind”. If we stay in what we are comfortable with, we will die as churches.

We must make disciples. That statement had no qualifiers upon it. To make disciples, they must be disciples of all kinds, red, yellow, black, white, purple, green, whatever. Our churches, both black and white churches, should be reflective of the community in which we live. We should be not picking who we share the gospel with based on whether they are like us or not. We are called to make disciples. We are called to make disciples of folks that we might think do not deserve to be in our pews. We need to make disciples of people whose political views make our skin boil. We need to make disciples of people who right now are living lifestyles outside the biblical realm. We need to make disciples from all walks of life. In heaven, there will not be separate churches for separate kinds of people. There will be democrats, republicans, blacks, whites, people we didn’t think deserved Jesus here on earth, people that looked different and didn’t do things the way we have always done them. Say what you will about the churches out there that are actually growing, but they are reaching people that we are not. We must analyze what we are doing and be willing to change the methods we have always used so that we can reach more people. That’s every stagnant or declining church out there. To make disciples, you sometimes have to be as Paul said, “a Greek to the Greeks, and a Jew to the Jews!”

Thus, what we see in Dabo and David was that the recruited to the vision. We should be the same in our country’s stagnant and declining churches, our leadership must reflect an all-in willing to go and make disciples, whatever that takes, whatever that looks like, and we must be willing to submit ourselves to that mindset. We will be willing to follow the Matthew 28:19 vision into the wilderness like David’s men, where they were surely uncomfortable, and where things would have been easier in their comfort zones back in town. But they were willing to fight for the rightful king regardless of the sacrifices that needed to be made. Just like the kids that Dabo recruits are willing to submit to the vision he has for his program. We too must be willing to submit to the vision and be willing to follow that vision to the wilderness where sacrifices will need to be made, where we will most definitely be in those places that are not comfortable to us.

Amen and Amen.

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