Imágenes de páginas

40 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the ma and Jehiel the sons of HoIthrite,

than the Aroerite, 41 Uriah the Hittite, Zabad 45 Jediael the son of Shimri, the son of Ahlai,

and Joha his brother, the Tizite, 42 Adina the son of Shiza the 46 Eliel the Mahavite, and JeReubenite, a captain of the Reu- ribai, and Joshaviah, the sons of benites, and thirty with him, Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moa

43 Hanan the son of Maachah, bite, and Joshaphat the Mithnite, 47 Eliel, and Obed, and Jasiel 44 Uzzia the Ashterathite, Sha- the Mesobaite.


Of zeal in Christ's service. The catalogue of David's mighty men is here set down in connexion with his appointment to the kingdom at Hebron, ver. 3, and with his taking “ the castle of Zion, which is the city of David.” Ver. 5. These circumstances are mentioned by Samuel, at the commencement of his second Book, ch. 2. and 5; whilst the list of the mighty men is at the end of it. Ch. 23. In the latter passage we meet with this same extraordinary instance of the zeal and courage of the three of David's captains, who, at the first expression of his wishes, “ brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Beth-lehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David.” They stayed not to question, Why should David wish to drink of this water in particular? They hesitated not to brave the danger of breaking through the host of the enemy. It was enough for them to know, that they might gratify the wish of him, whom they honoured as their sovereign. This prompted them to run all risks, rather than not fulfil his wish. This alone in their eyes was enough to justify them, in running this great risk for so small an object. Let us apply this to the case of our own allegiance to the Son of David, our Saviour, and our King. Is there in us, as there ought to be, such devoted love, such ardent desire to fulfil his will, that it can make us count our lives not dear unto ourselves, whensoever we are called upon to expose them for his sake? Do we listen for the first expression of his wishes, and then hasten to fulfil them to the utmost of our power; at all risk, whether it be of life, or fortune, or credit in the world, or of whatsoever makes life most pleasant in our eyes ? Alas, many stay to reason and to ask, Why should this or that service be required ? Many instead of acting on the slightest hint of duty, would explain away, if possible, the most broad commandment. Let us learn from David's captains, if we would be numbered amongst our Lord's most faithful soldiers, to be quick in interpreting his good pleasure, and to be vigorous and courageous in accomplishing it. Let us rather err with them, in excess of zeal, than fall short in faith and love. And let us apply herein the words of our Lord Himself: “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” Matt. 10. 39.

Of them that followed David. i Now these are they that banai the eleventh. came to David to Ziklag, while 14 These were of the sons of he yet kept himself close because Gad, captains of the host: one of Saul the son of Kish: and of the least was over an hundred, they were among the mighty and the greatest over a thousand. men, helpers of the war.

15 These are they that went 2 They were armed with bows, over Jordan in the first month, and could use both the right hand when it had overflown all his and the left in hurling stones and banks; and they put to flight all shooting arrows out of a bow, even them of the vallies, both toward of Saul's brethren of Benjamin. the east, and toward the west.

3 The chief was Ahiezer, then 16 And there came of the chilJoash, the sons of Shemaah the dren of Benjamin and Judah to Gibeathite; and Jeziel, and Pe- the hold unto David. let, thesons of Azmaveth; and Be- 17 And David went out to rachab, and Jehu the Antothite, meet them, and answered and

4 And Ismaiah the Gibeonite, said onto them, If ye be come a mighty man among the thirty, peaceably unto me to help me, and over the thirty; and Jere- mine heart shall be knit unto miah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, you: but if ye be come to betray and Josabad the Gederathite, me to mine enemies, seeing 5 Eluzai, and Jerimoth, and there is no wrong in mine hands

, Bealiah, and Shemariah, and the God of our fathers look Shephatiah the Haruphite, thereon, and rebuke it.

6 Elkanah, and Jesiah, and 18 Then the spirit came upon Azareel, and Joezer, and sasho- Amasai, who was chief of the beam, the Korhites,

captains, and he said, Thine are 7 And Joelah, and Zebadiah, we, David, and on thy side, thou the sons of Jeroham of Gedor. son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto

8 And of the Gadites there se- thee, and peace be to thine helpparated themselves unto David ers : for thy God helpeth thee. into the hold to the wilderness Then David received them, and men of might, and men of war made them captains of the band

. fit for the battle, that could 19 And there fell some of Mahandle shield and buckler, whose nasseh to David, when he came faces were like the faces of lions, with the Philistines against Saul and were as swift as the roes upon to battle: but they helped them the mountains ;

not: for the lords of the Philis9 Ezer the first, Obadiah the tines upon advisement sent him second, Eliab the third,

away, saying, He will fall to his 10 Mishmannah the fourth, master Saul to the jeopardy of Jeremiah the fifth,

our heads. 11 Attai the sixth, Eliel the 20 As he went to Ziklag, there seventh,

fell to him of Manasseh, Adnah, 12 Johanan the eighth, Elzabad and Jozabad, and Jediael, and the ninth,

Michael, and Jozabad, and Eli13 Jeremiah the tenth, Mach- hu, and Zilthai, captains of the

thousands that were of Manasseh. host.

21 And they helped David a- 22 For at that time day by day gainst the band of the rovers: for there came to David to help they were all mighty men of him, until it was a great host, valour, and were captains in the like the host of God.


Of following Christ. In the twenty seventh chapter of the first book of Samuel, we find the account of David's settling at Ziklag. The chief persons, and companies of men, who joined him whilst there, are enumerated in this passage. We have also here a list of those who “separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness," that is to say, who joined him during the time he spent in En-gedi and the neighbourhood, previously to his settlement at Ziklag. It is remarkable that in the first mentioned company were some “ of Saul's brethren of Benjamin.” They were probably influenced by a lively sense of the injustice of Saul's conduct towards David. And their conduct may remind us, that considerations of right and wrong ought to outweigh, in their influence on our conduct, the ties of friendship and relationship. The circumstance that one who does wrong is near of kin to us, must not blind us to the true character of his doings, must not induce us to uphold him in doing wrong, or prevent us from assisting those who suffer by his wrong doing. Bound as we are to help our relatives, we are much more bound to do the will of Him who has commanded us, - Deliver the outcast and poor : save them from the hand of the ungodly:" Ps. 82. 4.

We ought also to remark the words, with which David received those who came to him from Benjamin and from Judah, and the reply which they were led to make to him. He put it to them to say, whether they really were inclined to help him, or were come only to betray him; stating that in the one case his heart would be knit unto them, and in the other case leaving the matter in the hands of God to rebuke them. To which they replied by Amasai, “who was chief of the captains,” saying, “ Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee.” We are told that when be spake these words, “ the spirit came upon Amasai.” That is to say, he was under a prophetic influence, he spake as he was moved by the Holy Ghost. We may be so much the more inclined to consider his words as an expression of that faithful allegiance, which all who are Israelites indeed feel towards Him who is their Lord and Saviour. Thine we are, Christ Jesus, and on thy side, Thou Son of David. Peace be unto Thee, and peace unto all who take thy part, all who avow themselves thy servants, and fulfil thy will. Ever may we be found in the number of thy followers ! Ever may we be glad to suffer with Thee here, that we may be also glorified together!

Of them that came to David at Hebron. 23 And these are the numbers dred; and all their brethren were of the bands that were ready at their commandment. armed to the war, and came to 33 Of Zebulun, such as went David to Hebron, to turn the forth to battle, expert in war, kingdom of Saul to him, accord- with all instruments of war, fifty ing to the word of the Lord. thousand, which could keep

24 The children of Judah that rank: they were not of double bare shield and spear were six heart. thousand and eight hundred, 34 And of Naphtali a thousand ready armed to the war. captains, and with them with

25 Of the children of Simeon, shield and spear thirty and seven mighty men of valour for the thousand. war, seven thousand and one

35 And of the Danites expert hundred.

in war twenty and eight thou26 Of the children of Levi four sand and six hundred. thousand and six hundred. 36 And of Asher, such as went

27 And Jehoiada was the lead-forth to battle, expert in war, er of the Aaronites, and with him forty thousand. were three thousand and seven 37 And on the other side of hundred ;

Jordan, of the Reubenites, and 28 And Zadok, a young man the Gadites, and of the half tribe mighty of valour, and of his of Manasseh, with all manner of father's house twenty and two instruments of war for the battle, captains.

an hundred and twenty thousand. 29 And of the children of Ben- 38 All these men of war, that jamin, the kindred of Saul, three could keep rank, came with a thousand; for hitherto the great- perfect heart to Hebron, to make est part of them had kept the David king over all Israel: and ward of the house of Saul. all the rest also of Israel were of

30 And of the children of E- one heart to make David king. phraim twenty thousand and

39 And there they were with eight hundred, mighty men of David three days, eating and valour, famous throughout the drinking: for their brethren had house of their fathers.

prepared for them. 31 And of the half tribe of 40 Moreover they that were nigh Manasseh eighteen thousand, them, even unto Issachar and Zewhich were expressed by name, bulun and Naphtali, brought to come and make David king. breadonasses, and on camels, and

32 And of the children of Is- on mules, and on oxen, and meat, sachar, which were men that had meal, cakes of figs, and bunches understanding of the times, to of raisins, and wine, and oil, and know what Israel ought to do; oxen, and sheep abundantly: for the heads of them were two hun- there was joy in Israel.

LECTURE 652. Of securing the blessings of civil liberty. It is observed of these bands, which came to David to Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him,” that they did so

"according to the word of the Lord.” They fulfilled God's will in doing so; and they had the warrant of God's word for what they did. Else it seems to be implied plainly, that the kingdom, after Saul's death, would have remained as a matter of course in his family. There is therefore no foundation here for the notion, that these warriors met together to choose a king for themselves, and to force the king of their choice on the rest of the nation. Nor can any of these events be made to countenance the opinion, that the government of nations is a matter of mere compact between rulers and their subjects; to be formed and to be dissolved at the pleasure of either. Certainly the whole history of the community of Israel is most opposite to this mischievous imagipation. The Lord their God was their King. He was their King by right of creation. He was their King by right of redemption. He had brought them out of the land of Egypt out of the bouse of bondage. And when they desired to have a king to reign on earth amongst them, as the nations round about them had, the Lord reserved the appointment to Himself; and reserved also the right of revoking that appointment, if the king refused to reign subject unto Him. And where no such revocation took place, it appears to have been according to God's will, that the throne of the monarch should pass from father to son, in succession, as a matter of right, or of lawful inheritance.

An hereditary monarchy was thus established at this time, as the lawful form of government in Israel. And like our own hereditary monarchy, it was not designed to abridge, but to secure, the liberties of the people; by supplying that prompt and vigorous execution of wise and equal laws, by which true civil liberty is ensured. For liberty is not the licence to do wrong, but security in the enjoyment of what is right. It is the being able to serve God, and to partake of all the blessings which He gives us here, without molestation from the violent. It is to have our person and our property assured of protection; as against others by the authority of the magistrate, and as against the magistrate himself, if needful, by the authority of the law. And thence it is that we read of kings and people making covenant in Israel; see Ch. 11. 3. 2 Kings 23. 3; not that they agreed to rule and to be subject, as a matter of free choice ; but that they jointly and publickly acknowledged themselves bound to rule and to be subject according to the Law. Under the Law which God had given them, and in the land which He bountifully bestowed on them, this people enjoyed for many hundreds of years as large a measure of real liberty, and of true national prosperity, as was ever realized on eartb. Let us then remember, if we value these great earthly blessings, that the best method of obtaining them is this, not for each to follow after his own will, but to be subject one to another, and to the ordinances which are given unto us by God.


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