King David’s crack troops were known as ‘The Thirty’. They were his proven storm troopers during his years in exile before he was crowned as his nation’s sovereign. And his personal bodyguard were simply ‘The Three’, according to 2 Samuel 23:8-39. Why not read the whole account for yourself sometime? Honours Lists are not all boring!
Each of ‘The Three’ achieved one extremely courageous solo exploit against all odds in those early years. Eleazar, for instance, never quit in a set-to with Philistine soldiers hand to hand until the last enemy fell or fled, and until the muscles of the fingers of the hand that gripped his solitary sword were too swamped with lactic acid so that he could not unclasp them to eat supper or get into his sleeping bag, as they still clung to his weapon! (See verses 2 Samuel 23:9-10.)
Of another of ‘The Three’, the record reads:
‘The Philistines gathered together at Lehi, where there was a plot of ground full of lentils and the men [of Israel] fled … But he took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it, and struck down the Philistines, and the Lord worked a great victory’ (verses 2 Samuel 23:11-12).
All of these champions had been so close to David that they had absorbed the stand-alone spirit of their captain, who had taken on the intimidating Philistine Goliath head to head and became the giant killer we still love to tell our children and grandchildren about.
Now, since God described David as ‘a man after my own heart’, it is surely safe to assume that his descendant, Jesus the giant killer of Calvary’s awesome universal battle of right versus wrong, will assess the works of his followers on judgement day in the same spirit. Without doubt, many unsung heroes will be honoured then. We expect Billy Graham will be given a lifetime award for the hundreds of thousands from around the world that he led into a living relationship with Jesus Christ. But maybe his praying mother will be given an exalted placement in the eternal ages close to the King of kings for hosting an assortment of gospel preachers in their home so that long-legged Bill would hear the good news of God’s kingdom in evening prayers at his own fireside from these men of God? It was in a marquee listening to one of them that young Billy’s moment came when he yielded his life to the lordship of Christ.
‘The rest,’ they say, ‘is history’. But, of course, beyond history will come the assessment and the awarding of positions of responsibility in the new heavens and the new earth. Because ‘one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much’ (Luke 16:10), some who have toiled away unnoticed will hear him say:
‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master’ (Matthew 25:23).