It’s my guess that you have never heard a sermon preached from 1 Chronicles 12. It is just full of names of people we had never heard of before.
For example here are verses 8-15:
Some Gadites defected to David at his stronghold in the wilderness. They were brave warriors, ready for battle and able to handle the shield and spear. Their faces were the faces of lions, and they were as swift as gazelles in the mountains.
9 Ezer was the chief,
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 Makbannai the eleventh.
14 These Gadites were army commanders; the least was a match for a hundred, and the greatest for a thousand. 15 It was they who crossed the Jordan in the first month when it was overflowing all its banks, and they put to flight everyone living in the valleys, to the east and to the west.
And there were plenty more names in 1 Chronicles. But here is what hit me when I was listening to these verses: Each of them did their part. Similar to the book of Nehemiah that talks so much about teamwork, David was an amazing warrior because of his army — each individual person who was willing to risk it all for the sake of the cause.
Maybe you feel like Mishmannah or even Makbannai some days. Whether it’s at work, at church, or even in your family — you can sometimes feel like you are the fourth or even the eleventh in the line of power. (That can happen when you have 12 kids :-) — but it can also happen in a large extended family situation).
As I read through the names above it strikes me that even though there was a pecking order, they were all considered important. They were all said to have the same characteristics. Even Mishmannah the fourth and Makbannai, the eleventh, were reported to be brave, to be ready for battle, to handle the shield and the spear. They had the faces of lions — and were swift as gazelles. It wasn’t just those who were “high up” in the chain of command that were awesome. It worked because everyone was all of those awesome things and were willing to play the role God, and David, had given them. And everyone faced the same enemy.
I don’t know what application that has for you, but I believe we it’s important that we all remember that we have roles to play that God has assigned us and that someone's role doesn’t make them any more or any less valuable than anyone else. If we are fighting in God’s army and totally committed to him, we are ALL brave …. we are ALL to be ready for battle…. we should ALL have the faces of lions.
Two songs this morning, possibly repeats, but equally awesome.