Famous: Solomon

1 Kings 1:47
Also, the royal officials have come to congratulate our lord King David, saying, “May your God make Solomon’s name more famous than yours and his throne greater than yours!”

When Solomon became king, God answered his prayer for wisdom. Solomon began using his God-given wisdom and attracted a lot of attention. According to 1 Kings 10:1-5, the queen of Sheba came to test him because she’d heard about his wisdom and his relation to the name of the Lord. He answered all her questions with ease. When she finished examining him and all that he did, she was overwhelmed.

It’s hard for anyone to compete with Solomon and his wisdom, but if every Christian developed and used their God-given abilities out of obedience to God, more of the curious unchurched would be overwhelmed by what God can do through His people.

I would be thrilled to hear people say that they see the love of God in me and my family so much that they are driven to be a part of the family of God. I would love to overwhelm others with the love of God as I use my gifts.

Maybe we can’t all be as wise as Solomon, but using our individual gifts is something we can do. Whatever talent God has given you should be used to bring the presence of God to the people He wants to reach – even if you don’t get famous doing it.

Famous: Benaiah

2 Samuel 23:20-23
Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, who performed great exploits. He struck down two of Moab's best men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. And he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian's hand and killed him with his own spear. Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty men. He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

Benaiah was famous for killing. Even though God gave us the commandment “Do not kill”, we honor killers. Why? The commandment never said “Do not defend yourself.” The commandment really meant “Do not murder.” The killers we honor are people who defend others.

God told many people to kill. They obeyed God, saved their people, and were honored for it. This makes me think of the war movies that show men doing whatever is necessary to defend and protect their people by killing their enemy. From Band of Brothers TV miniseries, Captain Ronald Speirs showed courage by running through a town the American troops were trying to take. His run took him in front of the enemy soldiers who couldn’t believe what they were seeing. He ran right past enemy, delivered a message to American troops hiding behind a wall, and then he ran back to his company. Both times he ran, he looked unbelievably crazy and, at the same time, more courageous than anyone in the area. He did what was necessary to protect others. He did what no one else would do.

Capt. Speirs reminds me of the story of Benaiah. Courageous acts are done without a lot of thought and planning. Benaiah was crazy enough to use a club to go against a huge Egyptian who had a spear. After he got the Egyptian’s spear away from him, Benaiah killed him with it.

Benaiah was rewarded for his courage when David put him in charge of his bodyguard. David was smart. I’d want Benaiah next to me too.

Famous: Abishai

2Sam 23:18-19
Abishai the brother of Joab son of Zeruiah was chief of the Three. He raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed, and so he became as famous as the Three. Was he not held in greater honor than the Three? He became their commander, even though he was not included among them.

David’s three mighty men were brave and loyal. But they were not the leaders of all the other men. They had a commander named Abishai who earned even greater honor than the three men who risked their lives to bring David some water from Bethlehem.

When all seems to be against you, do you give up and go home?

Abishai didn’t. He didn’t give up when he encountered a little discouragement. He didn’t give up when he had to fight for his life. He didn’t give up when three hundred men came to kill him.

He fought off those 300 men with a spear (not a tank) and lived to tell about it.

David rewarded valiant soldiers with positions of authority over the other soldiers because they were trustworthy. He knew what to expect from them. He showed them honor because they were obedient to his will.

Christians who have truly earned great honor have been obedient to God’s will. They know what they’re supposed to do and they do it with great bravery and loyalty, without hesitation.

God is looking for those who want to obey him like a soldier obeys a good commanding officer. If we trust God and obey Him, we know He will lead us to many victories.

Famous: David's 3 Mighty Men

2 Samuel 23:16
So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David.
Read 2 Samuel 23:13-17

Once during the battling days of David, the Philistines were in Bethlehem, David’s hometown. Three of David’s men went to him at the cave of Adullam and heard him say, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!”

My guess is that David was tired and homesick. I imagine he inspired such loyalty that when these men heard David pining over the distance between him and the sweetness of home they couldn’t resist surprising him with a taste of the water he longed for.

These three mighty men broke through enemy lines to get water for David to drink. It took bravery, cunning, and determination to get the job done. They must have had a fire in them to get to the well of Bethlehem and back safely – with enough water to make the journey worth it.

I don’t think they were trying to be heroes. I think they were driven to serve David the unexpected blessing of the one thing he longed for. What a great example of a servant’s attitude. They knew they could do it. And because they took the risk, made the effort, and accomplished what they were driven to do, they became heroes in David’s eyes.

When they approached David with the water, he couldn’t believe they did that. David took the water from the men, but he refused to drink it.

He poured the water out before the Lord. David, who had shown enormous bravery and who had accomplished many dangerous exploits by himself, was amazed at these men who put their lives at risk for a simple drink of water.

The men were valued beyond the water. Because they were driven to take that one trip behind enemy lines, they received the honor of a mention in the Bible as David’s “three mighty men.”