These 2 Samuel accounts illustrate why they were referred to, again and again, as David's Mighty Men.
But they were more than warriors of acclaim, they were equally men of God, men who upheld the true God of Israel and worshipped in truth and in spirit for in 2 Samuel 16 verses 6 it describes these Mighty Men of David as: "And all the righteous men are on his right hand and on his left hand ..."
Perhaps the most famous of all stories associated with the Mighty Men of David is recorded in 2 Samuel 23 verse 15 where David has been worn out by the defensive military actions he has been leading and exclaims these immortal words:
"Oh that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate."
This was obviously stated by David as an expression of a heart's desire to see his vital part of Judah back within the embrace of his passion and his kingly rule. If anything, the difference between King Saul and David was that David placed his kingship under the authority of the divine.
These Mighty Men of David not only recognised this spiritual leadership, they understood the implications of it, that unless the Lord does it, their labour would be in vain, whether military or domestic.
So what was the response? Three of these Mighty Men of David made a secret pact, they placed their lives into the hand of God. Throughout 2 Samuel where it lists these many Mighty Men they also list who they married. These were men who had wives and families to support. These were men of responsibility not only to their King but also to the wider community.
Their secret pact was that in the dead of night, scientists tell us 2.00am is the time in which most of us are least likely to wake up, and they made their way, obviously tip toeing through the enemy camp, at which time even one slip-up would mean certain death. They got to the well of Bethlehem, secured the water, and in like manner made their way out the camp and back to their own line.
David was beside himself with a certain kind of grief that can only be experienced by those for whom a great achievement has been made where the lives of those who undertook it returned without harm. He could not bring himself to drink this water, which he deemed now sacred, and poured it out onto the ground as to the Lord.
Today's Mighty Men of David
When we read the New Testament we see the valour of David's Mighty Men (generic) as described over and over again as persons of great faith. Hebrews 6 verse 17: "God determined to show more abundantly to the heirs of the promise" and again in verse 19 "This hope … is the anchor to the soul ... sure and steadfast," and again in 1 Timothy 1 verse 6 "I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you ..." I could wax lyrical with similar exhortations.
I recall the 2003 official plaque upon the opening of our Basil Sellers Art Centre in Moruya where a team of Christian volunteers had worked tirelessly for several months in its construction which listed the names of those involved and described them as "David's Mighty Men".
In my presentation to the Australian and New Zealand young writers at their annual conference in Melbourne back in September, my theme was their writing contribution as David's Mighty Men (generic).
Each had made a huge effort to present "the message" in written form through their monthly comment articles published in Christian Today and each of them were indeed the Mighty Men of David.
I was able to list time and time again how their articles affected not only me, but through the responses and their statistical readership, they were the stuff of 2 Samuel's accounts of David's Mighty Men (generic).
Constantly through my ministry of 36 years observing the nature of the opening of hearts and minds to the service of the Lord, I am beside myself with the joy of the Spirit as time and time again, His followers display all the hallmarks of the Mighty Men of David.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at