1 Chronicles 20: Lessons From David’s Example Regarding What God Expects From His Leaders

Introduction: Chronicles retells many accounts from the book of Samuel with one important difference. When David repented, God mostly retells the accounts in Chronicles with David’s sins washed away. The same will be true for any believer in Christ when that person’s life is recorded in heaven. Only the acts motivated out of faith and love will be remembered. From David’s example, God reveals seven things that He expects from His leaders. These include: (1) repentance, (2) service, (3) justice, (4) delegation, (5) mentorship, (6) courage, and (7) faith.

First, following David’s adultery and murder, he repented of his sins when Nathan confronted him. Because he repented, God showed mercy toward both David and his army. Although he deserved death and his army deserved to be defeated at the hands of the Ammonites, God spared David, expunged his sins and gave his army victory. When you repent, you can also experience God’s mercy. Second, out of grace, God rewarded David with a crown of gold and other treasures. David, however, gave these treasures back to God. God also wants you to use His grace and His treasures to serve His Kingdom. Third, David served as God’s appointed avenger against the Ammonites for their evil acts. But he did not act out of personal vengeance. Today, God also wants you to be His source of justice against evil in the world. You must, however, be motivated out of love for both your enemies and the oppressed to be God’s instrument of justice. Fourth, as David grew in age, he could no longer fight in hand-to-hand combat. He had to learn to delegate to others. From his example, God reveals that a Spirit-led leader delegates to others to help lead. Fifth, inspired by David’s example, other men had the faith to slay giants as David once did. From David’s example, God reveals that a Spirit-led leader mentors others to lead by faith. Sixth, from David’s example, another man had the Spirit-led courage to face an enormous giant with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. When you put your trust in God, He will also give you a spirit of courage to defeat any evil or challenge in your life. Finally, David inspired others with his faith. God wants your faith to serve as a beacon to others as well.

1. Repentance: Use God’s Mercy As an Opportunity to Repent of Your Sins. 1 Chr. 20:1.

  • Out of mercy, God spared the Jews from defeat at the hands of the Ammonites. After David’s adultery and murder, God’s law stated that the Jews would suffer a defeat at the hands of their enemies. Yet, out of mercy, God spared David’s army from the defeat they deserved during their battle against the Ammonites: “1 Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that Joab led out the army and ravaged the land of the sons of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. And Joab struck Rabbah and overthrew it.” (1 Chr. 20:1). The account of this battle contains omissions from the same account in Second Samuel. In Second Samuel, Joab struggled to take the royal city of the Ammonites. It was only after David repented of his sins and intervened that the Jews were able to defeat the Ammonites: “26 Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the sons of Ammon and captured the royal city. 27 Joab sent messengers to David and said, ‘I have fought against Rabbah, I have even captured the city of waters. 28 Now therefore, gather the rest of the people together and camp against the city and capture it, or I will capture the city myself and it will be named after me.’ 29 So David gathered all the people and went to Rabbah, fought against it and captured it.” (2 Sam. 12:26-29). Joab struggled for nearly a full year to take Rabbah, modern day Ammon, Jordan. David was meant to lead this fight (2 Sam. 11:1). Instead, he was home sleeping with his neighbor’s wife. His actions created turmoil for the entire nation. If he had gone where he was supposed to go, he and the nation never would have suffered. Only after David repented did the Jews prevail and win the war (2 Sam. 10:17-18). If David had not repented, God’s law required his death and the nation’s defeat in battle.

  • God’s mercy in response to David’s adultery, murder, and lies. In the account that is omitted in 1 Chronicles, David violated at least seven of God’s Ten Commandments. First, by lusting after his neighbor’s wife, he violated God’s Tenth Commandment against coveting (Ex. 20:17; Dt. 5:21). Second, by repeatedly giving into his lusts of his flesh, he made an idol out of attractive women and violated God’s Second Commandment (Ex. 20:4-5; Dt. 5:8-9). Third, by sleeping with a married woman, he violated God’s Seventh Commandment against adultery (Ex. 20:14; Dt. 5:18). In addition to violating the Seventh Commandment, he violated God’s law against a leader having more than one wife after he later married Bathsheba: “17 He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; . . ..” (Dt. 17:17(a)). God always meant for marriage to be between one man and one woman (Matt. 19:4-6; 1 Tim. 3:2). Fourth, he violated God’s Sixth Commandment against murder when he killed Uriah (Ex. 20:13; Dt. 5:17). Fifth, by engaging in lies and deceit to cover up Uriah’s murder, he violated God’s Ninth Commandment against bearing false witness (Ex. 20:16; Dt. 5:20). Sixth, Nathan revealed that David’s actions showed that he was guilty of “despising” God’s Word (2 Sam. 12:9). As king, his actions blasphemed God’s holy name: “Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed Me by acting treacherously against Me.’’” (Ezek. 20:27). “For ‘the name of God is blasphemed among the gentiles because of you,’ just as it is written.” (Ro. 2:24). To become king, David would have also made a public vow to uphold the law. By breaking his vows before God, David also profaned His holy name. He was not to “swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God.” (Lev. 19:12). Thus, his actions also violated the Third Commandment: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” (Ex. 20:7; Dt. 5:11). Finally, as God’s appointed king, David violated the Fifth Commandment by dishonoring his heavenly Father. “Honor your father. . .” (Ex. 20:12; Dt. 5:16). Even if David had only broken one Commandment, he would have broken them all: “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” (Jam. 2:10).

  • David’s many crimes carried multiple death sentences. The punishment for David’s intentional murder was death: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.” (Gen 9:6). “If a man takes the life of any human being, he shall surely be put to death.” (Lev. 24:17). “If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death . . . .” (Nu. 35:30; Ex. 21:12). The punishment for David’s adultery was also death: “If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” (Lev. 20:10). For someone who blasphemed God’s name through his conduct as David did, the penalty for this was also death: “Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him.” (Nu. 15:31). Thus, David’s sins carried at least three death sentences. Yet, out of mercy, God spared his life. While David committed crimes that carried a death sentence, Saul lost his kingdom for mere disobedience (1 Sam. 15:23). He then lost his life for additional disobedience and for consulting a medium (1 Chron. 10:13). Thus, David should not have expected God to show leniency for his egregious crimes simply because he was God’s appointed king.

  • David’s many sins should have also caused the Jews to lose in battle. When a nation or its leaders reject God’s laws, God also warns that His punishments include a nation’s defeat in battle: “25 The Lord shall cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you will go out one way against them, but you will flee seven ways before them, and you will be an example of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth.” (Dt. 28:25). “I will set My face against you so that you will be struck down before your enemies; and those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee when no one is pursuing you.” (Lev. 26:17). When the Jews were disobedient to God, they were defeated in battle: “The Philistines drew up in battle array to meet Israel. When the battle spread, Israel was defeated before the Philistines who killed about four thousand men on the battlefield.” (1 Sam. 4:2). “So the Philistines fought and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent; and the slaughter was very great, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers.” (1 Sam. 4:10). Out of grace, God protected the Jews from the judgment they deserved. God allowed the Jews to only be hindered in battle until David repented of his sins.

Nathan confronted David, and David repented of his sins1

  • Repent of your sins. God spared David only because he repented (2 Sam. 12:13). Even if you have never committed an act of adultery or murder, it only takes one broken Commandment to break them all (Jam. 2:10). And, the wages of all sin are death: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ro. 6:23). Faith in Jesus is the only means for a person to be relieved of the eternal curse for breaking the Ten Commandments (Gal. 2:16; 3:11; 5:18; Jo. 3:16; 10:9; 11:25; 14:6; Ro. 7:6; 8:3). Like David, you must also repent to have your sins removed. In preparation for Jesus, John the Baptist called all sinners to repent. ‘“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”’ (Matt. 3:2). Jesus also began His ministry with a call to repentance: “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”’ (Matt. 4:17). “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!”’ (Lk. 18:13.) If you say that you are without sin the truth is not in you (1 Jo. 1:8). Yet, if you confess your sins, Jesus will forgive you: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jo. 1:9). Do you have any sins that you need to repent of?

2. Service: Use God’s Grace and His Gifts in Service to His Kingdom. 1 Chr. 20:2.

  • David receives a crown and other treasures. God not only withheld the judgment that David and his troops deserved (the definition of mercy), He also gave David honors that he did not deserve (the definition of grace): “David took the crown of their king from his head, and he found it to weigh a talent of gold, and there was a precious stone in it; and it was placed on David’s head. And he brought out the spoil of the city, a very great amount.” (1 Chr. 20:2). This account of God’s grace in granting David a crown of gold with a precious stone and other spoils are also recorded in Second Samuel: “30 Then he took the crown of their king from his head; and its weight was a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone; and it was placed on David’s head. And he brought out the spoil of the city in great amounts.” (2 Sam. 12:30). Together, these two accounts show how God’s mercy and grace work together. He is quick to forget your sins when you repent. Yet, He will never forget your faith, and He will reward you when you turn back to Him.

  • God also wants to pour out His grace on you. When you turn to Jesus in faith, He promises to bless you in many different ways. Like David, believers can receive crowns. There are five kinds of crowns, a number symbolizing His grace. First, those who persevere in the face of trials will receive a crown of life: “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (Ja. 1:12; ; Rev. 2:10). Second, those who live a pure life while waiting for His return will receive a crown of righteousness: “in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:8). Third, those who exercise self-control will receive an “incorruptible crown” (1 Cor. 9:25-27). Fourth, elders, pastors, teachers, leaders, and shepherds of God’s flock will also receive “a crown of glory” (1 Pet. 5:4). Finally, those who help lead others to Christ will receive a “crown of rejoicing” (1 Thess. 2:19; ). Jesus also promised various conditional blessings in the beatitudes (Matt. 5:1-12). He also promised “rewards” for those who store up their treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:20). These are just two examples of conditional blessings that are unrelated to your salvation. Other kinds of rewards are listed throughout the Old Testament. A prolonged life is just one example (Dt. 5:32-33). Have you given thanks for Jesus’ many undeserved gifts in your life and the many undeserved gifts that await you in heaven?

  • David gave his gifts back to God. David showed himself a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22) by refusing to keep the spoils of war for himself. Instead, he gave them to God: “11 King David also dedicated these to the Lord, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all the nations which he had subdued: 12 from Aram and Moab and the sons of Ammon and the Philistines and Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah.” (2 Sam. 8:11-12; 1 Chron. 18:9-11). David knew that all of his gifts came from God (Jam. 1:17). King Solomon later used these gifts to build the Temple and the holy furnishings inside of it: “Thus all the work that King Solomon performed in the house of the LORD was finished. And Solomon brought in the things dedicated by his father David, the silver and the gold and the utensils, and he put them in the treasuries of the house of the LORD.” (1 Kgs. 7:51;1 Chon. 18:8). Unlike David, many believers are like the servant who fail to use God’s talents or gifts for His Kingdom: “But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.” (Matt. 25:18). Jesus will discipline those who fail to use their talents for His Kingdom: “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.”’ (Matt. 25:24-26). Are you using your God-given talents, time, and treasures to serve His Kingdom or your own?

3. Justice: Pursue God’s Justice by Opposing Evil. 1 Chr. 20:3.

  • David acts as God’s appointed avenger. After David defeated the Ammonites, he acted as God’s appointed avenger to impose judgment upon the Ammonites: “He brought out the people who were in it, and cut them with saws and with sharp instruments and with axes. And thus David did to all the cities of the sons of Ammon. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.” (1 Chr. 20:3; 2 Sam. 12:31). The Ammonites were under God’s judgment for their idolatry, child sacrifices, murdering innocent women and children, and a host of other crimes. There was no system of justice or courts to hold them accountable. David’s solemn duties were one-time acts that only applied to his time as king. Believers are not called upon today to implement this kind of punishment.

  • Evil leaders who oppress God’s people will eventually be judged. David submitted to the will of the Spirit to faithfully serve as the instrument of God’s judgment against the Ammonites: “for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.” (Ro. 13:4). But he did not perform this difficult duty out of either hatred or personal vengeance. Although judgment comes first to God’s people, nonbelievers will eventually face judgment: “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Pet. 4:17). God will judge all evil. Your only escape is through Jesus. Through prayer and love, you can also be the instrument of His judgment against the devil and his followers.

  • Pursue justice while loving your enemies. Today, your weapon of justice against evil doers is love: “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Lk. 6:27-28; Matt. 5:44). “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” (Lk. 6:35). “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” (Ro. 12:15). “not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” (1 Pet. 3:9). This does not mean that you should ignore evil. You are still called to confront evil. But seeking God’s justice must only be done out of love.

  • A Spirit-led leader must pursue justice. Through Moses, God warned that a Spirit-led leader must pursue: “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” (Dt. 16:20). God appointed the kings to “do justice and righteousness.” (1 Kgs. 10:9). A king is supposed to sit “on the throne of justice.” (Prov. 20:8). This means that a Spirit-led leader must care about addressing wrongs and the plight of those in need: “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” (Prov. 31:9). “Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute.” (Ps. 82:3). “He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.” (Dt. 10:18). Christ also expects every believer to seek to resolve injustice around them. “do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8). “[L]earn to do good, seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, [and] plead for the widow.” (Is. 1:17). On the Day of Judgment, Jesus will ask what each person did for the oppressed and needy (Matt. 25:40). When you are called to account for your actions before your judge, will you be able to describe where you were a force for God’s justice? (2 Cor. 5:10). Or, are you living for yourself?

  • Jesus will reign with righteousness. David’s reign of justice and righteousness foreshadowed Jesus’ reign: ‘“Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.”’ (Jer. 23:5). He is our righteous judge (2 Tim. 4:8). While David later sinned, Jesus never will. His reign will be perfect.

4. Delegation: Delegate Responsibility to Spirit-Led Leaders. 1 Chr. 20:4.

  • David’s warrior Sibbecai kills the giant Sippai. David’s faith inspired others to serve God. This included his servant Sibbecai, who acted in faith to kill a Canaanite giant: “Now it came about after this, that war broke out at Gezer with the Philistines; then Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Sippai, one of the descendants of the giants, and they were subdued.” (1 Chr. 20:4). The words “after this” referenced a battle in Second Samuel when Abishai (David’s nephew and one of his mighty men (1 Chr. 2:16)) saved David from a near death experience on the battlefield when David became weary: “15 Now when the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David went down and his servants with him; and as they fought against the Philistines, David became weary. Then Ishbi-benob, who was among the descendants of the giant, the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels of bronze in weight, was girded with a new sword, and he intended to kill David. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, ‘You shall not go out again with us to battle, so that you do not extinguish the lamp of Israel.’ Now it came about after this that there was war again with the Philistines at Gob; then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Saph, who was among the descendants of the giant.” (2 Sam. 21:15-18). After the Jews rebuked David for placing himself into the battle as king, David’s mighty men followed his example and fought with valor. This included Sibbecai, the Hushathite, who killed a giant. A “Hushathite” was from the city of Hushah and a descendant of Hushah. It was also a name for two of David’s “mighty warriors”.

Sibbecai kills the giant Sippai2

  • God’s grace in omitting David’s failures as a father and as a king. This account also appears in Second Samuel with use of some alternative names. There, “Gezer” is referred to as “Gob”, and the slain giant “Sippai” is referred to as “Saph” (2 Sam. 21:16-18). The more important change between Second Samuel and Chronicles is the omission in Chronicles of the evil events in David’s family that resulted from his adultery and murder. The prophet Nathan warned that David’s adultery would result in constant conflict within his house: ‘“Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.”’ (2 Sam. 12:10). Promoted to the Spirit, the chronicler omitted David’s failures as a father and as king. For example, David took no action to discipline his son Amnon after he found out that he had raped his half-sister Tamar (2 Sam. 13:19-27). David also took no action to discipline his son Absalom when he murdered his brother Amnon out of revenge (2 Sam. 13:30-36). David also initially took no action against his son Absalom when he incited others into rebellion (2 Sam. 15:1-12). David also did not discipline his son Adonijah after learning of his rebellion against David and God’s appointed heir Solomon (1 Kgs. 1:6). God again omitted these evil events out of mercy.

  • A Spirit-led leader must delegate to others. Through his close encounter on the battlefield, God taught David the importance of delegation. Centuries earlier, God used Jethro to rebuke Moses for attempting to resolve all of the people’s disputes on his own (Ex. 18:13-18). Through Jethro, God advised Moses to select God-fearing men who loved the truth and hated dishonest gain (Ex. 18:21). In the New Testament, such a leader is referred to as either being full of the Spirit or Spirit-led (Acts 6:3). God does not call you to serve alone. Instead, you are called upon to serve with others (Ro. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:20). Thus, David was right to delegate the responsibilities of fighting to others.

  • Fight together within the Body of Christ. God did not call upon David to be a lone ranger for Him. David grew old like any other person. As he aged, he needed to trust others to fight while he led the fight. Just as David needed to learn to trust his men to fight, believers are called upon to trust each other and act with one accord as the Spirit leads the body. “so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Ro. 12:5). “Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.” (1 Cor. 10:17). “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.” (1 Cor. 12:12). “But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; or again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’” (1 Cor. 12:20-21). “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;” (Eph. 4:4). Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” (Col. 3:14). God regularly calls new leaders like Sibbecai to step forward and help those who can no longer lead. Are you preparing yourself for service and then responding for duty when God calls you to lead?

  • Find protection within the Body of Christ. Just as David’s men protected him, God also offers you protection when you are connected to fellow believers: “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Heb. 10:25). Satan acts like a roaring lion. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Pet. 5:8). Believers are also called “sheep,” animals without natural defenses (e.g., Jo. 21:16, 27). Lions usually attack animals that stray from the protections of the herd. Believers cannot claim to be accountable if they float in and out of a mega church or only watch sermons online. Believers must also be accountable to a small group of believers. Are you in any type of small church group?

5. Mentorship: Mentor Others to Lead With the Example of Your Faith. 1 Chr. 20:5.

  • David’s servant Elhanan kills the brother of the giant Goliath. During a second war with the Philistines, another mighty warrior under David’s command stepped forward and killed Goliath’s brother: “And there was war with the Philistines again, and Elhanan the son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.” (1 Chr. 20:5; 2 Sam. 21:19). David previously fought against the giant Goliath (1 Sam. 17:32-57). David’s mentorship and faith inspired others to step forward to serve in faith. God also wants you to mentor others to serve.

  • David inspired and mentored those who served him. Even without David on the front lines, his men of faith were still able to defeat giants as David had once done (1 Chr. 20:5; 2 Sam. 21:20-22). David learned to delegate, inspire, and lead. Through his example, he inspired others to fight giants as he had done. David is an example of how leaders must build up others to serve when they step down one day: ‘“Saul’s ‘leadership’ could not produce one man who would take on Goliath, including Saul himself. But David’s leadership produced many mighty men of war. Was David no longer able to fight? No problem! Men were lining up to take on all the Goliath’s the Philistines could put up against them. And these offspring of Goliath were all killed and the Philistines defeated. What a way to end David’s military career. The people no longer needed a king to do their fighting for them; they were willing to fight themselves, even against the offspring of Goliath. Now this is what I call a great way to retire.” (Robert L. (Bob) Deffinbaugh 19. Promise Breakers and Promise Keepers (2 Samuel 21)).3

  • Guide those who serve under your authority. David demonstrated that he guided the development of the leaders under him. Jesus said: “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.” (Lk. 6:40). This suggests a close relationship between the leader and the person the leader is training. If you have people who serve under you, you must mentor and guide them. The shepherd carried a staff to keep the sheep together and safe from predators. If you don’t use your staff to guide others, can you expect them to stay by your side? (Prov. 23:12).

  • Trust in God and not in human leaders. David’s men did not need him to fight or pray for them. They could be just as effective on the battlefield when they put their faith in God. Believers are warned not to place their trust in human leaders. “Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.” (Ps. 146:3; 118:9; 60:11). Many place all their hopes in their elected leaders. Have you placed your trust in a leader or in God?

6. Courage: With the Power of the Spirit, Find the Courage to Face any Evil. 1 Chr. 20:6-7.

  • David’s example gave Jonathan the courage to kill an enormous giant. At Gath, David’s the nephew Jonathan killed an enormous giant with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot: “Again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature who had twenty-four fingers and toes, six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot; and he also was descended from the giants. When he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him.” (1 Chr. 20:6-7; 2 Sam. 21:20-21). The giant “taunted” Israel the same way that Goliath had done previously (1 Sam. 17:1-11). Jonathan responded with courage the same way David did previously (1 Sam. 17:20-51).

  • The Spirit will give you courage to face your enemies. Through the power of the Spirit, you don’t need to fear any evil, enemy, or challenge: “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” (2 Tim. 1:7). “A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?” (Ps. 27:1). “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Ps. 23:4). “Why should I fear in days of adversity, when the iniquity of my foes surrounds me,” (Ps. 49:5). David’s example gave Jonathan courage in battle.

  • Encourage one another in spiritual warfare. As a believer, you are commanded to encourage others each day. “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb. 3:13). “But I urge you, brethren, bear with this word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly.” (Heb. 13:22). “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (1 Cor. 16:13; Ps. 31:24). “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Dt. 31:6). Are you encouraging others each day in their faith?

  • Be encouraged and strengthened by the Spirit. God also knows when your faith is weak. When you let His Spirit lead you, He will encourage and strengthen you: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” (Eph. 6:10). “On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul.” (Ps. 138:3; Dan. 10:19). If you are feeling weak, pray in faith to be strengthened and encouraged.

7. Faith: Your Faith Should Be A Beacon of Light for Others to Serve. 1 Chr. 20:8.

  • David’s faith inspired others to serve. This chapter concludes with credit being given to David for inspiring others to slay the giants in Gath: “These were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.” (1 Chr. 20:8; 2 Sam. 21:22). At this point, David was old and no longer fought on the battlefield. Thus, it might seem odd for the Bible to state that these giants fell “by the hand of David.” David received recognition because it was his faith that inspired the other men to slay the giants. Without his example, the Jews would have been defeated.

  • When you walk in faith, your enemy will also flee from you. Because of David’s example, his mighty men had the faith to defeat giants. When you walk in faith and obedience, God promises to install fear into your enemy and cause them to flee from you: “One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you.” (Josh. 23:10). “The LORD shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways.” (Dt. 28:7; Lev. 26:7-8). Are you walking in faith so that He can cause your enemies to flee?

  • All things are possible with God when you have faith and rely upon His strength. David was a great leader because he built up others in their faith. Jesus once revealed that “‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”’ (Matt. 19:26(b); Mk. 10:27(b); Lk. 1:37). “Is anything too difficult for the LORD?” (Gen. 18:14(a)). “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (Jer. 32:27). “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2). “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Ro. 8:31). Despite his many sins and flaws as a leader, David had a great faith that inspired others. Is your faith inspiring others to serve?