The Groups of Heroes
1 Chronicles 11:10-12:40
These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel…

These are the chief of the mighty men whom David had. This roll of ancient chivalry is worthy of a little notice. Men of valour consecrating that valour to service of David and their country, emulating each other's deeds and all abounding in service to their land, their numbers, association, prowess, has charmed many a reader and inspired through many generations a grand succession of heroic souls. As courage is a constant requisite in all directions, let us study this singular group of valiant men, and observe how ?

I. HEROES COLLECT ABOUT A HERO. There are few qualities which are not more or less contagious. Corruption corrupts, and strength invigorates others. Honour sets its fashion, and vice finds many to copy it. The bad man has to answer, not only for the harm he does, but for the harm that he leads others to do. The good man has the reward of his service, which is great, but of his example as well, which is greater still. Here we see that one hero makes a multitude. After one man has fought and slain a gigantic foe, Benaiah can do the same. And Jashobeam and Eleazar can do their marvellous deeds, slaying foes by hundreds who come against them. The nobility of David's nature attracts and elevates kindred spirits. It attracts them; for even when an outcast and exile, they collect about him (see ch. 12.) in the cave of Adullam and in the land of the Philistines. All Saul's authority as king and kinsman does not prevent many of the bravest of the Benjamites attaching themselves to David, even in Saul's lifetime. A Moabite, and an Ammonite were among his chief captains; a Hittite, one of his thirty knights; from beyond Jordan many gather to him; and later on, from every tribe of Israel some are attracted to his standard. There is such an attraction about every great soul. The law of gravitation, I suppose, is true of souls, that they attract each other in the ratio of their masses; and if a nature be tenfold grander than another, it has tenfold more attraction. Great men cannot help attracting, and men less great from feeling the force of that attraction. And when the greatness is the rounded greatness in which generosity of nature meets with courage and with wisdom, there is no bound to the attraction exercised and the devotion yielded. If God has made you a kingly spirit, you need not be over-solicitous about the recognition of your claims. He whom God makes to be master is master by a law of gravitation, and finds his level as naturally as material things find theirs. Impatience to reach your throne only delays it. Be still, and if God means you to rule, there is nothing more certain than that you will. Meanwhile, as perhaps you have not that part to play, attach yourself as a learner and a follower to him whom you find better and wiser than yourself, and, sitting at his feet, you will, in the practice of obedience, learn the secret of command. David not only attracts, however, but elevates. Beneath the kindling inspiration of his valour all hearts grow brave. Courage seems so easy and fear so shameful that, with him as leader, each man is twice, ay, sometimes many times himself. A Bruce, a Cromwell, a Nelson, or a Wellington, will never lack brave following. "As iron sharpeneth iron, so does a man the countenance of his friend." Valour in one makes many valiant. King Arthur had his knights of the Round Table, and David had his, and all brave men have theirs. Such a fact is worthy of notice, for we are apt to think evil a stronger thing than good; the fact being that good is the most omnipotent thing on earth, kindling similar goodness in others' lives. Be brave and good, and you will not long be without companions.

II. A WISE KING CHOOSES BRAVE MEN FOR CAPTAINS, He did so because he recognized the validity of the principle we have just been considering. His valour infused into the captains; theirs would be infused into the men. In war an army wants brave leaders, not figure-heads. "Take the kings away every man out of his place, and put captains in their room," said the sensible military critics of Benhadad, who had made his first invasion of Israel with thirty-two kings as leaders of his troops. But it is not only in military matters, but in all others that courage is wanted. From the teacher of a Sunday school to a prime minister, from a minister of religion to a town councillor, whoever is at the head of his fellows should be brave; wise as well, but brave. Prudence without some daring and enterprise will so shrink from difficulties and risks that it will take ofttimes the most dangerous course of all - doing nothing. There is always at hand, available for whoever can use it, abundance of power to work reforms, to render needed service to mankind, if only there be leaders for it. Are you in a position of influence of any sort, in Church or state, with few or many? Remember that David would have none but heroic men for leaders, and if you have not courage to lead men forward, you should give place to those who have. Happy the village Church, the Sunday school, the school board, the town council, the land, whose leaders have brave hearts that do not slacken with languor or shrink from danger! With such leading, the community, like Israel, will find safety, prosperity, blessing, in richer measure than languid hearts ever dare to dream of. - G.

Parallel Verses
KJV: These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel.

WEB: Now these are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who showed themselves strong with him in his kingdom, together with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of Yahweh concerning Israel.

David's Mighty Men
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