We live in a teenage culture that is absolutely intrigued with “super–heroism.” A young kid who is terrorized by nocturnal-winged creatures becomes a man, dresses up in a black-rubber suit every day, has the oldest babysitter ever named Alfred, and uses his childhood fear to avenge his parents’ death by serving society through the ridding of evil. The lamest nerd in high school gets bit by a spider and now protects the world from bad guys. Four turtles are given super powers through sewer slime, and now with ninja tactics they stop harm in its very tracks. These stories captivate the attention of teens today, and there is a very good reason why. God has designed us to desire this!
2 Samuel 19 – 24 is all about how we need to be radical servants for our King. This is a passage where we see real life superheroes who radically serve their king. Let’s quickly recap though. In 2 Samuel 7, God graciously included David into the eternal covenant of His Kingdom. This is much like when we believe the gospel of Christ and are saved. Then David commits serious sin against God, so God teaches him about living a lifestyle of repentance. David still goes through serious consequences as there is rape and murder in his family, his own son becomes his bounty hunter, and his military general calls him a cry baby after sobbing over the death of that son. We also must live a lifestyle of repentance after our salvation even though the consequences continue. Finally, after being saved and learning to live a lifestyle of repentance, the next challenge is to radically be a servant of King Jesus all the way to our death. Check it out…
2 Samuel 19 – 24 is the end of David’s life. The end of his life is strangely similar to the beginning of his life as Israel is fighting against the Philistine armies full of giants, a Goliath, and a supa-freak with 12 toes and fingers (2 Sam 21). In a similar way, the beginning of created time begins and ends similarly with the defeat and destruction of Satan (Rev 12). 2 Samuel 23 then goes into the special forces warriors of King David that he calls the “mighty men.” GI Joe was the best since he killed over 800 specialized Philistine soldiers singlehanded (23:8). Then there was L-Zar who killed so many Philistines at once that his hand muscles cramped and he literally could not let go of his sword. And Shammy was the dude who protected the Israelite lentil field all by himself by fighting off an entire flock of Philistine soldiers. David’s mighty men were for real!
Then in 2 Samuel 23, David sits down in a cave with some of his “mighty men”. As they may be swapping childhood memories with one another, David retrospectively sighs something like “I sure would love a swallow of water from the Bethlehem well I grew up near by.” Three of his mighty men sneak out, cross the wilderness to Bethlehem, fight their way into Philistine occupied territory, draw water from the well while they fight an entire army, fight their way back out, and cross back over the wilderness and all the while not drinking the water themselves. They hand the water over to David who can’t even drink it because of their radical act of service to him.
What a clear example of how to serve our King! But David’s mighty men aren’t the best example, and neither is David. Jesus Christ is our best example on how to radically serve Him as our King because He radically served us first (Mark 10:45). He radically served His Father and loved us all the way to His death (Phil 2:8). The Apostle Paul radically served Jesus in extreme ways all the way to his death (2 Cor 11:23-28). Church historians tell us that Peter pleaded not to be crucified just like Christ because He didn’t deserve such an honorable death, so they crucified him upside-down. When we are willing to die for Jesus, we are truly willing to live for Him. Is Jesus truly the Lord of your life to where you would willingly serve Him to your death…if that means 90 or 19?