For day by day [men] came to David to help him, until there was a great army like the army of God.
1 Chronicles 12:22
The account of David’s army began with his Mighty Men – a group of choice warriors who were David’s inner circle and some of the first to join with him. Afterward, The Bible turns its attention to those who defected from Saul’s army to join David’s. At the time, David’s “army” was little more than a company or a band, but they had proven to be a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. When the defectors added their strength to David’s company, still more battlefield exploits followed.
What is curious to me is that this second wave of joiners comes from among the Israelites. The first round of people to support David and his cause were the non-Israelites. As the time drew nearer for David to take the throne, more and more of the Israelites defected. In a bit of a twist, the defectors were actually supporting what God had said through Samuel and choosing David to be their leader. David had already been anointed king and David, good man that he was, tried to stay out of Saul’s way and let him complete his time as king. The defectors could see this and recognize that they would be considered traitors until David took the throne.
So, too, the disciples of Jesus Christ when He came on the scene. They could see plainly from the miracles of Christ and hear evidenced in His Words His divinity. They knew, as Peter stated, that Jesus is the Christ; the Son of the Living God. They were convinced that it was only a matter of time before Jesus took the throne of David. More, they were convinced that Jesus is the only One able to save. They must have known — and learned, if they were not already aware — that they would be seen as traitors and defectors in their own time. But they, like those who defected to David, were looking forward to a time when their King would sit on His throne and their allegiance to Him would be vindicated.
The same is still true of believers in many places today. It is often the case that believers must walk away from everything they have known and follow Christ. And it is a choice that is made knowing what the cost may be. It may be as cheap a cost as to lose a few friends. It may be that the cost is one’s own life.
To live Godly may cost me. It may be that people who might otherwise count me among their number will see me as a defector. It may be that I will be seen as an outsider. If I believe; if I am fully convinced that my allegiance to Christ will be vindicated, then none of this will move me. I will remain loyal to my King, come what may.
Father, thank You for the example of David and his men. Thank You for the record of Jesus’ disciples going after Him in a similar fashion. Thank You for those today who count the cost and walk after You. Please cause me to live out my conviction that Jesus is Who He claims to be — God incarnate. Please cause that to change me and the way I live so that I am known as one of Yours.