Throughout David’s career, great warriors came to support him from all over Israel. Even while Saul was trying to kill him without cause, men from Saul’s tribe went over to support David at Ziklag. They were skilled with various weapons, and some of them became members of the thirty. Many names are listed, which points to them being real people in history, well-known in their time though they are more obscure by this point.
In addition to the Benjaminites, Gadites joined David at his stronghold in the wilderness. They were fierce and strong like wild beasts. These men were so courageous that they crossed the Jordan River, during the flood season, in order to put Israel’s enemies to flight. To put it in perspective, flooded rivers are fast and strong and not easy to swim in. They also had to carry their weapons and armor which would try to pull them under. After swimming across, they still had the strength to fight and win. It is no wonder that these guys were renowned figures.
When men from Benjamin and Judah came to David, he accepts their loyalty, but he also calls upon the Lord to rebuke them if they betray him for no reason. In response, the Holy Spirit moves Amasai to pledge allegiance to David because the Lord is helping him. From this, we know that these defections to David’s camp are caused by the Lord for His purposes.
Later on, David marches against Israel with the Philistines, and some men from Manasseh desert Saul to follow David. This is an especially interesting period of David’s life, because most of his military career has been about fighting against the Philistines and their influence over Israel. However, when Saul was chasing David, he appeared to join forces with his traditional enemy, though he had to pretend to be insane in order to be believed. The Philistines still didn’t trust David, so they kept him out of the fighting, which was also part of God’s sovereign plan to keep David from needing to betray his countrymen. All of these men were leaders and chiefs, so their support meant a large number of soldiers were enlisted into David’s army, making him quite the force to be reckoned with. And despite the hardships unjustly put on him, David still did not retaliate against Saul.
You always provide a way for us to resist temptation and to follow Your precepts, no matter what cirucumstance we are in.