“The mighty men were…” 1 Chronicles 11:26
Trying to read the list of David’s elite fighting men is not easy. The names of the men and the names of their tribes run together. There are so many different histories here; names that will become famous in the modern world like Bethlehem. Names that will live in infamy like Uriah. And names no one can pronounce like Eliahba the Shaalbonite (and that’s an easy one). I’m no expert on the history of the tribes living in the ancient lands recorded in the Bible, frankly the ‘ites’ give me a headache when they start popping up in scripture. But I do sense something unusual about this list. Some people in the list are recorded as parts of well known tribes of Israel, but most of them aren’t. In fact at least two of the men are definitely not of Israel; Zelek the Ammonite and Uriah the Hittite. Both the Ammonites and the Hittites are enemies of Israel, yet here are two mighty men from those tribes. Evidently God’s purposes can trump bloodlines and make a cohesive group capable of accomplishing His goals. If our God following doesn’t leave room for enemies to become not just friends, but also allies integral to accomplishing our mission, we are not seeing the full scope of God possibilities or plans.