David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him and everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul gathered to him. And he became captain over them. And there were with him about four hundred men. (1 Samuel 22:1-2)
Those great soldiers who fought bravely at David’s side for so many years – and into his old age – did not begin as brave soldiers. No, in the beginning, David’s mighty men were needy men—they were in trouble, in debt, and dissatisfied. David was hiding in the cave of Adullam as Saul pursued him relentlessly. When word began to leak out where David was hiding, some 400 men joined him there; troubled, broke, and unhappy men.
Yes, they began as needy men. They started out troubled, in debt, and thoroughly dissatisfied with their lives. But in the end they were men of integrity, character, and valor.
These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-Basshebeth the Tachmonite, chief among the captains. He was called Adino the Eznite, because he had killed eight hundred men at one time. And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel had retreated. He arose and attacked the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand stuck to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to plunder. And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines had gathered together into a troop where there was a piece of ground full of lentils. So the people fled from the Philistines. But he stationed himself in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory. 2 Samuel 23:8-12
David’s needy men became David’s mighty men. The scriptures recount over and over again men of low degree rising to great tasks. The power of God enabled these men to accomplish mighty things for Him! A man may accomplish more in a moment in the power of God than he can in a lifetime with his own strength.
In I Chronicles 29:6–7 we see David’s men; these same men, once destitute and broken, now able give enormous resources in order to finance the temple in Jerusalem. When these men joined with David in that cave, they were broke and in debt, hiding in caves and fearing for their lives. Now, they were able to give great riches.
You may be needy now, but if you will faithfully walk as a man or a woman of God, in humility and obedience, He has great exploits for you. Your life may be barren and empty now, but if you will walk in His Word you will plant seeds that will flourish and bear much fruit. There may be yet a day when you too, can be counted as a mighty man of God!