What Is The Importance Of Ezer’s Loyalty To God

Ezer, Chief of Gad was a man that not much was written about in the Hebrew Bible, but what was written is enough to fuel the imagination with tales of epic battles and adventure. Ezer is introduced to the readers of the Old Testament in 1 Chronicles 12 verses 8 and 9. This portion of Chronicles has to do with David’s Mighty Men, of which Ezer was a member. All of the Gadites that became member of David’s Mighty Men were described in the same way. Being brave men who were exceedingly adept at handling shield and spear, possessing the faces of lions and being as swift and agile as gazelles in the mountain.

Possessing the face of a lion has been taken a few different ways however. This either means that they, the Gadites, were ferocious looking – terrible to behold because of their destructive power and irresistible strength (Ryken, 514). It could also mean, however, that they just had magnificent “manes” of hair that gave them lion-like features. The Bible gives no words towards Ezer’s personality, with only a few verses that described his mettle in battle. However, the Bible does say that he “defected” with a few of his other tribesmen from Saul’s army to David’s Mighty Men.

This was when David was in the wilderness, probably around the town of Ziklag in Judah’s southern regions (Freedman, 374). An assumption that the reader could pull from this piece of information is that Ezer is loyal only to the true King of Israel, God, and follows where God’s allegiance is, which would be David. Ezer, and his tribe mates all shared the same list of extraordinary feats. It was said that Ezer, being the Chief of Gad and military leader, was the match equivalent for a 1,000 enemies.

He, along with his military generals (the other ten Gadites), had crossed the Jordan in the valley during the first month of the thaw. Meaning that the river was flowing vigorously and dangerously. This is paralleled to the account of when the nation of Israel first entered into the promised land to give greater appreciation to the remarkable feat (Hill, 205). Their next feat was putting to flight all of the people who were in the valley, after they had crossed it. Ezer, Chief of Gad, played a very important role in God’s redemptive story and Israel’s historical narrative.

Being that of a political showing of David’s increasing power (Freedman, 374), but also his increasing military power. Not only did it add to David’s increasing power, but it subtracted from Saul’s, because they had defected. Ezer, being the Chief of Gad, also showed the allegiance of his tribe to the cause of David. The political importance of Ezer was very immense. Not only did he represent a very strong militaristic aspect that goes with what a strong king needs to succeed, but Ezer came with the support of the Gad tribe.

Now Gad wasn’t the biggest tribe out there, but it was important as it is today to have the support of the people that you are ruling. The presence of Ezer, and the other leaders of the tribe of Gad were very important to David’s public view. Without the Mighty Men, David would never have been able to do the great things that he is attributed of doing. Such as taking the fortress city of Jerusalem. Which of course was very important to the whole history henceforth of Israel. It became their stronghold, their place of worship, and their capital.

And of course, it would not have been able to be taken without the help of David’s mighty men, and among them, lion-faced Ezer who was the match for 1,000 men. Ezer was important in redemptive history for the same reason as his historical importance, which was the helping of the taking of Jerusalem. Without the taking of Jerusalem, Jesus wouldn’t have been able to preach the sermons that he did there, he would not have been able to die and be raised from the dead there, and the ever important reminder that we see in the Garden of Gethsemane would not have been possible.

The importance of Jerusalem goes beyond Jesus though, beyond Jesus onto the shoulders of his apostles and church. Without Jerusalem’s temple and all of the commodities that go along with it, we would have never saw the disciples give their divinely inspired words at “the house,” which is the temple. All of the history, redemptive or not, would not be possible without David’s Mighty Men, and by extension, Ezer himself. The chief principle that I have learned from Ezer is that of loyalty. As I read the passages in Chronicles, I got the sense of crisis.

Jew against Jew, leader against leader, each thinking that they are backed by God and the struggle to follow God during all of the turmoil that is going on. Ezer showed me that loyalty is being able to discern what is backed by God and scripture. David was backed by God as seen through his anointing by Samuel and the repeated callings that he received from God. Ezer was able to know this and led his kinsmen into what he knew was right. The life of Ezer also showed me that the things that make us great are the things that God has given us or made it possible for us to do.

By this I mean that Ezer was able to pass through the Jordan during the thaw, a feat that is very impressive. He was said to be the match for 1,000 men in battle. I understand the hyperbolic nature of the literature of Israel, but to have that large of a hyperbole attached to your name is still a great feat. Ezer was a great warrior, but it wasn’t his own natural ability that allowed him to do these amazing tasks. It was God preparing Ezer for what his purpose was, being an influential member of the team that made up David’s Mighty Men. It is not hard to find a contemporary application of being loyal to God.

Loyalty to God will forever and always be the same. That is fleeing from the things of evil, the things that are not from God and running to God the father. This is everything from being capable to spot heretical teachings, such as the Health/Wealth teachings that are currently on the rise that motivate people to follow Christ for their own personal benefit. However, like Ezer, we need to do better than just be able to spot what is wrong, we need to be able to lead those around us and under our influence into the same conclusion that we have made.

We should be able to make followers of Christ that love the Christ, love the word, and actively seek out how to better serve him in order to further the Kingdom. The next application is simple humility. Not being boastful or proud of the things that we can do, because for one, nothing is new under the sun and everything we do here (besides the work of the kingdom) won’t matter once we get to heaven, and two we can only do the things that we can by the divine grace of God.

We cannot do the one thing that matters in the grand scheme of things – we cannot save ourselves or others from the fiery pit that is hell. We are 100% reliant on God. The application of humility is following God and God’s word fully in order to better serve the Kingdom by God’s grace. Ezer was a man with the face of a lion who was reported to be able to take on 1,000 people at a time in a fight.

His skill, granted to him by God, in spear and shield granted him the ability to dispatch foes, his natural grace like that of an antelope allowed him to out maneuver them. Despite his attributes that made him a great warrior capable of defeating armies at a time, he still followed the true King of Israel. Through him, Jerusalem was made a city in the nation of Israel and all the history that happened at history can be thanked to Ezer in part. His life teaches us humility in our gifts and loyalty to God. Ezer really was a Mighty Man of both David and God.