Naharai from Beeroth, Joab’s armor bearer… Adina son of Shiza, the Reubenite leader who had thirty men with him… (NLT)
I was listening to this text being read in the Portuguese NTLH (New Living Translation). I had been following along in the text but momentarily had lost my place in the text and hearing the text read aloud. As I was trying to find my place, I heard these verses being read and they so strongly struck me that I stopped the reading, found the place and stared at the text with that amazement that often comes when I’ve read a text many times (and had even recently preached from it), yet have never seen what I’m seeing.
I jumped to an English version, the NIV, and it didn’t strike me at all like the Portuguese had. I went to the NLT and there it was!
I know I have no reason to be so amazed. I should actually be accustomed to having this happen. How many times have I experienced this moment?! I’m honestly glad that the revelation of the understanding of the Word is always new and always fresh. How in the world could I have been so dense for so long?
Within the most famous, the most powerful group of warriors in all the Bible, there are two who no one even knows. In their time, they were famous, but now, after all these years, they are completely unknown. They are accorded “fame” because they are in THE list, but honestly, no one today cares. What a shame!
Naharai, Joab’s armor bearer. A man who was a servant, not a warrior. Yet, because he was always around Joab, a fierce warrior, he learned the ways of war, successful war, from observation of his charge’s activity. Head knowledge is always trumped by experience knowledge. Nothing compares with actually putting your hands on it! Blessed is the man who Yahweh gives both knowledge AND experience.
Naharai became so adept in the warrior arts that he rises to the peak of achievement and acknowledgement by becoming one of David’s “30.” He is famous in his own right, a fierce warrior. Yet he continues to serve Joab as a servant.
Then there’s Adina. There’s probably a story in his being a Reubenite. However, he’s called a leader before he was famous AND he has his own band of “30.” This is what really struck me. Isn’t this what it’s about, the leader being a servant, which makes him into a leader? Skill with humility equals honor. The disciple becomes a leader and creates disciples; he is aligned with a disciple-leader and is cultivated into an even greater leader and his disciples drink from his fame and become greater as a result.