Everyone Needs an Abashai

But Abashai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue and killed the Philistine. –2 Samuel 21:17a (NLT)

Living as a mature disciple of Jesus doesn’t happen in isolation. It requires teamwork! In my years of ministry, I’ve worked with incredible people–people who are much more talented and gifted than I could ever dream to be. One of the reasons that I’ve been able to survive for so many years as a Christian leader is that I’ve always surrounded myself with an “Abishai.” I realize that you are now thinking, “Huh? Did Doug not take his medications today?”

Everyone needs an Abishai. Okay. I get it. It’s not a very catchy name. It doesn’t flow off the tongue like other names, like Frank or Kristi. But, this real life person who we read about in the Old Testament was an important model for the type of person we need in our lives and perhaps more importantly, a model for who we all should be in someone else’s life.

Abishai is a biblical character during the life of King David. I first became aware of him while reading 2 Samuel 21. In the New Living Translation, it reads, “David and his men were in the thick of the battle, David became weak and exhausted…He (Ishbi-benob) had cornered David and was about to kill him. But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue and killed the Philistine.”

Abashai was willing to do some of the dirty work. He was defensive for David and his actions vividly displayed teamwork and loyalty. He was even loyal to the point of being willing to kill the sleeping Saul (see 1 Samuel 26:6-9). I love the phrase, “in the thick of the battle Abishai came to the rescue.”

Who comes to your rescue? Do you have an Abishai in your life?

Who do you rescue? Who looks to you as her or his Abishai?

I believe we all need an Abishai, even as we need to be an Abishai to someone else. (Just don’t expect your Abishai to dispose of your enemies, okay?)

As I often say, we’re better together.

1. Does your Abishai know the important role she or he plays in your life? Do you deeply care for that person? How do you display your value?

2. Who needs to be rescued by you today?

2 Samuel 21; 1 Samuel 26:6-9; John 15:13

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Doug Fields

Doug Fields

Doug is the senior director of HomeWord Center for Youth and Family. Doug speaks to thousands of leaders, teens and parents each year. He teaches youth ministry at APU, and provides leadership and resources as a part of the Youth Specialties Team. He has authored 50 books and blogs at Download Youth Ministry. Doug, Cathy and their three children live in Southern California.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns and supported by Doug Fields, HomeWord and Azusa Pacific University have partnered to form The HomeWord Center for Youth and Family. Learn More »

  • About Azusa Pacific University

    APU is a leading Christian college ranked as one of the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Located near Los Angeles in Southern California, APU is a Christian university offering associate’s, bachelor’s, master's, doctoral, and degree completion programs, both on campus and online. Learn More »

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