The Gadites: David’s Overcomers

1 Chronicles 12: 1,8,15, 21-23; 1 Sam. 27:6
“…Ready armed for war to turn the kingdom of Saul to David according to the word of the Lord.” v.23

Although David was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be King (1 Sam. 16:13), he was only recognized by his little band of followers. Together they were chased through the mountains by the reluctant and disobedient king Saul and his army. David hides out at Ziklag where the Gadites decided to become “helpers of the war” and join David to turn the kingdom of Saul king, set him on the throne and make his enemies his footstool.


Gad (Heb. “Overcomer”) was the 7th son of Jacob, and was one of the tribes which settled on the East side of the Jordan after the conquest of Canaan. The Gadite Overcomers are a type of New Testament believers who uphold God’s standard against the flesh, the world, and the Devil, who will eventually bring all the enemies of Christ into subjection to their Lord and King. (Heb. 10:13 …till His enemies be made his footstool).

Gadites of the New Testament are prepared and ready believers who assert, by their anointed spiritual life and testimony (Rev. 12:13), the plan and purposes of God in this world.

Old Testament types:

David: the anointed of the Lord, representing the Spiritual Kingdom.
Saul: the people’s carnal choice, representing the fleshly kingdom.
Gadites: God’s overcomers who will be functional, in their total commitment, in the Spirit in God’s Kingdom.

The Gadites Were: (1 CHRON. 12:8,15)

1. SEPARATED: Deserted Saul to join David in the wilderness.

  • Acts 19:9 – when some . . . spoke evil of that way before the multitude, he (Paul) departed from them, and separated the disciples, . . . .”
  • 2 Timothy 2:4 – No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who has chosen him to be a soldier.
  • 2 Corinthians 6:14 – Don’t be unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness?

2. STRONG: Men of might, men of war fit for the battle

  • Joshua 1:9 – Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you where ever you go.
  • 1 Cor. 16:13 – Watch, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
  • Ephesians 6:10 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
  • 2 Corinthians 12:10 – Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

3. SKILLFUL: They could handle shield and buckler

  • 2 Timothy 2:15 – Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
  • 1 Corinthians 9:26 – I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; I don’t fight as one that beats the air.

4. STEADFAST: With faces like that of lions.

  • 1 Corinthians 7:37 – Nevertheless he that stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own will…”
  • 1 Corinthians 15:58 – Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
  • 1 Peter 5:9 – Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

5. SWIFT: Who were as swift as the roes on the mountains

  • Habakkuk 3:19 – The LORD God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places.
  • 1 Corinthians 9:24 – Don’t you know that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain.

6. SACRIFICIAL: Self-denying by leaving the familiar and the comforts of home by crossing the Jordan to join David. Romans 6 teaches the principle of having been baptized into the death of Christ and through faith becoming a partaker of the resurrection life of Christ.

  • Luke 9:23 – And He said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

The secret strength of the overcomers is a life and ministry in the power of the cross:
Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him (Satan),
1) by the blood of the Lamb,
2) by the word of their testimony;
3) and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

(The cross is rarely included in the citation of this Scripture)

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