There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. 2 Samuel 23:20
I was on a hike the other day with a friend when, out of nowhere, a large bird swooped down right in front of our faces. We screamed. My friend fell to the ground. I assessed the situation and said, "It's okay. It's a butterfly!" It was not a bird. It was, in fact, the largest butterfly I have ever seen. We laughed, slightly embarrassed that a harmless butterfly had scared us so badly. While you are probably not afraid of a butterfly flying near you, you and I face real fears every single day. The question we must answer is this: How will we respond to our fear? Will we let our fear overcome us or will we choose courage? Today, we will learn about a man named Benaiah, who courageously chose faith over fear.
Benaiah was a fighter during the time of King David. In fact, he was one of David's famous "mighty men." He was a man of strength and courage who did not let fear keep him from killing a lion in the snow or striking down his enemies.
I have a question for you today: Do you think that he was fearful? I have a suspicion that Benaiah was scared and fearful when he encountered the lion and when he was fighting against his enemies. After all, fear is a natural response to Benaiah's situations. I also believe that his courage was greater than his fear. He chose to act courageously rather than fearfully.
You and I probably are not fighting lions or having to strike down enemies physically, but throughout our lives, God will call us to do things that we may be scared to do. We may fear rejection, our own safety, loss of relationships, or loss of financial security. How do you respond when God calls you to do something that arouses fear? I am a naturally fearful person. I see danger, or even discomfort, and run in the other direction. I, however, want to be a person of courage. What about you? Do you find yourself lacking courage in difficult situations? Let's take our cue from Benaiah and be people of courage. Great courage requires great faith. You see, if we have faith in God, if we trust His plan for our lives and His promises, then we truly can be people of courage, knowing that He is good and faithful. Let's be people of courageous faith today.
Is God asking you to do something that requires courage? Maybe He is asking you to have a difficult conversation that may cost you a friendship, or to take a step back in your career when everyone around you expects you to take a step forward, or to take the mission trip overseas that you've heard about. Our question today is this: do we trust God? Do we trust that He knows and wants our best? If so, we can do the things God is calling us to do with courage because of our faith in Him. Will you trust Him today to do that thing He is asking you to do? Write down one thing God is asking you to do that requires courage. Find someone today and tell that person what God is asking you to do. Acknowledging the thing that God asked you to do is the first step toward a courageous faith. Pray and ask God for courage and remember that He is faithful. You can trust Him.
Read 2 Samuel 23:8-23 (NLT)
These are the names of David’s mightiest warriors. The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite, who was leader of the Three—the three mightiest warriors among David’s men. He once used his spear to kill 800 enemy warriors in a single battle.
Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. Once Eleazar and David stood together against the Philistines when the entire Israelite army had fled. He killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory that day. The rest of the army did not return until it was time to collect the plunder!
Next in rank was Shammah son of Agee from Harar. One time the Philistines gathered at Lehi and attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, but Shammah held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory.
Once during the harvest, when David was at the cave of Adullam, the Philistine army was camped in the valley of Rephaim. The Three (who were among the Thirty—an elite group among David’s fighting men) went down to meet him there. David was staying in the stronghold at the time, and a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem.
David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord. “The Lord forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these men who risked their lives to bring it to me.” So David did not drink it. These are examples of the exploits of the Three.
Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was the leader of the Thirty. He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle. It was by such feats that he became as famous as the Three. Abishai was the most famous of the Thirty and was their commander, though he was not one of the Three.
There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. Once, armed only with a club, he killed an imposing Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it. Deeds like these made Benaiah as famous as the Three mightiest warriors. He was more honored than the other members of the Thirty, though he was not one of the Three. And David made him captain of his bodyguard.
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