I’ve been meditating through the book of II Samuel. This morning I came to chapter 23 which tells the exciting stories of three of David’s top soldiers, the best of the best.
First there was Adino the Eznite. The writer of II Samuel claims Adino killed 800 men at one time. At one time? In one battle? I find that hard to imagine. Some scholars think that a scribe made a typo and really meant 80, or even 8, but 800?
You believe what you want, but for me, I believe that Adino is a picture of a man or woman of endurance. Can you imagine hand to hand combat with 800 men, 80 men, or even 8 men? One after another, after another, after another…they kept coming. Adino, the man of endurance.
Second, there was Eleazar the son of Dodo. With a name like that you had to grow up tuff. Verse 10 says, “He arose and struck the Philistines until his hand was weary and clung to the sword.” Eleazar makes me think of the man or woman, who when weary, clings to the sword of the Spirit, the word of God.
Finally, there is Shammah the son of Agee. Shammah and the people are in a tight spot. Their job was to defend a plot of peas…that’s right, peas, that’s what lentils are, peas. Would you be willing to die for a bunch of peas? I don’t even like peas. But the story gets more amazing.
Shammah and his friends see the Philistines approaching. Shammah takes a deep breath, draws his sword, yells to his men, “Let’s get ready to rumble!” He looks over his shoulder…no one, nothing but dust from sandals running in the opposite direction.
Believe me, I would have been leading the retreat. But not Shammah. He stood his ground, all alone. If he was going to die he would do so guarding this small patch of peas. Guarding lentils was his job and he was going to be faithful with or without the people. Verse 12 says, “But he took his stand in the midst of the plot, defended it and struck the Philistines; and the Lord brought about a great victory.”
Do you ever feel like God has asked you to watch over a small plot of peas? Have you ever experienced being deserted? Have you ever looked over your shoulder only to be, or at least seem to be, all alone? Over the last few months, or years, have some of your people left you? If you can relate to Shammah then imitate Shammah.
Stand your ground. There is no such things as a ‘small patch of peas’ in the eyes of God. Peas is peas. God loves peas. Your patch might only be a quarter of an acre. Defend your plot. Hang in there. Shammah is a picture of the man or woman who remains faithful to the task God has given them whether it be large or small. Draw your sword.