My apologies for disappearing again. I have been quite occupied with my schooling lately. I am taking only college courses for my senior year which has kept me busy. I dual-enrolled at two different colleges this fall, and I will be dual-enrolling at three colleges in the spring. It is exciting how the Lord is preparing me for full-time ministry school. I know that what God has planned for me is far greater than I can even comprehend right now. Anyway, I am on Christmas break right now, and I hope to give my blog more attention during that time.
Recently I have enjoyed studying 2 Samuel 23, which is about King David’s mighty men. The passage states that King David had thirty mighty men, but that three of those men were higher and more honorable in status than others. The names of these three men were: Josheb-basshebeth, Eleazar, and Shammah. What distinguishes these men as worthy individuals? I noted some commonalities between the three. They were fearless. They endured in the midst of adversity. They demonstrated great faith in the Lord and were victorious because of this. These warriors faced impossible situations, but they were able to persevere and overcome because of God’s faithfulness.
The mighty man that I want to highlight most, however, is Eleazar. One non-coincidental fun fact about Eleazar is that his name means, “the one who God helps”. 2 Samuel 23:10 (NIV), “but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The LORD brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.” The Philistines were powerful and frightening. It was not a simple task to defeat a Philistine army. Eleazar, however, knew that God would be with him, and that he could depend on the Lord for strength and guidance. God has proven over and over again to the Israelites that He is mightier than any army. Deuteronomy 20:3-4 (ESV), “‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.” My favorite portion of this verse is when it says that Eleazar’s hand froze to his sword. Eleazar held so tightly to his weapon that the sword could not be wrenched from his hand. It was as if the sword was glued to him.
Eleazar’s grasp on the sword was not weakened by the trial, but instead it was strengthened as he continued to fight. Eleazar was not willing to give up when times were rough. Romans 5:3-4 (ESV), “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” God uses trying circumstances to grow us spiritually and to train us to persevere. I can personally attest to this. Over the years, as many of you know, I have dealt with debilitating health conditions. Without the Lord, I certainly could not have made it through each day and endured the pain. Through that I have changed. I have become more confident in my faith, and I have even felt called into ministry. I, a girl who has always been independent, was humbled by learning to surrender to God’s will.
The Biblical Illustrator Commentary said regarding this verse, “A true hero does not stop to count the enemy nor to consider a compromise, nor to hide himself through fear of ridicule or other evil weapons; but putting his strength into his sword he rushes on to victory.” As the verse notes, the victory was not Eleazar’s, but the Lord’s. With God we can endure the hardships of life. Every day we must cling to God’s Word, and the truths that we know about His character.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that God’s Word will not only convict us, but it will teach us, mold us, and prepare us to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. According to Leslie Ludy, the founder of Set Apart Girl Magazine, “The message of the Cross is much more than simply knowing and believing the truth. It also means being supernaturally equipped by God’s enabling grace to live a victorious life that would otherwise be impossible.” While we likely will not be victorious in a military sense like David’s mighty men, we can be victorious by living for Christ. God often calls us to go against the crowd and do wacky things that take us out of our comfort zone. The Christian life is not easy. We will struggle. However, God does not call us to do things and then leave us to fend for ourselves. He will fight for us, and bring about great victories.
Thank you everybody for reading, and thank you for being patient with me. I am so thankful for my readers, and for this ministry that God has allowed me to have. I will try and post as much as I can during my college break. May you have a blessed week with lots of joy and coffee.
In Christ’s love,