I love reading stories in the Bible about King David’s mighty men. They were strong, fearless and incredibly loyal. Within the army were two elite groups made up of Israel’s mightiest warriors — the Thirty and the Three (the three greatest warriors among the Thirty).
My favorite of these mighty men is Benaiah. One of the Thirty, he is only briefly mentioned. His recorded feats are found in 2 Samuel 23 and 1 Chronicles 11. Once, he chased a lion into a pit, and despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it.
I can just hear him: “Oh, you know, no big deal, just over here in a pit, killing a lion.” What Benaiah didn’t say was, “God, what’s happening? I’m in a pit. It’s cold and dark down here. And there’s a lion in here with me! He’s trying to eat me!” No, he got after it and killed that lion.
Another time, armed only with a club, Benaiah wrenched the spear from the hands of a mighty Egyptian warrior and killed him with it. He is remembered as a valiant warrior. He didn’t cower and run from his enemy; he picked up his weapon and got busy.
Benaiah did his duty in service to his king. He didn’t complain about title or position. He was as famous as the Three, and yet he didn’t whine because he wasn’t one of the Three. I love this about Benaiah! He played his part in the kingdom and was the most honored of the Thirty. Because of his skill and valor, David made him commander of his bodyguard. Later, when Solomon became king, he was appointed commander of the army. (1 Kings 2:35)
At the end of David’s life, he gave this charge to his son, Solomon: “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God is with you. He will not fail or forsake you” (1 Chronicles 28:20).
I love this Scripture for all of life. There will always be an assignment or task larger than us, and many times it is a battle hard-fought in a pit.
I’ve found myself in the pit of an abusive marriage, divorce, cancer, poverty. Yes, I have whined and wallowed, and I have picked up my weapon and fought.
What battle do you find yourself in today? Do you feel overlooked, unappreciated, alone? Are you battling the physical, spiritual and emotional all at once? Maybe your struggle is an everyday matter you need to power through, but is still a battle in the moment for wisdom, creative problem-solving, parenting, financial goals or healthy lifestyle changes. Maybe it’s doubt in yourself, the loss of a sense of purpose, or a heart that struggles to dream.
As we go about our walk with the Lord, battles will come our way. What we do with these battles is what sets us apart. Will you whine or war? Will you gossip and complain, or will you walk in the authority of your King who fights with you?
1 Samuel 22:2 tells us that David’s renegade army was built with men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented. You see, you don’t have to have your life together to be a warrior! God will give you courage and capability on the fly!
Let God develop a warrior spirit in you, one battle at a time. Pick up your weapons that are mighty through God, resist the devil and watch him flee. Don’t worry about title, position or who does or doesn’t see you. Instead, diligently pursue intimacy with your King, and watch Him honor and promote you.
And whatever you do, don’t give up! Benaiah didn’t attain his coveted status and then get lazy. The accomplishments that got him to the desired position in rank had to continue. The battles fought and won had to be fought and won again. If he had become complacent or grumbled that it was too hard, he would have forfeited his job and his place in history!
We often feel battle-weary, don’t we? Not again! Not this battle again! But don’t let yourself become listless. If we stop warring for what matters, we’ll find ourselves with no fire in our bellies.
Exodus 14:14 says that God will fight for us; we need only be still. Sometimes the battle looks just like that, and we are to simply hit our knees in prayer and worship, resting in the peace of God. Other times we are called to action. Whichever story line you are looking at today, know that God is fighting with and for you!
In his book Dreaming with God, Bill Johnson says, “As we learn to live from our position in Christ, we will bring forth the greatest exploits of all time.”
Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Let your King live, love and battle through you. Chase your lion into the pit, play your part in the Kingdom, and become a warrior.