Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pass the peas, please...

Today in Chapel Mr. Goodenow reminded me of one of my favorite Bible characters, Shamah. In II Samuel 23:11-12, it describes one of David's mighty men. This man stood his ground, in the middle of a pea patch (The Bible says lentils, so that can be translated different ways). He defended his land of inheritance from the Philistines. When every one else fell away, he stood his ground. Sometimes it feels like we are the only ones that are taking the stand. And while we might be alone on a certain issues there are others in other places who have had to stand. And we can look at their example and be encouraged.

One thing that encouraged me was that God gave a mighty victory. Shamah wasn't Super Man. While he was the only human that was in the field, he was not entirely alone. God was there and "wrought a great victory." He was ordinary. We don't have to be Super Man (or Woman) to stand. We can be a simple laborer for God when he gives us the opportunity to be used for a "great" victory. How often do we grumble and complain that God has allowed trials into our lives. I am sure that Shamah was looking for the Philistines and hoping that they would show up, so he could show off his battle skills. Very likely he was a simple farmer who was harvesting his crops. The Philistines were known for waiting till the Hebrews were harvesting before showing up and stealing the food. Maybe they had done this before to Shamah, and just maybe he was fed up with what the Philistines had been dishing out. He decided that today was the day that he wouldn't take any more. I almost picture him going out to the field with his harvesting tools and a sword strapped to his side. When they (a troop of Philistines) showed up, he told them to get off his land. When they didn't he prepared himself to fight. Now the Bible doesn't say that he fought them with a sword, and if he didn't have a sword then God really was working a "great" miracle. There had originally been more people with him but they ran away in fear, but Shamah stood. He probably didn't think that he would make it out alive, but obviously that didn't scare him away from the fight. As Christians there are times that we enter a spiritual battle where it seems that the odds are stacked against us. But like Shamah we have a secret weapon.

I would have loved to be a mouse in that field to watch the work of God. I can imagine that when the dust settled Shamah wondered how it was that he was still standing. There are times that in the midst of the fight we don't think that we are making any headway, but when the dust settles and we reflect on how the Lord has helped us; we are in awe. We are still standing.

I can imagine that after that (whether he liked the taste of peas or not) Shamah was reminded of God's power and might every time he was served up a dish of peas. He did not enter that field with the intent of being a hero, but because of his willingness to stand regardless of other people's choices the Bible has a recorded of his act. Not only a record of this act, but he was one of David's mighty men who were known for many acts of valour.

Oh Christian, I want to encourage you. In a country where we are told that we know longer are the majority, remember we are called to make a stand. A stand for the Biblical principles that our country was founded on. The opposition to the cause of God and our country may seem powerful and resourceful, but we have a secret weapon who controls the world.

Ephesians 6:13 Therefore take unto the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

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