The one who rules righteously, who rules in the fear of God, is like the light of morning at sunrise, like a morning without clouds, like the gleaming of the sun on new grass after rain. 2 Samuel 23:3-4
I have a favorite book I used to read to my kids when they were younger called, “What Makes A Rainbow?” The question is written on every page with a different color ribbon magically stretching across each page. The text reads something like, “Red makes a rainbow! A red hen, a red flower…” and it continues to list things that are red or what ever color the page is depicting, then it finishes each different color page with, “God makes a rainbow!” I was reminded of this book when I titled this devotional – What Makes A Warrior?
Like the rainbow book, I think the answer to, “What makes a warrior?” can be answered in a similar way. Looking into the Bible I think God lists for us the qualities that make a warrior but it is God Himself that makes the warrior victorious.
Read 2 Samuel 23:8-17 (Talk about intrigue!)
This passage depicts three of David’s mightiest warriors and mighty they are but why?
Listed first is Jashobeam, the leader of the three. His name means, dweller among the people; or to whom the people turn. People will turn to a sincerely humble leader, one willing to walk a mile in their shoes among them.
A godly leader is someone with unparalleled courage or rather unparalleled trust in God who leads them.
It’s unparalleled wisdom; wisdom that comes from heaven and is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17)
The Scripture we read states that Jashobeam once used a spear to kill 800 enemy warriors in a single battle! I don’t know about you, but one enemy is enough at one time for me!
2 Samuel 23:6-7 But the godless are like thorns to be thrown away, for they tear the hand that touches them. One must use iron tools to chop them down; they will be totally consumed by fire.
I would guess that what made Jashobeam a mighty warrior was…
-his willingness to lay down his own battle plans (I’m not sure he thought up taking on 800 in one battle, on his own – I would have done everything I could to make sure that blueprint got shoved under the cot!)
-his taking time to walk with and among the people
-choosing to take up faith not fear in the face of insurmountable odds
-and surrendering fully to the God of Heavens Armies as his commander and chief and just be an iron tool in His mighty hand.
The text states in verse 9, “Next in rank…” so this was not number one but number two mightiest of warriors. How often do we forfeit because we will never be good enough to be number one? How’s that saying go?… “The woods would be pretty silent if only the very best birds sang out.” Don’t, not, become the warrior God intended for you to be just because YOU didn’t think you would measure up. Remember 1 Samuel 16:7 ...For the LORD does not see as man sees;
Warrior number two was named Eleazar. His name means God helps. And that is just what he did! Eleazar stood by king Davids side in battle when the entire Israelite army had fled AND he fought till his hand was too tire to lift his sword! I’m sure David found that quite helpful!!
What made this guy a mighty warrior?
-He was loyal and trustworthy.
“When the going get’s tough the tough get going!” I think the rest of the Israelite army misinterpreted that statement! They got going alright! Hightailed it right out of their until of course it was time to participate in the plunder! Know anyone like that? I’m betting they are not on your list of emergency contacts.
-he was tenacious and passionate and probably didn’t know the meaning of “give up”. Surrender yes, but not give up. It is only in full surrender to God and His agenda do you find that it is He who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Phil. 2:13) Eleazar I think could say, to this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. Col. 1:29 and when that end came God was I AM enough, and there they were face to face with victory!
I don’t want to say I saved the best for last but maybe I did. 🙂 Verse 11 states, “Next in rank was…” Now consider with me this is not top dog number one OR warrior number two, no, this is somewhere down there on rung three. Understudying the understudy. I may be exaggerating in the case of Shammah but anyone else felt like they were just marinating on rung three… or 33?!
For all of us that may never feel like we will ever get to see the view from the top of the ladder we are so far down on the rungs, you might want to know that the name Shammah means, God is there.
God is there! Does that knock anyone else’s socks off?! What a rich message that it’s not about climbing a ladder to be good enough for God. He’s right there with you on the rung you’re on! You ALREADY have the best view if we will allow Him to open our eyes so that we truly perceive His presence, and open our ears so that we truly hear the voice of the One who whispers, Jeremiah 29:11 My child.
Jashobeam “who walked with the people”, accomplishing astonishing feats in battle.
Eleazar “who helped” and was crazy loyal and trustworthy in battle.
Both incredibly worthy to be included in David’s three elite but Shammah, Shammah the text stayed in the battle ALONE. He held his ground in the middle of the field! The middle no less!! Ever been in the middle of a battle too far from the start to turn back and too far from the end to see and glimmer of hope and you are exhausted, weary, just barely holding on… take courage because Shammah was in the middle and he beat back the enemy! And what does verse 12 say? Oh you will want to read it out loud! So the LORD brought about a great victory.
You might feel like you are the understudy for the understudy, that you are in the middle of the exhausting battle, not only that but you are lonely too!! Remember Shammah, God is there!
You are God’s chosen, yes God’s chosen warrior whom He placed just where He wanted you to be even if from human perspective it looks like next, next, next in line; in the middle of the battle; with no one else around. It may be too much for one human but GOD IS THERE and nothing is impossible WITH God! (Luke 1:37)
What made the mightiest of warriors that day in Shammah was God Himself, because it’s only God who makes a warrior mighty.
Through these warriors God was magnified so that now when we ask, What makes a warrior? We have Jesus our God magnified for us in our battles through His Word – are we willing to take time for others, choose faith not fear, surrender our battle plans for His better ones, to be used as an iron tool in His mighty hand, to be helpful, trustworthy, loyal and when we are standing in the middle all alone will we trust God is there and never left?
Because that’s what makes a warrior… and God Himself makes them mighty victorious.
Praise the mighty victorious name of Jesus! LORD of Heavens Armies!