Rise Up, Mighty Ones
by Cynthia Bowen
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In 2 Samuel 23:8-17, God has given testimony to three heroes that He calls David's mighty men, Adino, Eleazer, and Shammah. These men earned their designation as mighty by their courage, attitudes, and actions.
Adino the Tachmonite was the chief of these champions. Though he stood alone and was vastly outnumbered, Adino defeated 800 Philistine enemies at one time. This was quite a feat for a man armed only with a spear, normally a longer range weapon. Adino's proper name, according to 1 Chronicles 11:11 was Jashobeam, which means "the people will return". Maybe this mighty warrior knew that his mission was clear, the return of his people to their appropriate places.
The second mighty man was Eleazer. When the men of Israel fled before the Philistine horde, Eleazer grabbed a sword and went out to meet the enemy. He struck down adversaries on the left and right. Though the enemy greatly outnumbered Eleazer, he just kept swinging his sword. Finally, he became so weary that he couldn't even loosen his grip on the sword's hilt. However, no more soldiers remained to challenge him, because Eleazer had slain them all. When the men of Israel returned, all they had to do was gather the Philistine spoils. Eleazer had already won the victory. Interestingly, Eleazer's name means "God surrounds and protects". Perhaps this revelation gave this indomitable warrior courage to face opposition when others ran in fear.
The third outstanding figure recorded in this passage is Shammah. The Philistine troops had advanced onto a garden tract of lentils inside Israel's borders. As with the other champions, the men of the area had fled from the invaders. However, Shammah understood that the enemy had already taken too much from Israel. He also knew that they had no right to be where they were standing. Shammah planted his feet in the clay soil and refused to allow the Philistines to take it. Though he stood alone that day, Shammah slew many Philistine intruders and won a great victory for Israel. Incidentally, Shammah's name means "to stun and astonish, or amaze". It could be that this powerful man caught a glimpse of God's omnipotent power in contrast to his enemies, and believed that such a God could surely amaze his opponents.
These actions alone secured their reputations as mighty men in Israel. This powerful trio gathered to David as he hid in the cave Adullam, on one hand chased by jealous Saul and on the other threatened by Philistine antagonists. One day, David wistfully mused how he longed for just a drink of water from a well of his hometown, Bethlehem. The only problem was that Bethlehem was being occupied as a Philistine garrison. Adino, Eleazer, and Shammah smiled at each other and strolled quietly away from their charismatic young leader. They traveled to Bethlehem and broke through the defenses of the Philistine army to pull water from the well. Upon their return, David not scold them for what seemed a frivolous excursion. He understood that they had risked their very lives to please him. He rightly offered the water from Bethlehem as a costly sacrifice to God.
Today, God is looking for some mighty men and women to stand up in the face of the enemy's hordes. Instead of Philistines in gardens, the enemy is much more subtle. We are warned in Ephesians 6: 12 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers,against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
These mighty ones God is looking for do not need to be proficient in ancient weaponry, because their warfare is spiritual. However, He does require them to be courageous, as well as having some persistence, and spiritual fortitude .
Many would like to be known as a mighty one in front of God. However, mighty men and women are not formed on padded pews and walking on easy pathways. Instead, they are developed in the forge of opposition. Their bravery is won in the heat of battle. They become mighty when they realize that the trials facing them are much too severe for their own strength, but instead of running away, they trust God to deliver them .
Their courage turns them into Adinos who will take up weapons that do not, in the natural, look as strong as those in the hands of the menacing adversaries. They raise up with the Word of God to face sickness, depression, lack, and a host of other satanic attacks. They stand greatly outnumbered by the hordes of demonic powers arrayed against them. They know that they are not only fighting for themselves alone, but also for their children, neighbors, and nation.
Their persistence turns them into Eleazers who will not run from a fight. They stand when everyone around them flees from the onslaught of the attack. They are faithful even when they are weary. They pray when they do not see instant results. They praise and worship when they do not feel like it. They seek God in His Word when no one else knows they are doing it. They understand that God has their back and they will be protected. They walk by faith, not by sight.
Their fortitude turns them into Shammahs who have a holy indignation when the enemy invades what belongs to the people of God. They plant their feet, put on their armor, and resist declaring, "That's enough, devil! You've taken too much ground and too many liberties!" They have come close enough to God to know that He is so much more powerful than the enemy they face. They are convinced that when the battle subsides and the dust settles, they will be standing.
These are the mighty ones for which God is looking. These are men and women who have stood with God and found that He is enough for them. They have made up their mind that the comforts and pleasures in life are not as important to them as their relationship with God. Because of their proximity with Him, they have glimpsed the heart's desire of their King. He desires fellowship with humanity--broken, dirty, dying humanity. To bring this treasure to the Father, it is going to take some daring and courage. It will take mighty men and women who will break through enemy garrisons and strongholds to reach out to the lost with the saving message of Jesus Christ. They have pressed into God's Presence in the secret places of prayer and fellowship, now they will have to press past prejudices and their own comfort. They will have to leave the complacency of church walls to pull this treasure out of dark places, and it may be dangerous. This Gospel message is glorious, but no one said it was safe.
What about you, mighty one? Adino, are you ready to use the the weapons of your warfare you've been polishing? Are you ready, Eleazer, to stand up and be an influence for God, even if you stand alone? And what about you, Shammah? Are you ready to defy the advances of the enemy? God is waiting for you.
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Nice article. Thank you Cynthia. Let us all pray for humanity and work together.