Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: A MIGHTY FORTRESS (don't write about the song) (04/23/15)
TITLE: One with God
By Ernest Yoder
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Shammah rushed into the house and hugged his dear wife and little three year old daughter who ran from the back room of their humble dwelling when they heard his long absent but familiar voice. He unstrapped his sword and leaned it against his shield which he had already deposited inside the front door. It was so good to be home from the battles which he and others of King David’s elite cadre of soldiers found necessary to keep fighting because of incursions by Philistine bands of marauders. But his anticipated respite was not long to be relished. Looking into the serious eyes of his wife he realized that something was not quite as peaceful as he had expected.
“They were here-,” she said, “yesterday. And our men ran in fear.”
“What?” he exclaimed incredulously, “Our men ran? Don’t they know the Lord is with us?”
One of the village’s outlying fields was planted in lentils. That was where the encounter with the Philistine band had occurred the previous day. Shammah knew that the failure of the local troop of the Israelite army to defend the field would only encourage the enemy to resume the attack. Perhaps the enemy was at that moment closing in on them before the main body of Israelite soldiers had time to respond. There was no time to waste.
“Spread the alarm,” he urged his wife. “I’m going to the lentil field. Tell all the men to join me at once.”
Quickly he strapped on his weapons and breathing a prayer to Yahweh he hurried to the lentil field. Crouching stealthily he advanced through the standing lentils. This field was perhaps not worth much except as a food source but with the added strategic value it was definitely worth defending.
Shammah was not surprised to find a column of Philistines advancing through the dried wadi beyond the far side of the field. He crouched low, unseen by the enemy and advanced to the middle of the field. Knowing the rest of his soldiers could not get there in time he knew he was on his own and greatly outnumbered. He continued praying.
He lay hidden until the enemy was upon him. Shouting fiercely, he leaped to his feet and dispatched several of them before they knew what was happening. In their confusion they attempted to reorganize and counter attack. There were cacophonous shouts of surprise and pain mingled with loud clanks of steel on steel as the adversaries fought. But none of the Philistines could lay a weapon on the brave Israelite whose sword was a lethal extension of his arm. They were taking serious casualties from this one man army. The Bible tells us that “the Lord brought about a great victory.” In just a few minutes the survivors’ hearts melted in fear as they retreated from the field of battle.
Breathing heavily Shammah looked heavenward and praised the God of Israel from his heart. It had all happened so swiftly. Slowly he turned and began walking in tired but sure steps back toward his village, his wife, and his little girl.
“Safe,” he repeated to himself. They were safe by the hand of almighty Yahweh. He remembered the words King David had penned when he also was in a very tough spot in his life. “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2 NKJV)
Looking heavenward he prayed a prayer of thanks and praise, “Thank You Lord. I praise Your holy Name. Even though I was greatly outnumbered I know that numbers make no difference with You. Thank You for blessing my efforts of defending that little field of lentils. With You it is the principle that matters. Thank You for another revelation that one with You is enough and for the fact that one person with a godly purpose can accomplish exploits that defy explanation.”
He smiled wryly as he turned the corner and saw the Israelite troop from the village furtively marching toward him led by his exasperated wife who was trying her level best to get them to hurry.
He held up his hand. “Honey,” he said, “It’s over and they’re gone.” He folded her in his arms.
“Men, go clean up the mess,” he ordered. Sheepishly and with downcast eyes they hurried to respond.
Based on 2 Samuel 23:11-12
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