In December, 2003, Dave Young, Sr., Jim Dalton, Keith and Kim Kasarjian, Cy Stafford, Kathy and I all stopped for lunch at a picnic area in Tarangire National Park south of Arusha, Tanzania. We stood a short distance from our vehicles, and I prayed for the food. About midway through the prayer, a lion roared. The sound felt as if it went straight through us, and every eye popped open to see exactly where the big cat was. Afterward, Cy told us it could have been a mile away. The roar was so powerful, it felt like he was spitting (eating?) distance away from us.
Since then, every time I read about a particular conquest of Benaiah, one of David’s mighty men, I think back to that hot African day.
2 Samuel 23:20 so nonchalantly reports, “…He also went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day.” Notice three things about this exploit. First, the foe was ferocious. It was a lion, one of nature’s fiercest predators. It is likely to be an aggressor when confronted by a man. Second, the field of battle was foreboding. Try to put yourself in Benaiah’s position. You are down in a pit facing the king of the jungle. It is very unlikely one can outrun a lion on flat ground in ideal circumstances, but where do you run down in a pit? Finally, the forecast was definitely a factor! What was the traction and footing like for David’s mighty man in this battle? Yet, the outcome, incredibly, was that Benaiah faced this foe and won!
Have you ever found yourself in a seemingly impossible circumstance? Maybe a powerful temptation, a chronic illness, a perpetual enemy, a prolonged financial crisis, a wayward loved one, or other thorn in the flesh or spirit? Maybe you felt like giving up. Maybe you have given up. I urge you to be a Benaiah, fighting valiantly adorned with the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:10ff). Realize that you do not fight alone, that God will aid you (1 Cor. 10:13) and lead you to victory every time (1 Jo. 5:4). Your lion, pit, or snowy day may be figurative, but that makes God’s aid no less likely. You keep fighting, and He will give you victory!