I often thought of myself as a weakling…weak in body and spirit. I had a degree of athletic ability in high school, and had five varsity letters in three sports. But I was never outstanding in any of them to the point where the colleges came knocking at my door.
My biggest claim to fame was when I spent a day at a choral music festival in Newcomerstown, Ohio, and stayed in the same home as Bob Huggins, now the head basketball coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers.We played a pick-up game of basketball and a crowd grew to watch us.
We all knew the main draw was Bobby H. He was an All-Ohioan for a couple years and was highly recruited by a number of colleges. But we all put on a pretty good show, if I do say so myself.
What happened to me? My meager basketball, tennis, baseball, and softball prowess is virtually gone. I’m 58 years old and about five years ago my wife and son teased me when I played church league softball that I ran “like an old man”.
So now to my point…I have read a number of times about David’s mighty men/warriors in II Samuel 23. David had a number of mighty men, but there were three that in today's terms we would call his “right-hand” men. The exploits of the three are amazing, and it’s obvious the hand of God was on them. Josheb killed eight hundred men in one encounter. In a battle against the Philistines Eleazar stood his ground when the rest of Israel retreated, and his hand “froze to his sword”. Shammah defended a field of lentils all by himself against a large band of Philistines and brought about “a great victory”.
I know that at my age I can’t physically fight eight hundred men, and I don’t think God is asking me to do so. But perhaps I can I fight a spiritual battle of epic proportions. Perhaps I can fall on my face before God to the point where he uses me to snatch eight hundred persons from the fire of hell and bring them into a wonderful eternity in heaven.
In 2001 my brother was shot by an intruder at work that he tried to tackle. The Lord spared his life, but he became blind. The incident left me in shock at first. But after my brother recovered to some degree I thought about his bravery, and the fact that the Lord spared his life. I then thought about Jesus’ words in Matthew 10 and Luke 12 about sparrows. Jesus was giving the lesson that we need not be afraid of men.
I’m not saying I have it all figured out, and that I’m braver than the next guy. But God put the plan in place whereby you and I can become one of “the mighty men”.
See you next time,