And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a valiant man of Kabzeel, a doer of great deeds. He struck down two ariels [champions?] of Moab. He also went down and struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. 2 Samuel 23:20
An extremely rare event took place in Midland, Georgia today – IT SNOWED! I was upstairs sanding sheet rock and stopped to enjoy the magical white stuff floating to the ground and worry about this sure sign of global warming.
Benaiah came to mind . . .
Benaiah’s legacy figures prominently in the Old Testament books of 1 and 2 Samuel; 1 and 2 Kings; 1 and 2 Chronicles. Heroism, tenacity, and loyalty are Benaiah’s trademark characteristics. King David trusted Benaiah with his life, without reserve, and made him his personal bodyguard. He knew Benaiah would cover his back.
When young Solomon succeeded his father to the throne, Benaiah transferred his devotion, his allegiance, and his fierce loyalty to David’s son. It was Benaiah who executed Adonijah, Joab, and Shimei -- treacherous and traitorous, every last one of them.
When I was a younger man, I prayed that I would leave a legacy like Benaiah’s (with the exception of being an executioner -- mostly). I considered it an honor to display a heroic and tenacious loyalty to the authority I was under. I wanted to be the one who covered my leader’s back.
Then as a young pastor vested with authority -- the biblical kind -- I consistently asked God to send me a Benaiah . . .
A while ago, circumstances led a good friend to unite with a Baptist congregation across the Chattahoochee River. His new church is growing by leaps and bounds. Its pastor is young, on fire, imperfect, and blameless. When I spoke at this same church several months ago, my friend and I spent a few minutes talking and reminiscing after the service. Our conversation led to his question, “Bill, do you have any advice for me as I serve here?”
My friend is a stand-up guy -- the kind of guy you want in your foxhole when the shooting begins. My response came instantly . . .
“Go study the life of Benaiah. Be a Benaiah.”