Thursday, October 23, 2008

Into the Pit

There was also Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two of Moab's mightiest warriors. Another time he chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it. Another time, armed only with a club, he killed a great Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian's hand and killed him with it. 2 Samuel 23:20-21

I recently read a book that I would like to recommend: In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day. As I began reading it, I found myself highlighting phrase after phrase. I could not put it down. The book revolves around an Old Testament character named Benaiah.

Although biblical references of Benaiah are relatively few, we are introduced to a remarkable and inspirational character -- the kind of man that is desperately needed in our world today. The first time I learned of Benaiah, I was a much younger man trying to eke out a pioneer church plant in northern Maine. During that time, I remember asking God, time after time, to give me the courage to chase my lions -- rather than run from them. Since then, I have slain a few, and I have run from others.

On the back of the book is the teasing question, What if the life you really want, and the future God wants for you is hiding right now in your biggest problem, your worst failure . . .your greatest fear?

Retrospect has taught me that the sanest moments of life are those when we cast safety and convention to the wind, chase down our lions -- our biggest problems, worst failures, greatest fears -- leap into their pits, and kill them.


  1. I'm so glad that someone has recognized Benaiah in book form! He and those other mighty men are awesome, and I love the fact that their lives are portrayed so matter-of-factly in the scriptures. Take Shammah, for example. He killed a whole army in a "field of lentils." You just can't make this stuff up.

  2. Hi, I work on the Threads team at LifeWay. Threads is a movement to help churches reach the young adult generation. Mark Batterson actually worked with Threads to produce the Bible study based on "In a Pit" titled "Chase the Lion". The study takes you deeper and has a lot of new content from Mark. Just thought you might want to check it out.

  3. Bill,
    I remember standing there twenty-plus years ago watching you chase some of those lions. It was inspiring...and cold.
    I will find the book tomorrow. Thanks the consistent encouragement.

  4. From what I hear, it is a great book! You are the third person this week who has brought it up.