"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?...Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly;" 2 Cor 9:24-26

Mighty Men part 2

Posted by Emma on January 27, 2009 | Filed under: Character,Strength

2 Samuel 23 goes beyond just describing the mighty men. It also includes an act that the three mightiest of the mighty men did. I’ve been contemplating that act for the past few days. It is a very daring feat.

“And David was then in an hold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. And David longed, and said, ‘Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!’ And the three mighty men broke through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the Lord. And he said, ‘Be it far from me, O Lord, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives?’ Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men.” 2 Samuel 23:14-17 

These mighty men had character. In this story we see that they were willing to risk their lives for the wishes of their authority. David did not order them to go get him water. He merely wished to have a drink of that water. These three men picked up on that wish and worked together to see it accomplished. How often do I hear my authorities wish something and just brush it aside because it does not seem reasonable or it is not convenient. I do not think it was very convenient for the these men to break through the host of the Philistines and draw some water. It would have been very easy and acceptable for them to do nothing about that wish. They had something unique in them. Maybe they did not know what easy was. They did a lot of hard things. But I think it was more than that. I think they honored, respected and loved David enough to do whatever was required to please him. I know I do not always have that kind of love for my parents, but what would happen if I did? If I want to be mighty, I need to work on honor and respect. I need to not pass by the wishes of my authorities. I must do what I can to see that they are fulfilled, even when it is not convenient or does not seem possible. I should look for the possibility. Not only should I be carrying out the wishes of my authorities on earth, but more importantly I should be carrying out the wishes of my heavenly Father. I should seek to fulfill His wishes with all my might and serve Him with all my strength. That is a way I can be mighty and use that might for a good purpose. 

Mighty Men part 1 | Mighty Men part 2

Mighty Men

Posted by Emma on January 22, 2009 | Filed under: Character

I was reading in 2 Samuel today and came across the passage about David’s mighty men. I’ve always been fascinated with their adventures. Might and strength have always attracted me. I grew up despising weakness and admiring strength and power, but I admired physical strength and power. As I matured my view of strength and weakness changed. I still dislike, even at times despise, weakness in myself, but now it is spiritual weakness, weakness in character and mind. I still admire strength but it is spiritual strength and strength of character. David’s mighty men had strength. While reading chapter 23 (the chapter on the mighty men) I was wondering how it could apply to me, today, in the twenty-first century. I came to realize that the characteristics they displayed could be applied to my life.  Here are a few of the characteristics I saw that I could apply to my life.

1. The first of the mighty men mentioned is Adino a Tachmonite. Adino killed 800 men at one time with his spear. Killing 800 men at one time is no easy accomplishment. From this I  identified a few characteristics, mighty men aren’t afraid to risk a lot and do hard things, mighty men aren’t afraid when out-numbered and mighty men don’t stop. If I am to be mighty I must not be afraid of the cost or size of something. I must stop at nothing but victory and I must stand up and do hard things.

2. The second mighty man mentioned is Eleazar son of Dodo. He used his sword against the Philistines until it clung to his hand. When I read that I remembered that I also have a sword, the Sword of the Lord, which is the Word of God. I should use this sword until it becomes one with me.

3. The third man mentioned is Shammah. He stood his ground, when all the others ran away and defended  a plot of land. The Lord worked a great victory through him. He risked all to win. To be mighty, I must be willing to risk it all and I must stand my ground. I cannot run from the battle, if I want to win.  A mighty man defends his ground. There is ground in my life I can defend and I must if I wish to be called mighty. 

4. The greatest thing that all these men seemed to have is that they were willing to let God work through them. God is the one ultimately credited with the victories because He is the one who gave the strength to win them. If I am to be mighty I must let God work through me to win the victories. I cannot do it in my own strength or might. In the might of the Lord, I must go out and fight the Lord’s battles. 

Those are the three mightiest of David’s men. They fought alone and they fought together but they always fought for the Lord with His help. As I’m living and fighting I must be willing to fight alone and I must be willing to fight with others but I must always fight for the Lord, with His help. He is the one who ultimately gives strength and victory. I must rely on Him. “The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.” Psalms 118:14

Mighty Men part 1 | Mighty men part 2

The Race

Posted by Emma on January 5, 2009 | Filed under: Life's Race

A long road stretches across the countryside. The end of it cannot be seen. Now and then it bends as it heads up the hill, then it straightens back out. Now and then along the road a runner can be seen. Some are tiring, some seem to have lots of energy and are going strong. Most of them seem to have something in front of them. Something they are trying to reach, the prize. 

What race is this? The race of life. That is what I can see as I look out from where I am now. I am on a road, the road of the Christian life. There are other Christians also on this road. Some are ahead of me. They have drawn to closer places with the Lord. This does not cause me to despair, but pushes me further. If they could do it, so can I (with the Lord’s help). The road of life twists and turns. I cannot always see where it is leading. From above you can see that it leads in the perfect way to the King, but on it, you can only see a small distance. At times it seems that it would be best to make a short cut through the fields on the edges of the road. That is a bad idea. Those “short cuts” can lead into disaster and cause you to get way off track. I must stay on the road and run. I have the prize in mind. The prize that the King will bestow on me, if I show myself faithful. I run all, that I may obtain. 

That is the image I get when I read the words of Paul, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?” And then I go on to the next part of the verse, “So run, that ye may obtain.” Run! You can obtain if you don’t give up! Give your all to the race of the Master. Give your all to your Master. 

But this is not as easy as it may sound. A runner doesn’t just go out and run a race. They must work at it. So to we must, “keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” We must practice and work out as we are running. We must practice self-control and work to have a greater knowledge of the Scriptures and our Lord. We must practice praying and living for the Lord and we must work to do so. There are many ways in which we work out and bring our body into subjection so that we can run all.

And so as we are on this race of life, let us run all so that we may obtain. Every step forward brings us closer to the finish line and final goal, and draws us into a closer relationship with the Master. So make it each step matter. Run, not uncertainly. Fight for that prize. Run all, you can obtain!