Standing Your Ground (1 of 3)
II Samuel 23:11-12
"And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentils: and the people fled from the Philistines.12 But he (Shammah) stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory."
There are times in everyone's life, when they must make up their minds to stand up, and not back down. To stand means:
To pull yourself together and brace yourself
To not go back to the state of comfort or to a place where you felt at ease
To maintain proper rank, order, and station
To be alert
This passage is about a man who stood his ground against the forces of evil. Shammah, the son of Agee, was one of David's mighty men who proved himself worthy as he defended a field of lentils. That's right! Shammah put his life on the line for beans! It was the time of harvest when the Philistines attacked Israel. The people were working hard to gather their crops for the winter, when the Philistines suddenly attacked. Why? One purpose was to eradicate the Israelites. As a result, David and his mighty men had made a career out of slaughtering the Philistines. Actually, David began his career as a young boy by killing the Philistine giant, Goliath!
Another purpose was to destroy Israel's crops by driving them to hunger, weakening their will and ability to fight; which would lead to Israel's defeat and slavery! Lentils was a primary food in the Middle East. One of the tactics that the enemy used was to march through fields and trample the crops. The Philistines had dispatched a squadron of their soldiers to disrupt the harvesting of beans, killing anyone who would resist them, and then wasting the harvest. As the Philistines advanced everyone ran for their lives, everyone that is except one. Shammah right then and there decided to take a stand and defend this field!
Four Observations From The Bean Field
Satan is active in taking ground.
Verse 11a says, "And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentils."
The Philistines were a barbaric, cruel, pagan, and idol worshiping people who were in perpetual conflict with the children of Israel, God's chosen people and nation! Then or now, to fight against Israel is to fight against God!
If you are a Christian, you need to understand that there is a turf war going on! Every believer who stands determined to live for Jesus, is a warrior. Every believer is called to stand and defend his or her inheritance, his or her plot of real-estate, and his or her vital place of influence and service for Jesus Christ. You may not perceive your place to be important or strategic to the cause of Christ, but it is! Satan desires to make your life, your ministry, your calling, seem insignificant. Why? Satan wants you to move, and he wants you to give it up!
Do you think that field of lentils was a big prize? Absolutely not! In and of itself, it was not much to defend, but as a part of the whole, it was very significant! It was God's land, therefore it was important! Your place in the kingdom of God is important, not just because it belongs to God, but because it is yours as well. It is the place where warriors are made and saints are proven! If your place and your life was not valuable and important to God and His kingdom, there would not be a battle raging over it! The intensity of the warfare over your place, your life, your influence, and your future verifies its importance to God and His kingdom! This is why you must hold your ground!
Christians are giving up ground.
Verse 11b reads, "...and the people fled from the Philistines."
It is obvious from this passage that the far majority of the people of Israel, were controlled by fear, and had given in, to a defeated frame of mind. There was tremendous pressure on Shammah to follow the crowd! If he had, we would not be reading his name in this chapter. Going with the flow, Shammah would have simply blended into the background of his culture and times.
We have reshaped Christianity so that it comes without a cross. We have redefined sin so that it is more palatable. We have redefined grace so that we can abuse it and use our Christian liberty as an excuse to fulfill the desires of our flesh! Today it is just as hard to take a stand for Jesus Christ in a church or youth group, as it is in the world! In Titus 2:11, we are reminded that the "grace of God" instructs us to deny ungodliness! God's grace teaches us to live soberly or sensibly, righteously, and godly, in this present world!
There are fields worth defending.
Verse 12a reads. "But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines."
It seems that in every generation of Christians, there is some key ground that needs to be defended, needs to be held. As a child of God, are there some things that are non-negotiable in your life? There are fields that are worth defending and if needs be, regaining in the lives of Christians today! We have marriages that are under attack. We have families that are under attack. We have churches that are under attack. It’s time we take a stand.
You are never alone, every time you stand for God and His Word, God partners with You.
Verse 12b says, "...and the LORD wrought a great victory."
Shammah stood his ground, but it was God who defeated the Philistines that day in the bean field. The name Shammah points to this reality. Why choose the name, ....Shammah? It is taken from a reference to one of the many names the Hebrew Scriptures attributed to our all mighty God. The name Jehovah Shammah means the Lord is present. Shammah's faith was not in himself, but in the God he served! God was there! He is Jehovah Shammah. God gave the victory. He is Jehovah Nissi!