Tuesday, March 22, 2011

40 Days of Lint, Day Twelve: Outstanding in Your Field

The card read, “Happy Birthday to a guy who’s out standing in his field!” On the front was a farmer in the middle of a field of wheat. We told my uncle it was really alfalfa, since that’s what he grew on his land and he laughed at the pun. However, it’s not just a fun play on words. In order to get ahead in agriculture, or anything else, you have to spend time in your field.

Shammah was one of King David’s mighty men who excelled at what he did, because he continued to work diligently, even when the odds were against him. When Samuel listed the thirty-seven faithful warriors who served David, he began with the exploits of the “Three.” Shammah was one of the elite of these elite men in David’s army:

lentils come in a surprising variety of colors!
“When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought about a great victory” (2 Samuel 23:11-12).

Maybe you’re thinking, “So what? A guy stood his ground in the middle of a field of beans and defeated the enemy. How does that affect me?”

Lentils may not tantalize your palate, but they were essential food to the Israelites - they were filling, cheap, and nourishing. So often those are the things for which we fail to take a stand - the basics. The everyday stuff seems too boring to bother with. Guard a rare treasure? Yes! A secret passageway to a hidden world? Sure thing! But Shammah was willing to risk his life in the defense of lentils.

What is it that’s most basic in our lives – those that sustain, yet seem ordinary? The Bible. Family. Marriage, as God defines it. Purity. If we’re ever going to keep what God has given to us, we must value it first. Only then can we stand to defend it when the enemy attacks.

The second thing I see in these verses is that everyone else ran away. Yet Shammah still won the battle. Was he inspired by his great passion for lentils? Did he succeed because he stood in the middle of the field where no one could sneak up on him? Or was he a rebel soldier who worked best alone? None of the above. Shammah won because he fought for God.

So there’s still hope for us. We might be listed in the heavenly records as an outstanding warrior in our field. Shammah’s friends ran away. There will be times when our friends and family will not stay to fight the enemy, even when we’re fighting to rescue them! How many of us agonize daily in prayer for others who do not value their minds, bodies, and eternal destiny as much as we do. But with God’s angel army surrounding us, we have the advantage. God is working and those who live for Him are on the winning side. Don’t let the enemy chase you off your land; stay and fight!

Lint Removed: Enemy Forces
Cleaning Process: Stand and Fight for Your Lentils

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