I want to take a minute to talk about a guy in the bible who is quite easily overlooked. He is given less than a full chapter in the entire bible but his story is fascinating. The bible says that he fought an armed man with his bare hands and won. He stole the dude’s spear and killed him with it.
Then it goes on to say that he was walking in the wilderness one day and saw a lion. Now, I don’t know about you, but, if I saw a lion I would immediately go into “get the heck out of here” mode. I see lions in cages and they freak me out. This guy was different. I don’t know if he was deranged or brave or just plain stupid, but he saw the lion and decided, “I’m going to chase that thing.”
Benaiah did just that. He chased the lion. The Bible also tells us that this particular day was snowy, which means slippery. Then it says the lion fell into a ditch and Benaiah followed him. Let’s get this straight… Guy sees lion. Guy chases lion. Guy chases lion into a pit. Guy chases lion into pit on a slippery, snowy day. What guts (or stupidity).
It’s amazing that we can read this story and not all of us be completely moved by it; that we wouldn’t be challenged by it. How many lions do we have in our lives that need to be chased?
I’m talking about your lying, and your cheating. Your foul language, pornography addictions, and drinking problems. I’m talking drug using and abusing. Things like authority issues and rebellion. Overeating and gluttony. Bad attitudes and negativity. These and so many more are lions that are threatening to devour us. Benaiah’s story wasn’t added to the Word to teach us to run away from things… it was there to teach us to CHASE THEM.
To run from something is to give it authority and to show that we fear it. The Bible said he destroyed the lion. We are called to conquer our vices and our sins, not to run from them. What do we learn by running away? We don’t overcome by running away, we sort of give up. When Benaiah chased that lion, he said to himself, (I would guess) “I’m not afraid of that thing. I can take it and I’m going to prove it.”
When I get to heaven, I don’t want anything standing between me and God. I don’t want sins of commission (things I did) or sins of omission (things I didn’t do that I should have) keeping me from hearing “Well done.” If God has called us to be more than conquerers and we never conquerer anything at all, where does the “more than” fit in?
THE CHALLENGE: Conquer something!
1 The wicked man flees though no one pursues,
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
2 When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers,
but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.
3 A ruler who oppresses the poor
is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.
4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law resist them.
5 Evil men do not understand justice,
but those who seek the LORD understand it fully.
6 Better a poor man whose walk is blameless
than a rich man whose ways are perverse.
7 He who keeps the law is a discerning son,
but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.
8 He who increases his wealth by exorbitant interest
amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.
9 If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law,
even his prayers are detestable.
10 He who leads the upright along an evil path
will fall into his own trap,
but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.
11 A rich man may be wise in his own eyes,
but a poor man who has discernment sees through him.
12 When the righteous triumph, there is great elation;
but when the wicked rise to power, men go into hiding.
13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper,
but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
14 Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD,
but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.
15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
is a wicked man ruling over a helpless people.
16 A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment,
but he who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long life.
17 A man tormented by the guilt of murder
will be a fugitive till death;
let no one support him.
18 He whose walk is blameless is kept safe,
but he whose ways are perverse will suddenly fall.
19 He who works his land will have abundant food,
but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.
20 A faithful man will be richly blessed,
but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.
21 To show partiality is not good—
yet a man will do wrong for a piece of bread.
22 A stingy man is eager to get rich
and is unaware that poverty awaits him.
23 He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor
than he who has a flattering tongue.
24 He who robs his father or mother
and says, “It’s not wrong”—
he is partner to him who destroys.
25 A greedy man stirs up dissension,
but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.
26 He who trusts in himself is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.
27 He who gives to the poor will lack nothing,
but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.
28 When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding;
but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.