One morning last November, I woke up to these words from the Lord, “Stand up for truth wherever you can. Don’t just go along to get along, lest the darkness encroach even more.” It’s a hard message in our society in which truth is relative and tolerance reigns. We are expected to accept people’s beliefs no matter what they are, and when we don’t, we have a fight on our hands. But tolerating and accepting something today just leads the enemy to expect us to support and applaud it tomorrow. Every inch of ground we give up of truth just allows the enemy to dig deeper into God’s territory with his lies. This leads me to the story of Shammah, son of Agee, from 2 Samuel 23:11-12.
Shammah was one of about 30 of David’s mighty men of valor listed in 2 Samuel 23. These men not only had skill, but they also carried the blessings of God. Shammah is mentioned third, and his story goes that the Philistines, the archrival and nemesis of the Israelites at the time, were lined up against God’s people over a piece of ground full of lentils. Many fled in fear, but not Shammah. “But he stationed himself in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory.”
One little patch of legumes might not have seemed like a lot to some people. After all, the Israelites grew all sorts of crops. The Philistines, on the other hand, were sea-faring people who didn’t do much farming, so they were used to taking what they wanted by force instead. But this little patch didn’t just represent food for God’s people. It was a blessing that God had given to them. It was rightfully theirs. It was also, according to commentaries, strategically located on the edge of Israelite territory. That one little lentil patch given up today could become a launching station for a greater Philistine attack tomorrow. Giving up the ground would allow the enemy to encroach into God’s territory, and Shammah wasn’t having it.
Shammah stood up to the Philistines alone when others fled. He stood his ground at great personal cost to himself, but God gave him the victory. I just today finished with my latest chapters in our Blogging Through the Bible series in 2 Chronicles 13-14, and I wrote about two other such victories given to men of God who stood on His promises. Abijah was victorious over Jeroboam even outmatched two to one, and Asa conquered the Ethiopians even though they had almost four times the number of soldiers as Asa. The odds simply don’t matter when God is on your side, and both men were given great rewards for their faithfulness.
The moral of the story of Shammah is that we must defend the little bean patches in our own lives. In the Song of Solomon 2:15, we learn that it is the little foxes that spoil the vines. Sometimes it isn’t one big thing that can cause real damage, but a lot of little things. We must fight for the truth in our lives, even in little places where it might seem easier to compromise or allow the enemy to take the ground. When we stand for the truth rightly given to us by God, we may get a few bumps and bruises, but the enemy will be stopped in his tracks and God will reward us for being faithful.
Shammah is a great character, but my favorite little known Bible character is Manasseh, King of Judah. He was an idolatrous king who turned to God during a time of great distress. His story teaches about the great grace that God gives to those who turn to him with their whole hearts. It has taught me a new way to pray for my lost loved ones. Check out that article here, “Hope For Lost Loved Ones: God’s Great Mercy in Trials.”
This lovely post is part of a series. If you missed the others, you can catch the intro/index >>here<<