He also went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day.
2 Samuel 23:20
I have loved this text for the longest time but I never knew what to do with it. It is the record of one of David’s mighty men named Benaiah. Among David’s mighty men there was a group called THE THREE and a group called THE THIRTY. Benaiah excelled among the Thirty but he never attained to the Three. He faced off with an armed and impressive Egyptian soldier only to steal the man’s sword and kill him with it. He was the Steven Seagal of three thousand years ago. King David made him captain of his personal guard.
So what do you do on a snowy day? Sit around and write blogs? Watch TV and hope the power doesn’t go out? Wash a few cloths and dream of Jamaica? Not Benaiah. He finds a pit with a lion in it. (By the way, what is the lion doing in the pit? Probably slipped in the snow.) Benaiah finds this unfortunate lion and, having nothing else to do on a snowy day, jumps in and kills him. They did not call them David’s mighty men for nothing.
So what do you say about such a biblical text? I have long wanted to preach a sermon from it, but there you are. I have already told you all I know.
I was once told of a missionary who labored in a place where Roman Catholicism was very strong. He was forever addressing the subject of infant baptism. Eventually he returned to his native land where he took up the pastorate of a local church. But he just couldn’t break the habit of preaching on infant baptism. Every sermon had something to say about infant baptism.
The deacons of his weary church came up with a plan to help the man or at least to have one sermon that didn’t mention infant baptism. They requested a sermon from a very specific passage of the Bible that they were sure could not be used to talk about infant baptism. Genesis 3. They asked him to preach on Adam and Eve hiding from God in the Garden of Eden.
The pastor was impressed that his congregation would ask him to preach on such a subject and he happily agreed. On Sunday morning he rose to preach and read the passage from Genesis. “My message this morning has three points,” he said. “Point number one: everybody is somewhere. Point number two: some of us are in places we ought not to be. And point number three: I would like to say just a few words about infant baptism.”
Perhaps I could do the same with 2 Samuel 23:20. Point number one: there is much good to be done every day. Point number two: but apparently some people just don’t have enough to do. And point number three: I would like to say just a few words about Jesus.
What a wonderful Savior he is!