Heroes. The Bible is full of them! Some are globally popular, like David, the giant killer. But there are others, like Benaiah who killed a lion in the pit on a snowy day, who are basically unknown and stay in relative obscurity. The stories of burning passion mixed with super-human strength are actually quite common across the pages of God’s Word but they seem to lie unread, untapped, and thus left in oblivion. It seems that in every age there are these tough hombres that saw themselves as capable men, able to make a difference by defending Israel and the Kingdom and fighting against immeasurable odds. I read about them, study them, and then stop and ponder – where are these guys today? Is the only location for these “gladiator” style super-heroes on our sports channels? Oh, please, NO!
Let me whet your appetite by giving you some examples of such biblical heroes. There is a man called “Adino” that was challenged by 800 Philistines and he routed them all by himself (2 Samuel 23:8). Man, I want THAT guy on my team! There are the Gadites that crossed the Jordan during the monsoon season, when the river was overflowing its banks (1 Chronicles 12:15). Hey, it’s hard enough to cross the Jordon in normal conditions, and these guys did it when the flood warnings had been issued. I’d take any of them to be on my defensive line and pity any quarterback or fullback that gets the ball. These men are beasts! Or how about Eleazar that stood up and attacked the Philistines until his hand was so weary it literally stuck to his sword until the battle was over (2 Samuel 23:9). You talk about a committed warrior, a true man of principle, yet this guy’s name is virtually unknown.
I spoke of David and his famous battle, but did you know that he fought 4 other giants later in his reign as King? Check out 2 Samuel 21:15-22 and see how he obviously needed all of those “5 smooth stones!” I mentioned a man named Benaiah that fought the worst of enemies (a lion), in the worst of places (a pit), in the worst of conditions (on a snowy day). He also fought two lion-like heroes of Moab and a spectacular Egyptian to become one of the mighty men of David. He is briefly mentioned in Scripture but what a great role model. He was brave (willing to fight the most deadly of enemies), creative (he wrested the spear from the Egyptian and used it against him), and showed initiative (he went after the lion, not waiting on the lion to come to him). What father would not want to model and teach these attributes to his sons! But I must ask the question again - Where are these guys today? Where are the Davids, Adinos, and Eleazars?
I believe these guys are here today! I believe in the hearts of many of our young men (and matured men) is a longing to be more. To be the lion killers, the nation-savers, the ones that will answer the call to fight against all odds. I believe our culture has been slowly and meticulously emasculating our men removing all the tools and environments that create these heroes. Unfortunately, I also believe our churches have unwittingly done the same thing. In the weeks to come I will address some of the current trends that I believe are rendering impotent the seeds of heroism in our men. These are dreadfully desperate days and we need heroes, fully devoted risk-takers to stand in the gap, face the impossible odds, and allow their hands to grow weary while slinging the Sword, never giving up. Unless there are some significant changes in our “training fields” this battle will never even begin. Bear with me.