Thursday, March 28, 2013

Big Bad Benjaminites! Part 1

Our current topic is characteristics of Biblical Heroes. We’ve looked at the lessons from the Gadites and determined that they scream out Personal Discipline. Let’s add to their foundational skeleton the meaty message from the boys of Benjamin. Here is the text.

Now these were the men who came to David at Ziklag while he was still a fugitive from Saul the son of Kish; and they were among the mighty men, helpers in the war, armed with bows, using both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows with the bow. They were of Benjamin, Saul’s brethren.”  (1 Chronicles 12:1-2)

Unlike our previous examples (the Gadites) these Benjaminites are given much less ‘air time’ in the Word. Only a brief description is listed, but there are certain aspects that give us a clear picture of the Heroes’ Characteristic that is attributed to these 22 Benjaminites. One thing you pick up quickly from these two short verses is that they were Weapon’s Trained. The A-K 47’s of their day were arrows, swords, and stones. These guys had two of the three down very well!
I love the fact that these Benjaminites were not one-dimensional thinkers! They were not just good with their right hands, but were equally as dangerous with their left! They didn’t just knock you out with a perfectly thrown stone, they could bull’s eye an arrow right on your backside! These were very well trained militia, equally as dangerous when partially injured since you would have to take out both arms, not just one. Think about it, comfortable using both hands- the natural and the unnatural! To be even mildly adept at using your unnatural hand at anything requires an insane amount of practice.

I played basketball in my youth. One of the skills that we had to master was the ability to dribble with both hands and perform layups (the shots directly under the rim) with equal ability from either hand. If a guy shot a layup with his right hand from the left side of the basket he would hear about it even if it went in! It was imperative that we had a more versatile offensive weapon when close to the goal. I look like some kind of freak when I try to throw a football with my left hand because I never practiced that skill. However, I can still shoot a layup with my opposite hand best because of the loathsome training I was required to endure. Make no mistake, unnatural-handed training did not come easily to the Benjaminites, but it made them quite a formidable enemy. Being fully trained to use weapons from either hand made you much more of a threat and a desired ally.
Here is my point. According to Paul's Ephesians 6 description of our Spiritual Armor, the ONLY offensive weapon we carry is the "Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." WE MUST be trained, and I mean WELL trained, in the basics as well as the 'not-so-well-known' parts of this incredible Weapon. We must know and be able to use those parts that are "natural," popular and a natural fit for our personal giftedness and temperament. But we must also be trained in the parts that are obscure, unfamiliar to most, and not as "comfortable" with our personal wiring. Real heroes accept the challenge and make the difference so they can be effective at all times, regardless of the circumstances, climate, or environment. Train up, my good men, completely in the Holy Word.

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