“Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day. And he killed an Egyptian, a spectacular man (the Chronicles account states the Egyptian was 5 cubits in height and his spear was the size of a weaver’s beam). The Egyptian had a spear in his hand; so he went down to him with a staff, wrested the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. These things Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did, and won a name among the three mighty men. He was more honorable than the thirty, but he did not attain to the first three. And David appointed him over his guard.” (2 Samuel 23:20-23 and 1 Chronicles 11:22-23)
The characteristics that gave Benaiah the mantle of honor starts with the subtle explanation of the three battles that are listed twice in the Scriptures (noted above). He fought an Egyptian, a couple of Moabites, and a lion. Interestingly, Egypt is always a picture of “the world,” the cultural norms and pinnacle of human achievements. The Moabites started out through vile immorality and are constantly guilty of sensual, lascivious actions that were a perverse and unfortunately strong influence on Israel; this is a picture of “the flesh.” (Note: Rahab was the ONLY bright spot in Moab’s history, and an encouragement for us all.) The third battle Benaiah fought was with a lion, an obvious picture that the Apostle Peter described of our most dreadful enemy, “the devil.” So there you have the story in a nutshell – Benaiah overcame the “world,” the “flesh,” and the “devil,” key ingredients of a man of honor. We all face these three enemies on a daily basis, some more often than others, but the man of honor learns how to defeat them all. It’s no surprise that all of our armed forces use the word, “honor,” to describe the caliber of warrior they desire to inspire.
Take notice this week of the number of encounters you face with these three enemies. Mentally record the battles you win and the ones you lose. (Don't pretend you can't do that - we're men, we always keep score!) Go for the gold, my fellow heroic protege', and make the score an annihilation of the adversary, a complete victory, and give no ground over to these 'life-eaters.' This is a choice, a conscious decision. Make it, and make it again, and again. Be a Benaiah.