And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines.
– 2 Samuel 23:11

This is somewhat of an obscure story from the Bible.  The context of the story was that Israel had sinned, and God had judged them and allowed the Philistines to conquer the land and people.  The lentils, or beans, were poor food but all the Israelites could hope to gather, because the Philistines were systematically starving them to death by chasing them away from their own crops on threat of death.

I guess on that day Shammah just had enough.  He was worried for his family’s welfare and knew that if they starved to death, it was on him.  Sometimes it takes frustration, injustice, and just being scared to produce courage.  His fellow Israelites fled before the Philistines whom out-numbered them and were intent on killing them.  They were also well-armed with swords, spears, and bows.

I think that enough injustice mixed with arrogant intolerance causes a person to stop being practical and logical and just accept that there are some things in life worth fighting for.  It wasn’t just the lentils.  It was that it was HIS lentils, his God-given lentils to provide for his family.  It was that there was some action that needed be taken in order to stop the destruction of his family, his integrity, and the respect of whom God had made him to be.

Freedom, even in death, is better than the slavery of tyranny.  It is better to be remembered dying for freedom and family than living, begging for evil to reward you by taking your convictions. The life of fear and bondage we cling to soon rots us to the very bones and takes the respect for ourselves, our ethics, our purpose, and our destiny that God has given us.  Shammah was a father, husband, and a friend who held to his convictions.

God always rewards those men and women who place convictions above comfort; promise and character above opulence and material satisfaction.  No one wants to die, but until you have something to die for, you will have nothing to live for, so find your why.  Find your who.

Oh yeah.  Read the rest of Shammah’s story.  God gave him the victory.  He killed or ran off the Philistines and took beans home for supper.

“But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the Lord wrought a great victory.
– 2 Samuel 23:12

— Written by Pa

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