October 5, 2009 Ration

II Samuel 23:12

“But [Shammah] took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines, and the Lord worked a great victory.”

There are days when enemies draw together at fields of lentil to battle, to claim it, to have it for their own.

There are days when men will muster themselves against such a matter. They may come together mightily while distance lies between them and foe. They may even demand, threaten, or pass blazing resolutions from afar. Yet when sabers begin to rattle, they rarely run to the lines.

There are few men who actually take a stand in the midst of a plot, defend it, and strike down an enemy. Shammah is counted among these very few, valiant men. Artists, be bold in the Lord like this man and take your stand when enemies come to spoil your fields and pleasures.

Artists have a place in the body that not only works to encourage the peace and rest of the people, but also works to arouse the zeal and motivation of the people. Your weapon may not be a sword, artist, but you must never neglect to fight for your peoples’ greatest freedom and joy! Shammah took a stand and the Lord worked a great victory for him. Boldness is what we need because Strength is ready to strengthen the bold.

Though all the men who initially come out with you fall back with fear, remember Shammah and take your stand in the strength of the Lord. Though the enemy now greatly outnumbers you, remember Shammah and take your stand in the strength of the Lord. Though fears of scorn, censure, or even your demise arise within you, remember Shammah and take your stand in the One who put Death to death that you might live. Indeed, that you would live ready to die.

There are many in the world like the Philistines who pillage the pleasures the Lord has given for the enjoyment of His people. May we not be counted among them. We are among them when we pursue such pleasures for our own gain. We are among them when we do not regard such pleasures as coming from God for our enjoyment in Him. We are among them when we covet our neighbor's portion rather than enjoy our neighbor's portion while sharing with him ours. May we never be counted among them.

And may we never surrender to them. As Jonathan reminds us, “…the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few” (I Sam. 14:6). Shammah may have recalled this himself. So when the Lord gives you a plot for your enjoyment in Him, then stand boldly, humbly, ready to defend it. Look to Him for your strength and not to yourself, and surely not to another man or means. Be careful not to let your emotions take the reins. That is often the first battle. Emotions have their place, but their strength is not in making decisions. Employ them to articulate the decisions that Faith makes.

Artists, there is no doubt there will be a “lentil plot” where you are in its midst with enemies around, and you must take a stand to defend it. Remember Shammah that day, and remember the great victory that the Lord worked for him. He was one of the few valiant men.

Jason Harms


© 2009 The Gaius Project