So here it is, the truth, I love action films. I have tried period dramas but they make me feel a bit nauseous and dizzy. I have endured suspense and physiological thrillers, but I find them dull, pointless and upsetting.
I am not a macho man, I am not shaving my face with a broken shard of glass and gelling my hair with cooking lard. I am just a normal guy who happens to love action films, that’s all.
So, in light of that, let’s get to the action, here is my 10-blog series on My Top Ten Action Moments From The Bible. (Many more didn’t make this list, and will be in the next top ten I do.)
No .10 Benaiah
Benaiah means ‘The Lord has built’ or ‘son of the Lord’ – cool name, and in actual fact a serious warrior in the Old Testament.
Benaiah was not messing about, he was a sub commander under King David but soon got himself noticed for being a stand out fighter and general tough bloke. Benaiah slays a couple of brothers who were renowned to be very tough guys, they were even called the lion like brothers of Moab! Benaiah then kills an actual lion in a pit on a snowy day, then an Egyptian giant, he does him in with his own spear! Let’s just say Benaiah took his place as the head body guard for King David, who himself was no push over, and if someone needed sorting out Benaiah was called. Get the picture?
“In a pit, fighting a lion, on a snowy day….why would you do that?”
“Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds, killed the two sons of Ariel of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day.” 2 Samuel 23:20
So, I don’t know about you but when I read that I was left with a question, a rather obvious one really. In a pit….WHY? Fighting a lion….WHY? On a snowy day….yeah, you guessed it…WHY?
Does any of that make much sense to you? It’s snowing, you have just defeated a couple of seriously tough fellas and your on your way home for a cuppa. It’s snowing, cold, slippery and you’ve come out in your summer sandals. You see a lion, now that is enough for most of us to call time out, and head in the opposite direction, fast! The lion goes into a pit, a PIT! Have you got the picture, slipping and tripping your way into the lions domain looking for a fight.
I can honestly say I would rather be somewhere else, completely. But for some reason Benaiah finds himself in a pit, on a snowy day fighting a lion. Did he wander the wrong way? Had he got lost and found himself in deep trouble or did he see that beast from afar and go after it?
Some theologians suggest that this lion had gone in to the pit for winter, out of the forest. The lion would wander out at certain times and attack and kill local people and this of course, was not going down well with the community. So Benaiah seems to be operating here on that theory, from a position of heroism, which I love because it’s a great adventure.
The rest is history, we don’t get the details other than the historical account that Benaiah came from that pit with a new fur coat. (Ok so I made that bit up but he did kill the lion.)
I am not a hero really, I like to think I am but the truth is I’m not. But, I have found myself before in situations where, a bit like Benaiah, there isn’t much more that can go wrong. He was in a bad place, bad weather and with bad company.
Sometimes I think we find ourselves in the post-modern equivalent of this pit, and we can look around and think ‘ok so this is not where I want to be at all!’
However, what I have also found to be true, in the pit, on a terrible day with the worst of company, God can use this stuff to refine us, shape us and equip us in ways and for things that we had never dreamed possible. There may also be a victory or two that we can emerge with as well.
Image Credit: Word for WORD Bible Comic
The Word for WORD Bible Comic is a historically accurate, unabridged and untamed graphic novel of the Bible with a high view of Scripture.