The cold air cut against his face. Every part of his body was frozen. But the fiery furnace in his heart kept his whole body warm. This passion, this aggression, this purpose, seemed to allow his body to move in swift mobility. Although his troops retreated, he stood firmly planted. With a battle cry he charged forward with explosive eyes and a sword frozen to his hand. He couldnt stop killing, even if he wanted to. He had become one with the sword. On this day, one man, Eleazar, defeated an entire Philistine army.
This story is found in 2 Samuel 23:9-10. I bet they didnt tell you that story in Sunday school, did they? In fact, I'm almost certain that none of you reading this has ever even heard about Eleazar. I know I never have. As I was reading the account of "David's Mighty Warriors" in 2 Samuel 23, this short passage jumped out at me. God actually taught me a valuable lesson through a verse that often goes overlooked. This is how the verse reads:
"Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. Then the Israelites retreated, but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead." (NIV)
So what does this story have to do with us? Everything. When I read this story, it reminds me of our duty as Christians. There is an ongoing warfare between Good and Evil, and as Christians, we were born-again right in the middle of it. As we fight for good, it can feel like everything is against us. There has definitely been moments that I felt completely outnumbered by the darkness. I'll never forget walking through Vegas one night and feeling overwhelmed by the darkness that I saw. On the streets of Vegas, I was face to face with sin, depression, sex-slavery, and oppression. But in the times where we feel outnumbered like Eleazar clearly was, we need to cling to our weapon of choice. We need to be so devoted to obliterating sin and darkness that our sword freezes to our hands.
So what is our sword? The Bible. Ephesians 6:17 calls us to take up the "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God". Also in Hebrews 4:12 the author writes, "The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword" Yet again in Revelation 19:15, a sword is coming out of Jesus' mouth which can easily symbolize the Word of God. The Word of God is our spiritual firearm. We must embrace the sacred text of Truth and allow it to transform our lives.
It concerns me with how many Christians struggle to read the Bible. Once we understand that the Bible is historically accurate and reliable, there should be a passion that stirs in us and causes us to read it with the hope that its words are true. When we realize that its words are true, we then can read it with expectation that God will do what he promises in his chosen text. The promises he makes in this massive love letter are unbelievable. One of my favorite promises that helps me get through every day is Romans 8:28, "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Once it finally clicks in our minds that God is a loving Father, who only wishes to bless his children with abundant life (John 10:10) then it gives us the confidence to surrender our entire lives to our Creator. He knows best and the dreams he has for us far outweigh anything we can dream of.
We can't expect to live our daily lives filled with this purpose if we aren't reading our word. Not only is the word our spiritual weapon, but it is also our fuel. We need to consume Truth every day because there is an army that is trying to steal your joy and your hope, all with the intention of discouraging you so that you don't walk in the powerful destiny that God has planned for your life. Remain in the Word. Remain in God's Truth. Allow the sword to freeze to your hand.