Summary: Typically when we read of a Biblical hero in crisis, the next sentence starts with ’But God ...’. Do you experience the ’But God’

Suicide Gorge is well known among hikers. Follow river from top of mountain. Incredibly steep. In the first few minutes you drop hundreds of metres ... by jumping off the top of the waterfalls. Only way is to jump. I can’t lie to you by saying that I wasn’t scared.

We were taken by someone who has been down the gorge I don’t know how many times. He assured me it was safe. I’d read about it, all the books said it was safe. I even had a permit BUT when I stood at the top of the waterfall looking into what seemed a tiny pool, that’s when I needed to put faith into all the head knowledge that had been given to me.

Isn’t that what Christianity is all about? You need to learn about it from reading and talking to others who have more experience but there comes a time when you have to commit yourself to jumping in, no turning back.

Want you to decide to be like Eleazar this morning. Decide to make a stand against all odds, and God will help you.

2 Samuel 23:9,10

9 Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty men, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. Then the men of Israel retreated, 10 but he 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.

1. Eleazar

a) don’t know much about him except that he could have been an outcast or a thief - those are the type of people that gathered around David when he was on the run.

b) His name means God Help Him - Anyone whose father’s name is Dodo needs a name like God help him.

c) Names were very important, you were given a name for a reason and there was a reason why this child was called God Help Him - he had a rough start, they didn’t think he would make it.

d) He had a sad story, I’ve heard plenty of sad stories ...

e) Eleazar had a bad start and then it got worse ... he ended up at

2. PAS DAMMIM boundary of blood

a) 1Sam 17:1 This is where Philistines were camped just before Goliath was killed.

b) must be a common place for battles. Not the place I would like to be. Boundary of blood - this is where it ends - it’s them or us!

c) It gets worse - Everyone deserted him? Imagine the feeling

d) Has that ever happened to you? ILLUS. Carmel - leadership training.

e) When they came to arrest Jesus, we read these words Mark 14:50 Then everyone deserted him and fled.

Isai 63:5 I looked, but there was no-one to help, I was appalled that no-one gave support

f) We all get to that place where we think everyone has left us, or even that things are so bad, BUT JESUS KNOWS JUST WHAT WE ARE GOING THROUGH and he will never leave us.

3. BUT

a) God Help Him is in the place nobody wants to be and then it says BUT!

b) Ps 3:1-3 O LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2 Many are saying of me, "God will not deliver him." Selah 3 But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.

c) It doesn’t matter how sad your story is ... what you need is a but - BUT GOD ...

d) This is faith:

e) ”It is a great thing to be a believer, but easy to misunderstand what the New Testament means by it. It is not that we believe Jesus Christ can do things, or that we believe in a plan of salvation. It is that we believe him; whatever happens we will hang on to the fact that he is true. If we say, "I am going to believe he will put things right," we shall lose our confidence when we see things go wrong.” Oswald Chambers

f) We can prove our faith by our committal to it, and in no other way. Any belief that does not command the one who holds it is not a real belief; it is a pseudo belief only. And it might shock some of us profoundly if we were brought suddenly face to face with our beliefs and forced to test them in the fires of practical living. A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)

g) Can a faith that does nothing be called sincere? Jean Racine

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