Summary: Three examples of fervency in serving God
“Give Me Victory, Or Give Me Death”
II Sam. 23:8-12
Ø March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry, a lawyer and statesman, stood addressing the Second Virginia Convention in St. John’s Church in Richmond. There, at the brink of war with King George III, he spoke these memorable words, “It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
Ø “Give me liberty, or give me death!” became the rallying cry for the colonels in their battle to establish what we know as the United States of America.
Ø Today, America has been established. Victor over King George has been won. Yet there is another battle, an older battle being fought today.
Ø Eph. 6:12 tells us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Ø In this battle, the enemy is known, yet seldom engaged. Instead, soldiers of the same banner fight against one another for the chief seat in the kingdom. Private against private, lieutenant against lieutenant, general against general, all of the same banner.
Ø Many of those brave souls who have sought to stand fast against the prince of evil, the god of this world, and who have been wounded, lie in the trenches of life, bleeding to death, while their medics, their co-laborers in the faith, stand idly by watching from the sidelines. Pinned to the walls of life by fear or apathy.
Ø To look at this battle, with unbiased eyes, one would conclude that Satan, and not Christ, will triumph as Victor. After all, the army of the fallen one are sold out, fully committed, & holding back nothing. All the while the army of Christ is preoccupied with the pursuit of riches, engaged in the quest for refreshment in the cesspool of this world, loyal only to the desires of the flesh and fun.
Ø To look at this battle, with unbiased eyes, one would be of all men, most discouraged. However, there is no such thing as ‘unbiased’ eyes. A person’s eyes are either open to the Word of God or closed. They have either seen the promises of God, such as “I will never leave thee or forsake thee, or they have turned away. They have either read, “We are more than conquerors through him that loved us” or they have ignored it.
Ø In II Sam. 23 we read of three men, Adino, Eleazar, and Shammah, mighty men of David, who won great victories for their king. Let us learn from them, how we, too, can win great victor for our King, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I. Adino, Victor Against All Odds, 8
A. Odds are always against the believer
1. Our External Opponents, Eph 6:12
a. Not against flesh and blood
d. Rulers of darkness
e. Spiritual Wickedness
2. Our Internal Opponents, I Jn. 5:15
a. Lust of the flesh
b. Lust of the eyes
c. Pride of life
B. Adino, beat the odds, by eliminating them
II. Eleazar, Victor Against the Flesh, 9-10
A. He had a winning spirit, ‘they defied the Philistines’
B. He had a warrior’s, spirit, ‘He arose, and smote the Philistines’
C. He had a unwavering spirit, ‘until his hand was weary…’
III. Shammah, Victor Against Fear, 11-12
A. Fear came in the form of the approaching Philistines
B. Fear came in the form of the retreating Israelites
C. Fear came in the form of the value of the fight
Ø What’s your battle cry today? Let it be, ‘Give me Victory or give me death’
Ø Give me Victory over the prince of darkness …
Ø Give me Victory over the influences of the world….
Ø Give me Victory over the excuses of my own flesh…
Ø Give me victory at home…
Ø Give me victory at work…
Ø In 1775, before the speech of Patrick Henry, the Colonels of the America’s were in debate as to their future, especially as it pertained to King George III, and Britain. Some had even spoken aloud that they should surrender to the king, and forego a blood, and sure defeat. After hearing the word of Patrick Henry, the resolve of those present had change. They, too, know cried give me liberty or give me death.