Summary: A sermon on the story of Eleazar, the son of Dodo.
READ: 2 Samuel 23:91-0.
What an inspiring story we find tucked away here in these couple of verses in 2 Samuel 23. The story of ELEAZAR; one of King David’s “mighty men”. A number of names of those soldiers who distinguished themselves in combat for David are recorded for us her in 2 Samuel. Above all the others, however, THREE were particularly honoured: Josheb, Shammah, and this great character ELEAZAR.
He is particularly remembered for his heroic deeds in a battle with the Philistines. In 1 Chronicles 11:12-14 we are told a little more about this occasion. The battle scene was at a place called “Pasadammim” - “the dell of bloodshed”. It is, interestingly, the same place where David (years before) had defeated Goliath. This place seems to have been a recurring headache for Israel - Saul had been held up there by the Philistines until David stepped in, and now David is returned there facing the same enemy (the Philistines) in another confrontation. There’s something to be learned here - the enemy will often take us back to old battlegrounds; places where he’s held us up in the past! [As I look back on my Christian walk, my greatest battles have been fought over the same things time and time again - things that I’d already dealt with.] BE ON YOUR GUARD!
Here at Pasadammim again then, the Philistines arrayed themselves against the forces of David’s army. It seems that the Philistines posed a formidable foe, because “ALL THE MEN OF ISRAEL WERE GONE AWAY” (they had fled in fear!). But David and this man Eleazar took up position in a barley field and there took on all the might of the Philistine opposition. They routed the Philistine army completely, so that when the other men of Israel returned, all that was left to do was the looting of dead men!
What a man this Eleazar was! We can learn a lot from him; would you not a few important things about him with me.
1. THE SUFFICIENCY OF ELEAZAR’S WEAPON.
He arose and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the Lord wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil. (verse 10)
Eleazar brought down the entire Philistine militia with just one weapon in his hand - his trusty sword. It was:
a.) A WEAPON HE HAD CONFIDENCE IN.
He had, no doubt, fought many battles with it before. It had been a reliable sword to him - he cared for it himself, sharpening and oiling it continually, so that he knew it would not fail him in the heat of battle.
I understand that one of the first things an Australian soldier is issued with when he enlists is his automatic rifle. Each soldier is taught to know everything about his weapon - before long he can dismantle and reassemble it blindfolded in seconds. He is the only one allowed to clean his rifle, and if he misplaces it he is severely disciplined. The point of all this training is so that when he goes into battle the soldier is not concerned about whether or not his weapon will fail him - he trusts it because he knows it completely and has proven it in many repeated drills.
Eleazar wielded his sword with confidence - it had proven reliable to him time and time again.
It was also:
b.) A WEAPON HE WAS FAMILIAR WITH.
Eleazar, by constant use, had mastered that sword. Before he ever came near the battlefield he had defeated a thousand imaginary enemies - he had practised with it for hours on end. He was familiar with its feel and its weight; he knew what it could cut through, and how much force he needed to swing it with. He knew how to use it both defensively and offensively - he was totally at home using this sword. He was so familiar with it, in fact, that it became just like an extension of his own arm.
Eleazar’s sword provides us with a picture of the weapon that God has placed in our hands as Christians. In Ephesians 6:17 we are told to take up . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the WORD of GOD. Here is our “Excalibur” - the eternal, unchanging revelation of the living God - the Scriptures - the Bible.
The question is - do we know our weapon?
Do we know it well enough that we have UNFLINCHING CONFIDENCE in it? This book is the Word of God, and God is not a man that He should lie, so you can be assured of every line written here. Jesus said in Luke 16:17 It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one penstroke of the law to fail. this is the unfailing truth - God’s Word is absolutely reliable! You can take Him at His Word today!