Summary: A winning team needs a good defense and a good offense. Shammah and Benaniah illustrate defense and offense. They both were just one hair’s breathe away from this side of crazy! How about you?

Title: “Just One Hair’s Breathe this Side of Crazy!”

Introduction: David is nearing the end of his life. He has become the mighty king of Israel. From his humble beginning as a shepherd, he had risen to be become the greatest king in the land.

In this chapter, credit is given where credit is due Throughout his life, David had surrounded himself with “mighty men.”

If you want to be a winner, you must get yourself on a winning team. Do you know Christ? He is the "Son of David." In order for a winning team to be a winning team, it must also have two things. It must have a good defense and it must have a good offence. I have chosen two men in David’s list of mighty men who illustrate for us those two aspects of a winning team.

1. You must have the proper defense.

(2 Sam 23:11-12) And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines.

But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory.

So what is the big deal about lentils? That’s what the losers said when they fled from the invading Philistines.

Shammah knew what he was fighting for. He knew what he was defending.

1.) I am fighting for my field…

(Eph 4:27 KJV) Neither give place to the devil.

Shammah knew that God had given him that field. This was his area of responsibility and he was not about ready to let the Philistine take it from him.

2.) I am fighting for my food…

(Psa 119:103 KJV) How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

From what I understand after reading the commentaries, lentils are a whole lot like eating pea soup. The only time that pea soup sounds good to me is when you might add little ham pieces to it. It is highly unlikely that Shammah’s Jewish wife was doing this for him!

But this field of lentils was the only food that they had to eat. It was his food. He had planted it, cultivated it, and now he was ready to defend it.

Our daily bread ought to be the Word of God. Are you prepared to defend it?

3.) I am fighting for my family…

(John 15:13 KJV) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

If there was no field, there would be no food. And if there was no food, Shammah’s family would have nothing to eat. Shammah was willing to lay down his life for his family.

Now this is where the title of today’s message comes in to view. “One hair just this side of crazy!” Can you imagine what the Jewish comrades of Shammah must have thought when they looked back and saw that Shammah stayed to defend his field from an entire troop of Philistines. Certainly, someone must have said, Shammah must be crazy!

And can you imagine what the Philistines thought when they saw this lone Jew standing there to defend his field. After Shammah banged a few Philistine heads together and snorted and growled, this troop of Philistines must have said to themselves, “Hey, let’s get out of here, that man is just a hair’s breathe away from being crazy!”

Say what you want to about Shammah, but God called him a mighty man. God said that a great victory for the Lord was won that day.

Let me ask you a question: Are you too concerned about what others might be saying about you and therefore you are afraid of defending your field for the Lord? Are you willing to be called a “fool” for the sake of the gospel?

Now let me bring you to my second point:

2. You must have the proper offence.

(2 Sam 23:20) And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow:

1. There are times that you have to go down into the pit…

We must be willing to leave the comfort zone of the four walls of our local Church and obey the great commission. God wants us to preach the gospel to every creature.

Apart from being “Just a hair’s breathe this side of crazy,” why would Benaniah do such a thing.

Remember that the Devil is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. No doubt this lion had already attacked some member of Benaniah’s family. He wanted to remove this hostile treat. He was willing to go down into the pit to take him out!

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Elza Brooks

commented on Apr 19, 2011

this is a great message! for this time of doubts.I am a winner. I learn a lot how to defend God?s pea patch,that is the Church

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