Summary: Do we aspire to be numbered with the warriors of God? To be listed as combatants in the spiritual battles that shaped their times? There is a roll being written of heroes who are willing to attempt things for Christ. Will you be on it?
THE MAN WHOSE HAND FROZE
A. HUMOR: THE EVIL DENTIST
1. Reuben has a terrible toothache and went to see Dr. Khan, the corner dentist. After looking at the tooth, Dr. Khan said, "I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but the tooth is badly decayed and can’t be saved. It will have to come out."
2. "What a bummer," says Reuben, "how much is it going to cost me?" "For you, "replied Dr. Khan, "only $500." "That’s a lot of money for maybe 5 minutes work!" says Jonathan.
3. "Well," replied Dr. Khan with an evil grin, "if that’s how you calculate the cost of dental work, I can always extract it MUCH SLOWER for you!"
B. PRIVILEGE OF BEING AMONG DAVID’S MIGHTY MEN
1. In David’s roster of his 30 greatest warriors, we find the names of many heroes, and they are honored to be found there. These men came to David when his fortunes were at the lowest ebb; when he himself was regarded as a rebel and an outlaw, and they remained faithful to him throughout their lives.
2. These men were weary of the evil government of Saul, so they sought how they could best serve their country and their God, and chose David as their alpha-male to follow.
3. When David came to the throne, they were ecstatic; and when he went on conquering they were thrilled to be among his most trusted confederates. Undoubtedly they remembered their times with David when he was poor and a nobody and must have rejoiced with deep satisfaction.
4. Church, do we aspire to be numbered with the warriors of God? To be listed as one who participated in the spiritual battles that shaped their times? There is a roll which is now being made up, a roll of heroes who are willing to attempt things for Christ; who go outside the camp, and take up his reproach, and with confidence in God contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, and venture all for Jesus Christ.
5. And there will come a day when it will be infinitely more honorable to find one’s name in the lowest place in this list of Christ’s faithful disciples than to be numbered with princes and kings.
6. Blessed will he be who cast in his lot with the Son of David, and shared his reproach, for the day shall come when the Master’s glory shall be reflected upon all his followers.
C. THE FEAT OF ELEAZAR
1. An inspiring story is tucked away here in these couple of verses in 2 Samuel 23. The story of ELEAZAR; one of King David’s “mighty men”. Above all the others, however, THREE were particularly honored: Josheb, Shammah, and this great character ELEAZAR. Here is the account:
2. “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.” 2 Samuel 23:9-10.
3. The battle scene was at a place called “Pas Dammim” - “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.
4. 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!
5. Here at Pas Dammim 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!).
6. But David and this man Eleazar took up position in a barley field (I Chron. 11:13) 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!
7. The title of this message is, “The Man Whose Hand Froze.” What a man this Eleazar was! Let’s note a few important things about him: