Summary: When you are working faithfully for the Lord, an attack is imminent. This message confronts how to fight and work at the same time.
When The Harvest-field Becomes A Battlefield
When a church is Christ centered and focused on the Kingdom, it is a church that kicks the devil right in the teeth!! When you have a church that is working for the Lord, you have a church that has the Devil’s attention. And when this happens, there is a battle headed your way. That Battle is what I would like to examine tonight.
In the preceding verses we are given a description of David’s mighty men. We ate told of Adino, Eleazar and Shammah. Shammah is the man I would like to consider. Notice:
2 Samuel 23:11 And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite.(Hay=Ra-Right) 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. 12 But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory.
Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna, was apprehended and persecuted because of his faith in Christ. Once captured he asked for an hour in prayer, and his request was granted.Polycarp prayed so intently, that his guards repented that they had been instrumental in taking him. He was carried before the proconsul & condemned, to be burnt at the stake.The proconsul then urged him, saying, “Swear, and I will release thee;—reproach Christ.” Polycarp answered, “86 years have I served him, and he never once wronged me; how then shall I blaspheme my King, Who hath saved me?” He was tied to the stake and the fire was kindled, the flames encircled his body, like an arch, without touching him. The executioner, on seeing this, was ordered to pierce him with a sword. When he did a great quantity of blood flowed out and extinguished the fire. Yes, Polycarp eventually died for his faith, but he left a lasting impression on those who were present at his execution. (Source: Foxes Book Of Martyrs)
You see he had a choice…. Compromise or Courage! He was courageous in the face of death! He TOOK A STAND FOR HIS LORD! Christian, there will come a time when you will find yourself at a crossroad… The crossroad of courage and compromise. Which road will you take?
“The Christian life is not a playground, it is a battlefield” I want to look to the story of Shammah and preach on the subject “When The Harvest-field Becomes A Battlefield”
Let’s begin with the fact that:
I. Fighting This Battle Requires Caution
A. There Must Be Caution Concerning Your Adversary -“the Philistines gathered at Lehi attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils”
There was constant turmoil between the Philistines and Israel. The Philistines had been defeated time and time again and still came back for more! Their persistence should have been motivation for Israel to remain on guard against the next attack. But that was not the case!
We have an adversary (the Devil) that has suffered the greatest defeat at Calvary but still returns to attack us. We are told in 1 Peter 5:8 ¶Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
When the Philistines came, the people were in the fields. The text reveals that this field was full of lentils (little peas), so the enemy came at harvest time.
This was a strategic move by the Philistines: The people were consumed with labor they were preparing to reap the harvest. They were not preparing for battle, they were working the fields. Our adversary will come against us in times of blessing and prosperity.
a) He will attack you personally when you are focused on Kingdom work
b) He will attack a church when it is focused on certain projects, events and programs.
Just like the Philistines; our adversary has a plan to attack the children of God. The Devil is “The Great Deceiver” He has deceived many and he seeks to deceive you as well! No attack you face, no temptation that you encounter is an accident. The attacks that come from our enemy are strategic and the consequences can be devastating.
B. There Must Be Caution Concerning Your Allies - “and the people fled from the Philistines”
The Philistines came roaring into this field and overwhelmed the people of Israel. This attack was so great that they all retreated! And there was Shammah all alone in the midst of this field under attack from the great Philistine army. The actions of Israel illustrate a current problem. Christians face an attack and they immediately flee in terror.
Consider what James said - James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.