Summary: When life is over we must have met the chalenges
2Sa 23:20 And Benaiah (Jehovah has built up) the son of Jehoiada,(known by Jehovah) 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:
This obscure passage in Scripture that I doubt few have read and thought much about. It has absolutely no bearing on any major biblical doctrines. You may have read it a few times in a one-year Bible, but it probably didn’t even make a blip on your radar screen. Buried in the Old Testament is a wonderful inspirational passage:
There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two of Moab’s mightiest warriors. Another time he chased a lion down into a
pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it.
It’s easy to read verses like this in the comfortable confines of your home or at church and totally miss the monumental acts of courage displayed by Benaiah. Have you ever met anyone or heard of anyone chasing a lion? Benaiah didn’t have a hunting rifle or Land Rover, And this was no game-park safari.
Scripture doesn’t tell us what Benaiah was doing or where he was
going when he encountered this lion. We don’t know the time of day
or Benaiah’s frame of mind. But Scripture does reveal his gut reaction.
And it was gutsy. It ranks as one of the most improbable reactions
recorded in Scripture.
Usually, when the image of a man-eating beast travels through the optical nerve and registers in the visual cortex, the brain has one over-arching message: Run away. Normal people run away from lions. They run as far and as fast as they possibly can. But lion chasers are wired differently.
For the vast majority of us, the only lions we’ve ever encountered
were stuffed or caged. And few of us have experienced hand-to-hand
combat that forced us to fight for our lives. But try to put yourself in
Benaiah’s snow shoes.
Out of the corner of his eye, Benaiah sees something crawling.
I don’t know how far away the lion is—and their vision is probably
obscured by falling snow and frozen breath—but there is a moment
when Benaiah and the lion lock eyes. Pupils dilate. Muscles tense.
Adrenaline rushes. Blood pressure escalates. Lion encounters tend to script the same way. Man runs away. Lion gives chase. And king of the beasts eats manwich for lunch. But not this time! the lion turns tail and Benaiah gives chase.
Lions can run up to thirty-five miles per hour and leap thirty
feet in a single bound. Benaiah doesn’t stand a chance, but that doesn’t
keep him from giving chase. Then the lion makes one critical misstep.
The ground gives away beneath his five-hundred-pound frame, and
he falls down a steep embankment into a snow-laden pit. It’s the moment of truth as Benaiah approaches the pit. Almost like walking on thin ice, Benaiah measures every step. He inches up to the edge and peers into the pit. Menacing yellow eyes stare back.
Have you ever had one of those moments where you do something
crazy and ask yourself in retrospect: What was I thinking? This had to be
one of those moments for Benaiah. Who in their right mind chases
lions? But Benaiah now has a moment to collect his thoughts, regain
his sanity, and get a grip on reality. And the reality is this: Normal people
don’t chase lions.
You see two sets of tracks leading up to the pit’s edge. One set
of foot prints. One set of paw prints. Benaiah and the lion disappear
into the recesses of the pit. A deafening roar echoes in the cavernous pit. A bloodcurdling battle cry pierces the soul. Then dead silence. after a few agonizing moments of suspense, the shadow of a human form appears as Benaiah climbs out of the pit. The blood from his wounds drips on the freshly fallen snow. Claw marks crisscross his face and spear arm. But Benaiah wins one of the improbable victories recorded in the pages of Scripture.
Right at the outset, let me share one of my core convictions: God is
in the business of strategically positioning us in the right place at the
right time. A sense of destiny is our birthright as followers of Christ.
God is awfully good at getting us where He wants us to go. But here’s
the catch: The right place often seems like the wrong place, and the
right time often seems like the wrong time. Encountering a lion in the wild is typically a bad thing. A really bad thing! Finding yourself in a pit with a lion on a snowy day generally qualifies as a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. That combination of circumstances usually spells one thing: death.