Monday Morning Devotion (How to Be a Hero)

9Next was Eleazar son of Dodo the Ahohite. He was among the three heroes, and he was with David when they defied the Philistines who had gathered for war. All the Israelite troops fled, 10but he stood his ground and struck the Philistines until his hand was so tired he couldn’t let go of his sword. So YHWH brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned only for the plunder. — 2 Samuel 23:9-10

This is a fairly obscure story from the Old Testament. We know of a number of Eleazars in scripture. One was Aaron’s son and later high priest. Some of us know stories of that Elezar, but this one? Not so much. He comes second in a list of heroes from 2 Samuel 23:8-39. In the first list of three, Eleazar comes second. He’s an important man in David’s elite forces.

What did he do to become a hero? He stood his ground. Just that. He stood.

The Philistines kept coming. All the other troops fled. Nobody could have blamed him for fleeing as well. But he stood. He became tired. Eventually he was so tired that he couldn’t even let go of his sword, but he stood.

Many of us would like to be heroes. We look for that moment when we can do something spectacular for our country, for our families, for God. Surely, we think, there is something notable that I can do that will set me apart, that will let me know that I’m an extraordinary person. But those opportunities come few and far between.

Eleazar type opportunities come all the time, the opportunity to take your stand. You can hope that the Philistines don’t keep coming at you until you’re so tired you can’t let go of your sword, but you’re a hero, a great person for God, if you make the choice to stand as long as you need to and then do it.

You might me a high school student whose friends are teasing or bullying less popular students. Your call could be to take a stand, to say simply, “I’m not going to do that. It’s wrong,” and then to continue to take that stand even if friends abandon you and start to tease and bully you.

You could be a church member who is offered some gossip, perhaps from someone you don’t want to offend. You are called to reject the gossip, to refuse to listen to the negative things about your pastor, your leadership, or your fellow church members. It doesn’t look heroic, but it’s a stand—one from which others have fled!

You might be the one worker who chooses not to cheat your boss of your wages by refusing to fudge on time cards, or extend breaks, or spend time doing personal things at your desk at work. It may not look too terribly heroic, but it’s a stand. If you take a stand, you’re one of the heroes.

What is it that God is calling you to do? Where are you called to make a stand? It doesn’t matter if you have a chance to do something extraordinary and public. God is calling for Eleazars.

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