One morning a while back, I woke up to these words from the Lord. “Stand up for truth wherever you can. Don’t just go along to get along, lest the darkness encroach even more.” It’s a hard message in our society in which truth is relative and tolerance reigns. We are expected to accept people’s beliefs no matter what they are, and when we don’t, we have a fight on our hands. But tolerating and accepting something today just leads the enemy to expect us to support and applaud it tomorrow. Every inch of ground we give up of truth just allows the enemy to dig deeper into God’s territory with his lies. This leads me to the story of Shammah, son of Agee, from 2 Samuel 23:11-12.
Shammah Defends the Lentil Patch
Shammah was one of about 30 of David’s mighty men of valor listed in 2 Samuel 23. These men not only had skill, but they also carried the blessings of God. Shammah is mentioned third. His story goes that the Philistines, the archrival and nemesis of the Israelites at the time, were lined up against God’s people over a piece of ground full of lentils. Many fled in fear, but not Shammah. “But he stationed himself in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory” (2 Samuel 23:12).
One little patch of legumes might not have seemed like a lot to some people. After all, the Israelites grew all sorts of crops. The Philistines, on the other hand, were sea-faring people who didn’t do much farming, so they were used to taking what they wanted by force instead. But this little patch didn’t just represent food for God’s people. It was a blessing that God had given to them that was rightfully theirs. It was also, according to commentaries, strategically located on the edge of Israelite territory. That one little lentil patch given up today could become a launching station for a greater Philistine attack tomorrow. Giving up the ground would allow the enemy to encroach into God’s territory, and Shammah wasn’t having it.
Shammah alone stood up to the Philistines when others fled. He kept his ground at a personal cost to himself, but God gave him the victory. Time after time in the Bible, a small number of God’s people fought against greater forces of the enemy. And, time after time, God caused them to win. The odds simply don’t matter when God is on your side, and God always rewards those who are faithful to Him.
The Moral of the Story for Us Today
The moral of the story of Shammah is that we must defend the little lentil patches in our own lives. We must stand up for truth. In the Song of Solomon 2:15, we learn that it is the little foxes that spoil the vines. Sometimes it isn’t one big thing that can cause real damage, but a lot of little things. We must fight for the truth in our lives, even in little places where it might seem easier to compromise or allow the enemy to take the ground.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that we blast every opinion we have on every issue into the comment sections of other people’s posts. There are lots of issues right now being debated on social media that don’t come anywhere near the “God’s truth” category. But when we are talking about salvation, focus, godliness, love, and other areas of biblical truth, we just can’t let the devil define them. We must stand for the truth rightly given to us by God in His Word. We may get a few bumps and bruises in the process, but the enemy will be stopped in his tracks, and God will reward us for being faithful.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the mailing list on the upper right corner (or at the bottom on a phone). If you like timely articles, try The Fruit of the Spirit During Times of Crisis. In that one, I chronicle my friend Jason’s time in China as the Coronavirus was revenging there. Or, Instead of Fear, Choose Faith in God’s Promises. In that one, we look at the 5 basic kinds of fear. There are promises from the Bible that speak to each one. Also, check out my YouTube Channel where I read my blogs out loud. I also have a separate playlist of hymns from our talented, anointed 16-year-old-worship leader Hannah.