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BENAIAH, ONE OF DAVID'S  MIGHTY MEN!

"Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day. And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's hand was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear. These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties. Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard."

1st Chronicles 11:22-25

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1, VERSE 22:

For a few days I want us to fellowship with a man named Benaiah. Once you read this short paragraph, you will know why!

"Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day. And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's hand was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear. These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties. Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard." 1st Chronicles 11:22-25

Benaiah is among David's "mighty men," a noble group of Old Testament warriors!

Verse 22, specifically, introduces us. "Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day." 1st Chronicles 11:22

His name means "Jehovah has built." His Father's name, "Jehoiada," means "Jehovah knows."

Oh, how beautifully Jewish culture is built around the things of God! Even their names!

This man is from a godly background, at least according to the meanings of these names.

His Grandfather is unnamed, but described in some detail, "a valiant man of Kabzeel." The adjective "valiant" is "chayil," meaning "army" 42 times in the King James Bible! A one-man army! "Kabzeel" is a border town in the territory of Judah, near enemy land, Edom! Also, "Kabzeel" means "God gathers!"

The noun "man" is "iysh," derived from the Hebrew root "anash," meaning "to be frail, weak or sick!"

A mortal man who is empowered to fight the good fight of faith, empowered by God Almighty!

Both Benaiah and His Father Jehoiada have names that emphasize Jehovah God, the "ah" or "jeh" syllables. While Grandpa's hometown incorporates God's Name Elohiym." When combined, these two Names are used over 9,000 times in the Bible!

What a background spiritually!

But Benaiah is not a mighty man in name only! He is Benaiah "who had done many acts." He put his hands and feet into action, matching his great reputation! His "walk" equaled his "talk!" The noun "acts" translates "poal," things one makes or does, usually with much "practice!" Habitually this was a busy, productive man! "Full of good works," Peter or Paul would have said, "always abounding in the work of the Lord." The adjective "many" is "rab," things "twisted" together, "multiplied," so as to increase their number or strength!

Always busy, for the King!

Never inactive!

Then, apparently, two of his "acts" are named. Firstly, "he slew two lionlike men of Moab." Remember, he is a soldier! The Moabites are enemies of Israel, too. "Slew" or "nakah" initially means "to strike, to beat, to wound," if severe enough, "to kill." The name Moab, descendents of Lot's sinful liaison with his own daughters, shamefully means "of his Father!"  Benaiah's "targets" were strong men, "lionlike" to be specific! "Ariel" means "to pluck, to attack," as do the mighty lions! Here the battle seems to have been an offensive one, Benaiah making the first move!

Secondly, our hero, emboldened by his first victory, "also went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day." Wow!

Even more than the first episode, this attack shows boldness and initiative and maybe a "touch" of sheer daring!

The lion was already in the pit! Cover the hole! But, no, Benaiah is a real warrior! He will not let the "killer" rest! Animals rights activists would have trouble with this one!

But I suspect this "lion" represents the devil, as certainly is the case later in the New Testament. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith." 1st Peter 5:8

This man, Benaiah, is on the attack!

The battle was "in a pit," too! So many contests are! In low places, places of discouragement and fatigue! But someone must go there and "take on" the enemy! Otherwise many innocent people may die at the hands of a crazed wild animal!

And the time of this fight was inopportune! "On a snowy day!" Most folks would have been at home! Not Benaiah!

Here's the point!

I once heard a preacher say we are never to attack the devil. Just defend ourselves against him. He may be right, but I'm wondering!

Why then does God give us not only much defensive armour, Ephesians 6:13-17, but also an offensive weapon too? That is, "the sword of the Spirit." The Word of God!

And scholars say that Jesus' reference, His word-picture of the Church, found in Matthew 16:18 is also offensive, on the attack, on the march! "Upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Amen! The Church is here attacking hell, plucking souls from the very edges of the eternal fire!

Folks, God has promised us the victory!

Charge!

Don't let the devil take your children!

Oppose him regarding that pesky little sin in your life!

Do as Jesus did in His time of Temptation, use God's Word to "lunge" at the old lion!

Figuratively, slay him!

The victory is ours!

Oh, for the spirit of Benaiah in these last days!

Nobody's willing to "stand up" any more!

Somebody needs to jump in the pit and fight that deceiver!

In Jesus' Name! 

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 23:

Daniel 11:32 thunders: "The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits." We all believe these words.

Our Text today, 1st Chronicles 11:23, lists for us one of the "exploits" of a man named Benaiah. The surrounding verses give even more mighty things he did. "And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's hand was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear."

How could this unusual incident warrant inclusion in the Holy Scriptures? Why does God tell us this?

A careful analysis will help.

The noun "Egyptian" is interesting. "Mitzsriy" means "double straits." Given this name geographically, Egypt does just that. It "squeezes" or "constricts" the Nile River as it flows through its land! One of the foundation words for "mitzsriy" is "matzsor," literally, a "fortress." Then, in turn, is the base verb "tzsor," meaning "to bind, to confine, to cramp!"

This whole concept is a type or symbol of the devil! He seeks to constrict or confine or hinder the saints of God! These words from Daniel 7:25 specifically apply to the coming wicked anti-Christ, but he's also a type of the devil. "And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High." See? "Wearing out" the saints of God! "Bela" means "to harass constantly, to consume, to waste, to become old, to frustrate," hence, to hinder or confine or cramp, same as our word "Egyptain!"

Benaiah, picturesquely, battled the devil!

He practiced the "spirit" of James 4:7. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

He obeyed Ephesians 4:27. "Neither give place to the devil."

He attacked in the spirit of Romans 16:20. "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly."

Benaiah, a mighty warrior!

"And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's hand was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear."

But let's go further into our Verse. The enemy here, a dead enemy now, was large, physically huge! "Five cubits high" equals seven and a half feet! Sounds like Goliath! "And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span." 1st Samuel 17:4, over nine feet tall!

These are not hyperbolic numbers, exaggerations. Genesis 6:4 clearly tells us: "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."

Wow!

Again, these monsters are pictures of the devil, spiritually! Big! Larger than we can handle ... on our own! They still were literal men, but stood for evil and ungodliness.

Anyway, Benaiah eliminated one!

Then next, the giant's "weapon" is discussed, compared to "a weaver's beam" in size! That's awesome, a spear likely several feet long and quite thick and heavy! Much more than a javelin!

But Benaiah, attacking the enemy with a mere "staff," in Hebrew "shebet," just a rough tree branch, distracted him long enough to disarm him of his arsenal!

Then, quite untrained in the use of weaver's beams I'm sure, our hero Benaiah whips, really slays, the giant with his own weapon!

Again, sounds like David and Goliath! "Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his (Goliath's) sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith." 1st Samuel 17:51

The devil defeated with his own weapon of choice!

Remember, Satan came to Jesus quoting Scripture! Both Matthew 4 and Luke 4 record this. But our Lord, ever so wisely, disarmed the enemy, rightly using that precious sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and out-thinking and out-reasoning the old accuser!

We now have a dead foe!

Someday, to Satan literally, this shall occur. "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Revelation 20:10

Praise the Lord!

Benaiah, symbol of the victorious child of God!

David, Benaiah's King, symbol of our sweet Lord!

And that Egyptian, finally defeated in battle, picture of the devil himself! The devil who was "spoiled" at Calvary! "And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." Colossians 2:15 here uses the Greek verb "apekduomai," meaning, "to strip off one's armour!"

The devil, ruined, many years ago, at the old rugged Cross!

Ever since then, the enemy has been fighting with a limp!

With broken weapons!

With limited resources!

Come to think of it, He is an Egyptian, etymologically so. Bound and straightened and limited!

Children of God, "Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." 1st John 4:4

And, truly, as Paul asks in Romans 8:31 ... "If God be for us, who can be against us?"

No one!

Amen!

Like Benaiah, we are victorious!

Victorious in Christ Jesus our Lord!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSE 24:

It's a summary Verse really.

Short, but important.

It further describes one of David's "mighty men," the one named Benaiah.

"These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties." 1st Chronicles 11:24

It's often this way with Scripture; the more you study a Passage, the clearer it becomes. That's because the Holy Spirit is our Teacher, "guiding us into all truth." John 16:13

Benaiah is a relatively unknown Bible character.

If you remember, his name means "Jehovah has built!" Or, in other words, "God has built up!"

That's always true of sterling Christian character! God is its source! It's point of beginning! Like Paul asked in 1st Corinthians 4:7, "What hast thou that thou didst not receive?" God built Benaiah into the person he was, quality personified!

Our Verse opens with ... "these things" did Benaiah.

What things?

The previous two verses, 1st Chronicles 11:22-23, reveal those amazing deeds.

He, Benaiah, no doubt in battle, slew two "lionlike" men of Moab!

Then he killed a lion one day, a lion in a pit! By the way, it was a cold snowy day too! During one military campaign, King David couldn't go to war, even though it was springtime! But weather did not bother Benaiah! Hot or cold, he would fight!

He later slew a mighty Egyptian also, a "giant" of a man!

"These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties."

Benaiah's Father was named "Jehoiada." In Hebrew "yada," a verb, means "to know." And "Yehovah," pronounced with a "J," is the awesome Name of our great God! Therefore, "Jehoiada" means "God knows!" Probably the last syllable is to be accented.

Benaiah is a great man, but only his Father really knows how great! It's this way with every bold and sincere and holy man of God, with saved women too. We humans only look on the "outside" of their lives; God looks on their very "hearts!"

To "have a name" like someone, in the culture of the Hebrews, meant "to be famous" like that well-known person. When we are told of Benaiah that he "had the name among the three mighties," much is being revealed.

First, three men who served David were even more outstanding that Beniah. Or so it seems. Still, Benaiah's deeds were endearing, admirable!

Here's a man who can be compared to others, others more honorable than himself, and not be bothered by that fact, not at all!

He's just glad to be in the service of the King!

What nobility!

What unselfishness!

What godliness!

If that attitude alone could permeate our Churches, true Revival would begin!

Those "three mighties" may have emboldened Benaiah, even empowered him perhaps, but they were "above" him in honor and glory.

Beniah humbly takes his "place" in the hierarchy, satisfied with his Lord's decisions!

We, too, as Christians I mean, are empowered by Three, Three Who really are One! The Trinity may be suggested here!

If so, all we do is under the power and influence and oversight of the Mighty Triune God we serve!

His Will be done!

Oh, by the way, while we shall never attain the status of The "Three," the "One as Three," the Father and Son and Holy Spirit, we do share His Name!

We are "Christians!"

We are followers of "the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob!"

We are "Spirit-filled" Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Yes, Benaiah is a picture all right! He's a symbol or emblem of a godly life totally dedicated to serving the King and defeating his royal enemies!

"Go, and do thou likewise."

Amen!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 25:

We have now met Benaiah, one of David's mighty men.

His outstanding military service has gained him fame.

"Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard." 1st Chronicles 11:25

The word "honourable," in Hebrew a form of "kabad," means "esteemed, glorious, valuable!" It's central focus is that of anything "heavy." Something that's so important it "carries weight" with you, intellectually or morally or some other way.

The "thirty" are a group of men who had endeared themselves to King David, largely due to their heroic wartime feats.

The "interjection" translated "behold" is "hinneh" in Hebrew. It means "to see!" In other words, "Look!"

We have here an example of someone's past faithful service bringing him or her great rewards in the future.

I suspect there are also "hints" here of the coming Judgment Seat of Christ! For every Believer in Jesus, each whose consistent dedicated service to the Lord has been notable, there remains future recognition and reward, to the Glory of God! "We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ," so said Paul in Romans 14:10. Then 2nd Corinthians 5:10 adds: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."

Child of God, go "fight a good fight," spiritually speaking, and certain "crowns" will be given you in that great day of reckoning.

However, Benaiah's outstanding record did not place him in any particularly preeminent position!

We are still told, "But he attained not to the first three." There were three other soldiers, unnamed here, who excelled even Benaiah!

He does not seem to be bothered by this fact either! Not one little bit!

How commendable!

One of those "three," for example, was a man whose named meant "God has helped!" Read: "Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighties." 1st Chronicles 11:12

Here's a great picture of Christians working together, in harmony, letting God handle the results of their labor! And the rewards too!

In Matthew 20 Jesus taught a Parable about some laborers who were hired early in the morning, carefully negotiating their contract, their pay, for the day! Later, nearer quitting time, other groups were employed too. At the end of the day the Master paid them all the same, each receiving a full day's wages!

What grace!

What kindness!

Everyone was happy, except ....

Except the "contract" workers! They wanted more money! But, note, they were paid exactly what they had bargained early that morning!

Thus we have one group of folks grumbling at another group, over points of recognition and honor and reward!

Jesus responded: "Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?" Matthew 20:15

We are to "work" for Jesus. He will handle everything else, including the results ... and the rewards!

Look to Him and get your eyes off the fellow-laborers! "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." Hebrews 12:2

Benaiah was not a jealous soldier!

Lastly, a quick summary of Beniah's promotion! "And David set him over his guard." This is still our Text Verse for today.

He has been elevated to being King David's "bodyguard!"

What a blessing!

Protecting the King!

Ever better, being near the King! That noun "guard" is built upon the "shama" verb stem, men who "heard" everything King David said!

What an honor!

Is it being suggested, could it be, the more faithful we become ... the nearer to Jesus we shall live?

I, for one, want to "snuggle up" real close to our Lord and Saviour!

Really, not so I can protect Him!

But so that He can protect me!

"Under His Wings!"

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, SUMMARY:

Perhaps when studying the biography of any Bible character, an overall analysis of his or her "training" can be discerned.

I mean God's dealing with His subject from start to finish, from the raw ore to the refined gold!

Job, in spite of all his confusion, knew God had a plan for his life, including all the suffering too! Listen to the Patriarch talk about his great God! "But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." This Verse, Job 23:10, is beautiful!

Oh, I just thought of one more! Jeremiah knew of God's "plan" too! "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:10 is a favorite of millions of saints!

We can see such a trajectory in the life of Benaiah, one of David's mighty men of war. We are given certain facts so that his progress can be plotted, from first mention to crowning achievement!

Let me show you what I mean.

1st Chronicles 11:22-25 gives us Benaiah's life story. "Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day. And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's hand was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear. These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties. Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard."

Let's watch God's pedagogy, a word meaning "to lead children." God's "teaching methods!" His science of "instruction!"

How did Benaiah come to be such a great man? Going into that pit, without any command to do so, and battling then killing that ferocious beast, the lion! Or slaying that Egyptian, the giant one with a spear the size of a weaver's beam?

Notice the first thing said about our hero. "Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts ...." That's all? "Many mighty acts?"

The specifics are not given!

He could have begun his military career polishing King David's boots! Or sharpening the General's sword! Or, as did Elisha the student to Elijah his mentor, "pouring water on his hands!" Proof needed? "Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah." 2nd Kings 3:11

Lowly service ... is the beginning step to greatness!

Of course my examples are mere "guesses." Our Text however does give us a pertinent fact to consider. ""Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab." Wow!

Before he slew the lion in the pit, he handled two men who were "lion-like!" A man or two might supply good "training" for live lion combat, if the men were especially vicious!

Remember when David was preparing to fight Goliath, the Giant he ultimately decapitated, he made this statement: "And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: and I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God."  1st Samuel 17:34-36

Before killing the Giant, young David "practiced" on a lion and a bear!

Before healing cursed waters, Elisha washed Elijah's hands!

And before attacking a lion in a pit on a snowy day, purely a volunteer mission, Benaiah had defeated a couple of Moabite, wicked-to-the-core, enemies!

What about you, dear friend?

Keep on doing that "little" job around God's House!

Just keeping your pew "warm," being faithful in your Church attendance!

Cleaning an overflowing commode in the Church bathroom, perhaps with nobody ever knowing about it!

Driving a bus route!

Getting a glass of cold water for the Pastor before each service, placing it on the pulpit!

Standing at the front door each Sunday, greeting the visitors as they arrive!

Walking the parking lot, picking up any bits of trash thrown out by careless drivers!

Small things are they all!

But ... perhaps ... preludes to bigger things!

I think this is what Jesus had in mind here. "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things." Matthew 25:23

Or Zechariah's question: "For who hath despised the day of small things? "

This ought to encourage someone today!

You don't begin the Christian life slaying lions in pits on snowy days!

You don't start your spiritual journey knowing a thousand Bible verses! You learn them slowly, one at a time!

You don't fully grasp all the Bible doctrines the first month after you're saved!

But you do begin ... with the small things!

They, in God's time, will lead to big things ... for Him!

Nowadays, Kindergarten comes before First Grade! And Second before Third too!

Benaiah started with common infantry work! A foot soldier! Only later did he become one of David's mighty men!

Stay faithful where you are!

Do that little thing well!

Then, watch God broaden your place of service!

Meanwhile, back to Benaiah.

We've seen his "beginnings" ... now his majestic "end!"

The last clause of our Text says of King David: "And David set him (Benaiah) over his guard."

The King's bodyguard!

Top post in the Kingdom some would say!

Guarding Royalty!

See today's point?

Start little ... stay faithful ... volunteer for a bit of lion-killing occasionally ... and pronto!

You're there!

Promoted by God to some higher form of service!

Get this. "For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another." Psalm 75:6-7

Then, one more quick note.

If we have our facts straight, and I think we do, Benaiah in time was even promoted further!

When Solomon, David's Son, began to reign, he made loyal, faithful Benaiah commander over the whole army, the whole fighting host of Israel! "And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the host: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests." 1st King 4:4

There you have it!

The man who "went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day" also eventually became bodyguard to the King and ultimately commander of the entire armed forces of Israel!

Stay on the job dear friend, on the job for Jesus!

He will bless you for doing so!

There's no telling what kind of "trajectory" you may have some day either!

What a teacher is our Lord Jesus Christ!

It's an honor to be in His school!

In His army!

In His family!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

This particular series of Bible Studies has real potential to encourage faithfulness in our lies! We pray these five lessons will be a blessing to you! Stay "in" the precious Word of God!

 

                                                                          

 

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