And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; Eph. 6:17
2 Samuel 23:8-39 tells a powerful story of David and his men fighting the Philistines. David and his army of men were greatly outnumbered on the battlefield, and David’s army retreated—except for David and some of his mighty men, one of whom was Eleazar.
“they [David and his mighty men] defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away:” 2 Sam. 23:9.
When David’s army retreated, 2 Sam. 23:10 tells us what Eleazar did:
“He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary and his hand clave unto the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day; …”
Let’s Look at that Verse More Closely
“arose” – Strong’s #06965, quwm [koom]; meanings: get up, rouse up, stir up, come on the scene
“smote” – Strong’s #05221: nakah (naw-kaw’); to strike, smite, hit, beat, slay, kill
“weary” – Strong’s #03031: yaga’ (yaw-gah’); to be exhausted, gasp
“clave” – Strong’s # 01692: dabaq (daw-bak’): to cling, adhere to, be joined
What a picture! When others were retreating, Eleazar stirred himself up, he came on the scene with his sword drawn, striking, smiting, and killing the enemy until he was exhausted and gasping for breath. He clenched his sword so tightly for so long that the scripture says he and his sword were joined together. His hand was frozen to his sword. And he continued to fight, exhausted and gasping for air, UNTIL the LORD brought the victory!
The Army of God in America Must Stand Against Modern-day Philistines
If ever the Church in America needed to hear this message, it is now. We are in one of the greatest battles for our nation and the world the Church has ever known. Some in the Church are retreating; they see this end-time battle of good vs. evil as hopeless. They are fearful and timid. They are deceived, and they are sheathing their swords and running away. But others are coming forth as Eleazars. With sword in hand they are running into the battle, not away from it! They have stirred themselves to seek the will of the Lord and roused themselves to take action. They have determined to fight against the demonic enemy, no matter how long it takes and no matter how tired they get, until the Lord gives the victory.
Like Eleazar and David and his mighty men, we have need of courage, boldness, and perseverance as we fight against the demonic spirits and influences coming against our nation.
1. Courage – We must have courage to defy the enemy who wants to destroy this nation.
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong 1 Cor. 16:13 NKJV.
Again, our enemy is not people, though the enemy uses them to carry out his plans.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV).
To fight the good fight of faith, (see 1 Tim. 6:12), we must have a firm grip on the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (see Eph. 6:17). Eleazar fought so long and so hard, to the point of exhaustion, that his hand was “frozen” to his sword; they were joined. We must also cling to our sword, the Word of God; we must be joined with the Word, and keep fighting until the victory comes.
2. Boldness – While the rest of David’s army retreated from the battle, his mighty men arose. They made a stand. They were brave and strong. It is always easier and less risky to retreat rather than fight. It is always easier to do what the crowd is doing. The problem is the crowd is often wrong.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it (Matt. 7:13-14).
Victory and revival and awakening ARE coming, but they will not come through the crowd who retreats from the battle. They will come through God’s mighty men and mighty women who are bold enough to step out in faith to take the battle to the enemy, even when victory seems impossible.
3. Perseverance – David, Eleazar, and the other mighty men just wouldn’t give up. They certainly had good reasons to give up: they were greatly outnumbered; it looked like a suicide mission; the battle continued and they began to get exhausted. It wouldn’t have been unreasonable to the natural mind to call for retreat; indeed, it would have seemed quite sensible! But Eleazar and the others weren't sensible; they didn’t retreat. Instead of caving, they endured. Instead of quitting, they continued to use their swords with all their might until the Lord gave them a great victory!
In a recent Golden Nugget Reflections, I said there are only 2 kinds of battles we lose:
1. Those we run away from and never fight
2. Those we begin to fight with courage and boldness, but stop fighting when we get weary, fearful, or discouraged. Instead of continuing to fight, we lay down our sword.
Eleazar gripped and used his sword until victory came. It will take as long as it takes, and only God knows how long that will be. Our job is to keep fighting until the Lord brings the victory. Our job is to fight in faith, knowing He WILL bring the victory!
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (Ephesians 6:13-18).
Love, Hugs, and Blessings,