WHAT DID SHAMMAH DO THAT WAS SO RIGHT?


William Andrew Dillard

Out of the annals of history of ancient Israel comes an interesting, but little noted individual and event. In 2 Samuel 23:11-12 one is introduced to one of thirty top warriors in King David’s army. His name is Shammah. Although his name and claim to fame is little known among nominal Christians, his service to God and to the king was well known in his day, and it placed him into a sort of “hall of fame” for David’s generals.
The 80 years of the combined reign of Saul and David were years of war after war. Perhaps the most notable of the continuous enemies of ancient Israel was the Philistines. When they were strong, they would attack Israel in some of their weaker places and take whatever they wanted including people. It appears that the Philistines wanted a field of lentils that belonged to Israelites, and they were willing to go to war to take it. The Israelites including presumably the ones who owned the field fled from before the Philistine warriors. But, Shammah did not. He stood his ground and God wrought a great victory that day by his hand. Interestingly, it was a bean patch he protected. Of course, a field of beans ready or near ready for harvest represented a valuable asset to the owner, as well and to the population at large in the marketplace. More interesting is the name of the defender.,”Shammah,” This is a Hebrew word that means “There.” Shammah was not flighty or fearful. He was solid—he was there. He could be counted on in any time of crisis. Indeed, the bean patch was important but more-so was the principle of not giving in to those who would plunder and steal. What did he do that was so right? Simply put, he trusted in God to help him, and to give him victory. Notice that the Bible does not say that Shammah won the victory. Rather it pointedly says that God wrought the great victory.
Why is this recorded in the book of God for all generations of the ages? It is not accidental, but with great purpose. It is for us upon whom the ends of the world are come, said the apostle Paul in I Cor. 10:11. True believers must know that God and one still make a majority.
Do you run away in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds or do you trust in God to help you and give you the victory? If your trust is in God and you are depending upon His promises, that is so right! It is following a Bible example of many precedents of which Shammah is one.

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