JANUARY 2000 – As we enter a new year, a new decade, a new century, and a new millennium, I want to share a simple biblical principle with you.
Sometimes God asks us to be obedient and persevere in difficult circumstances even when victory seems very far away. It’s called faithfulness.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). Those, of course, are Paul’s words to the churches of Galatia.
Let us make those words our motto. We have much work to do for the Lord.
Even as many church leaders encourage us to abandon our heritage and scriptural wisdom, let us continue to stand for truth, to do what we can to turn the tide of sin engulfing our society.
The Scripture tells us about some of the men who stood with David when the enemies of God’s people pressed in all around them. Those men are called David’s “mighty warriors.”
We are told very little about them, but what we are told should greatly encourage us.
The first man mentioned in 2 Samuel 23:8–12 is Josheb-Basshebeth, who fought against Israel’s enemy and killed 800 men at one time. Josheb was faithful even though the odds appeared stacked against him.
The second of the “mighty warriors” was Eleazar. He stood with David in defiance of the Philistines even when “the Israelites retreated.” Eleazar was faithful even though he stood nearly alone against those who would enslave the people of God.
In battle, this man of God “stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword.” Have you ever felt that way?
Have you ever been so spiritually weary and worn that it would have felt so good just to drop that sword, or that plow, or that pulpit, or that marriage, or those kids for a while?
Eleazar remained faithful in the midst of that kind of weariness. And yet the Bible tells us that because he did not quit, “the Lord brought about a great victory that day.”
Finally, there was Shammah, who also found himself abandoned by the other warriors of Israel as the Philistines approached to do battle. Now Shammah found himself in “a field full of lentils.” Literally, this man was standing in a bean field. We are not told that it held any strategic significance or military value.
But that bean field is where Shammah found himself staring across at the Philistines.
That was where the fight was, and that was where this mighty man of God stood fast.
Shammah “took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.”
Sometimes God places us in a situation in which we ask, “Why should I fight this fight? It’s just not worth it!” But God knows the value of the bean field, even if we don’t.
He calls us to stand fast anyway.
As we come to this point in history, I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you who have stood with us, some of you for many years.
Let us keep on keeping on. It is not always within our ability to be successful. But it is always within our ability to be faithful.
Editor’s Note: From the late 1970s through 2010, Don Wildmon, founder and president emeritus of American Family Association, wrote hundreds of monthly columns for AFA Journal. Thirty-one of his best columns are now available in a recently published collection titled Our Call to Faithfulness: The Voice and Legacy of Don Wildmon. Click here or call 877-927-4917 to order your own copy of Our Call to Faithfulness: The Voice and Legacy of Don Wildmon.