Famous: Benaiah

2 Samuel 23:20-23
Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, who performed great exploits. He struck down two of Moab's best men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. And he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian's hand and killed him with his own spear. Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty men. He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

Benaiah was famous for killing. Even though God gave us the commandment “Do not kill”, we honor killers. Why? The commandment never said “Do not defend yourself.” The commandment really meant “Do not murder.” The killers we honor are people who defend others.

God told many people to kill. They obeyed God, saved their people, and were honored for it. This makes me think of the war movies that show men doing whatever is necessary to defend and protect their people by killing their enemy. From Band of Brothers TV miniseries, Captain Ronald Speirs showed courage by running through a town the American troops were trying to take. His run took him in front of the enemy soldiers who couldn’t believe what they were seeing. He ran right past enemy, delivered a message to American troops hiding behind a wall, and then he ran back to his company. Both times he ran, he looked unbelievably crazy and, at the same time, more courageous than anyone in the area. He did what was necessary to protect others. He did what no one else would do.

Capt. Speirs reminds me of the story of Benaiah. Courageous acts are done without a lot of thought and planning. Benaiah was crazy enough to use a club to go against a huge Egyptian who had a spear. After he got the Egyptian’s spear away from him, Benaiah killed him with it.

Benaiah was rewarded for his courage when David put him in charge of his bodyguard. David was smart. I’d want Benaiah next to me too.

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