And he definitely deserved a medal for his stellar leadership qualities. His troop of mighty warriors is proof.
It was only recently that this brief passage about one of his soldiers captured my attention:
2 Samuel 23:9-10a
V9 – And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel had retreated.
V10a – He stood his ground and attacked the Philistines until his hand was weary and his hand clung to the sword.
Ever feel physically, mentally and emotionally weary? Our natural reaction is to draw back and lay low in an attempt to find relief from pressure.
What else could we possibly do at that moment when we don’t have the physical strength to keep up any longer?
Let’s have a look at Eleazar’s experience on the battlefield and find out:
The Makings of a Victorious Warrior
1) Look beyond your present circumstances
Imagine how David must have felt when a bunch of distressed, discontent people who were in debt came to him, and he had to lead this group? (1 Samuel 22:2). This is precisely the same group of men who became the infamous mighty men of David’s army.
Eleazar and the group’s ability to become mighty warriors did not depend on their dismal circumstances. It began with their firm decision to look beyond and rise above their circumstances. It also had a lot to do with their obedience to authority.
God honours our obedience.
2) Position yourself on the battlefield…and stay there!
In 2 Samuel 23:9, we learn that while the other men had retreated, Eleazar remained on the battlefield. When others retreated, Eleazar stood his ground.
It does not matter if you’re the only one on the battlefield. The Lord is with you!
God does not need a statistical advantage to win, but He does look for our willingness to remain steadfast in our trust in Him. There is an amazing promise of the Lord found in 2 Chronicles 20:17a: You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf!
All of us have battles to fight in life. It may take place in the natural realm; nevertheless, the Word of God encourages us NOT to physically strive to overcome these hurdles. We are to face these battles in the spiritual realm with the help of God. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).
The best position to fight and overcome your battles is to remain on your knees in prayer. Hold your position; stand your ground!
3) Be persistent in your pursuit
Eleazar stood his ground, attacked the Philistines until his hand was weary and his hand clung to the sword (2 Samuel 23:10a).
His hand was weary…and his hand clung to the sword. Now that’s persistence.
There is another passage in the Scriptures that goes into great detail about the armour of God that we must put on to stand against the enemy of our soul. Ephesians 6:17 encourages us to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
That was Eleazar’s secret. Even at that moment of extreme exhaustion, he clung to the sword of the Spirit; the Word of God.
And how did the Lord respond to Eleazar’s persistence? And the LORD brought about a great victory that day (2 Samuel 23:10b).
How do we hold on to the Word of God? We must be aware of who God is and His promises for our lives in order to cling to it. That requires us to read the Word of God and saturate our thoughts with His thoughts. As we dig deeper into the Bible, we will learn to cling to Him and let go of all our doubts and fears.
God rewards the persistent. He honours those who trust in His Holy Spirit and the truth of His Word. For victory comes not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).
4) Rely on God’s strength
What happens when God’s strength meets yours? You will be able to overcome your weaknesses and accomplish extraordinary feats. This supernatural empowerment is also known as the anointing of God.
It is the anointing that empowers your spirit to hold on even after your last ounce of strength has run out. As we train our spirit to rely on the Lord, the anointing of God will increasingly rest upon our lives to function in a much greater capacity than we could ever do on our own.
That is exactly how Eleazar was able to overpower the army of Philistines…especially after all who were supposed to fight alongside him decided to hightail it out of there!
5) Remember your call of duty
We are called to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). We are not called to “hold the fort” in life, but to advance in every area.
Don’t cower under the weight of daily pressures. The key is to remain aware that we were never told to face life on our own.
Take every struggle in life as a test to move away from relying on yourself to increasingly growing in your dependence on God. Trust Him; He is faithful to all His promises.
And remember; God anoints us for victory; never to fail!