2 Samuel 23:20
20 There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. NLT
Benaiah is probably not a Bible name lodged in the forefront of your memory banks, but he was actually well-known in Israel as one of David’s “Thirty Mighty Men,” so he actually has quite a bit of notoriety. But this one verse really stands out. “…on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it.” Who does that? Who would even think of doing that? But in the midst of a crazy story, let’s look at an incredible lesson that can be found.
Think about this. Lions are not domesticated creatures. They are wild, massive, fierce, and dangerous. The Bible says that our enemy, the devil, goes around like one seeking to devour us. And this is what I think is crazy. Benaiah chases this lion into a pit (not the other way around). So now Benaiah is in this pit…surrounded…no way of escape, with a ferocious killer. And it’s a snowy day. He’s not wearing vibram-soled sandals that could give him better traction and footing in the snow. He’s wearing leather sandals that would make him unstable as he slips and slides around in that pit. This, my friend, would appear to be a disaster waiting to happen. An impossible situation. A situation where only one is coming out of that pit alive. And it most likely wouldn’t be human.
Lions are pictures of strength. It has the strength to strike down an ox and carry it off in its mouth. No wonder he’s called “king of the beasts”? Lions take down 600-pound plains zebras and 1000-pound cape buffalo on a regular basis. One swipe from a lion’s paw can crush a human skull, and its teeth can penetrate any human bone. Who wants to face off in close quarters with an adversary like that? Benaiah did. And here is what is so amazing…Benaiah came out the winner. You’re thinking, “That’s a miracle!” Well, you’re right.
Here’s what I see in this amazing story. Benaiah didn’t run from his problem. He brought the problem into the pit where there was nowhere he could go…there was nothing else he could do but face it. When he got a glimpse of that lion up close, I’m sure he was well aware of the fact that it was impossible for him to defeat it. But here’s the thing…all things are possible when you bring God into your impossibility. Benaiah didn’t have to go into that pit; he chose to. And consequently, he came out of the pit as conqueror and victor over quite a huge problem. What a beautiful illustration of implicit trust in the God of Power and Might.
Men, we all have “lions” in our lives that seek to devour us. That “lion” could be an addiction, a broken marriage, a life-threatening illness, a fear of the future…you “fill-in-the-blank.” Don’t ignore it or run from it; take it into the pit where you have to face it. But trust God that when you face that impossibility, you face it with the One for whom nothing is impossible. And regardless of how additional conditions can make a dangerous situation even more dangerous (like a pit…on a snowy day), with God there is no difficulty, no storm, no fire, no hurricane that can reinforce your defeat.
Friend, if you follow the “lion” into the pit with God, you are coming out the winner.
19 …When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. NKJV
Here’s to devouring a few “lions” that have been looking to devour us. Let’s embrace the courage of Benaiah.
“God loves with a great love the man whose heart
is bursting with a passion for the impossible.”
– William Boothe