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    Sunday, December 7, 2008

    Lone Warrior

    Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty men, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. Then the men of Israel retreated, but he stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The LORD brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead. (2 Samuel 23:9-10)

    This is an incredible story that is just plugged right into the Bible. Picture the scene: The battle lines are drawn at Pas Dammim (which means "the Border of Blood"), which is the border between Israel's land and the land of the Philistines. These are two nasty rivals, peoples who've hated each other for centuries. This very border is the scene of massacre after massacre. There has never been a winning battle for either side decided on this border. It is home to many a death for Israeli and Philistine alike.

    The Israelites are taunting the Philistines from across the border. The three mighty men and David taunting the loudest. As hardened warriors, the Philistines are not about to let the Israelites insult them, nor their woman and definitely not their mothers. So they taunt back, and begin the war cry. The Israelites being their war cry, banging their shields with their swords all while screaming across the line at the Philistines. The Philistines of course answer back with their own shouts and sword banging. The noise is deafening, the battle coming is almost palpable. You can sense the tension rising. Eleazar especially feels his adrenaline pumping. He is ready to kill many man in the name of the Lord. No one will taunt his God, the God of Israel, his righteous anger begins to boil over. The hot red flashes of blood lust over take his senses. He can only see red.

    King David shouts the call to rush the field, Eleazar leading the pack, in a Holy rage against the Philistine army. The Spirit of the Living God descends upon Eleazar and consumes the man whole.

    The Israelite army begins to cower before the Philistine army. Sudden dread overtakes them. The ranks become confused, the men begin to fall back even King David retreats, but not Eleazar. The Spirit has taken him into the middle of the Philistine ranks alone. He pushes toward the center, men falling dead by his swords mighty blows. No foe can stand against him. One after another men die at Eleazar's bloody sandals. The Lord has overtaken him and his sword arm no longer is his own, it is the judgement of God which he is now dishing out. Not a single Philistine can stand his ground against such a foe. They begin to cower back, soon they are running away from this blood-thirsty sword which never seems to slake its thirst.

    Shortly after they begin to run, they all seem to retreat. The horn sounds and all of them run away. The run in fear from Eleazar, one man with a bloody sword. Soon Eleazar comes to his senses and realizes all are gone. He looks down at his feet and there is a pile of dead bodies surrounding him. He looks at his bloody sword and puts it into its sheath. He attempts to loose his hand from the hilt but finds he can't. This soldier of the Most High finds that he's been at battle so long and so hard that his hand is now frozen to the hilt of his bloody sword.

    Eleazar points the tip of his sword heavenward and praises God for this victory : "The Lord has brought about a great victory this day" he says.

    The rest of the Israelite army is stunned at the power of God, that was wielded by this one man. They stay staring at the border of blood, dumbstruck. They see their mighty friend go to his knees and they rush the field to strip the dead bodies of their possessions.

    This story blows my mind! I pray for the courage to be like Eleazar, I want it said of me that I went into battle and fought so hard and so long that my sword froze to my hand. You know, the Word is also called the Sword and I spoke this over a young man today, but I also own it as a word for me. The sword in this story represents the Word of God (for this young man and for me), and God is asking me to be so tenacious with the Word of God that it sticks to my hand after battle. That I will use God's Word to SLAY the enemy, taking the battle to the BORDER of His strong hold and making it a Pas-Dammim ( a border of BLOOD). God's word can slay Satan. It will slay him up, down, left right and center. The Word of God cuts the throat of the enemy. I've been like the other Israelites: tough enough to taunt him, but too cowardly to get into battle. I want the blood lust of the Spirit to come on me so I can be used by God to bring about a great victory. I don't want this for the glory of Marvin, just like Eleazar didn't want it for the Glory of Eleazar (nor do I believe this other young man wants the glory for himself), but I (we) want the Glory to go to God!