Would you risk your life for a patch of peas? One of my favorite people in the Bible did just that! Shammah was one of David’s mighty men back when the Israelites were being pursued by the Philistines. To my knowledge he is only mentioned once in the Bible and is found in 2 Samuel chapter 23:
When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. 12 But 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.
You see, what I love about Shammah is that he stood. He stood when an army of Philistines was marching toward him. He stood when all of his fellow Israelites, his friends, ran in fear. He stood because He knew what he was standing for was worth something. He stood in obedience. To you and I a pea patch (actually lentils but I don’t really know what lentils are…..they look like peas to me) is a pretty petty thing to lose your life over right? I think we have to put ourselves into the sandals of the people of Israel in those days. It was harvest time. Lentils would have been a staple in their diet and would have been a much needed nourishment in the lives of the Israelite army. Maybe the Philistines were just out for blood that day. Maybe they wanted to destroy the crops in an order to starve the Israelites. I don’t know all the answers but either way you look at it, that land and crop was of great value to the people. Shammah knew that.
The only other mention of “shammah” I could find in the Bible was when studying the names of God. I find it so amazing that one of the names of God is Jehovah Shammah…..meaning the Lord is there. Surely God was with Shammah that day in the pea patch. Because he was willing to take a stand, firmly in the middle of that field God was able to use Shammah to strike down the entire Philistine army! That is amazing!
If you haven’t noticed…..our “pea patch” is under attack. The enemy is out for blood. The enemy wants to starve us and turn us against each other. Just like the Philistines, the thief (satan) has come only to steal and kill and destroy….he is after our pea patch my friends. And if you look around you can see that our fellow “Israelites” are fleeing pretty fast, shrinking back into a complacent and politically correct life for fear of being wounded. My friends, Jesus came that we may have life, and have it to the fullest! Whatever it is that is running you out of your pea patch today I want to encourage you to not just stand but stand firm in the middle of your field. The God of the universe is on your side and is with you. Do not let the world intimidate you for we are not of this world.
We can look at this story and apply it to our world and our country as a whole quite easily. I think those signs are clear for anyone to see. What I want you to consider is not just this big picture, but also what pea patches you are fleeing from in your everyday life. What fears and struggles, doubts and insecurities plaque you today? Why don’t you start there? If we can not remain faithful to God in the small pea patches of our lives how will we ever stand faithful in the huge landscape of this world? We all face insecurities and fears in this life. Whether it is a situation at work or home, with a friend or even a family member; maybe it is a tragic situation or a scary diagnosis that has you riddled in fear. Whatever your patch looks like today, society wants us to conform….they want us to flee back into the shadows of complacency so that the light of Jesus Christ can no longer be seen. Today take your stand. Get yourself under the covering of God’s word, plug yourself into a community of Jesus loving believers and stand strong! Shammah didn’t stand around and make excuses, create a chart of pros and cons, or fret about what might happen. He knew what the right thing to do was, and so do you. He trusted God with an unwavering faith that not only brought him through the fight, but it brought him through victorious. His faith and obedience allowed him to become a vessel of God to strike down the enemy’s entire army. If God can use one simple man to do that work, can you imagine how much more He can do if we all chose to stand?