Grapes on the Vine, God's Abundant Provision for His People

A daily devotion for February 19th

How to Kill a Lion

Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits… He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.

1 Chronicles 11:22-23

Benaiah was made captain of David's bodyguard. He was chosen for that position of honor close to the person of the king because of the deeds of valor for which he was widely known throughout the nation. Perhaps the greatest deed for which he was known was that he went down and slew a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. A lion is a very ferocious adversary. Benaiah met him in a very difficult place and slew him, and thus was recognized as a man of valor.

Who among us has not been confronted with such an enemy? I am sure you can guess at what the lion symbolizes. Peter tells us: Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour, (1 Peter 5:8 RSV). Here is an enemy who is sinister, has tremendous majesty and authority and power, and is out looking for something to eat. I am sure we have sensed a tremendous dread of the devil and felt terrified by this adversary.

Benaiah met this lion in the worst possible place. If you are going to fight a lion, certainly the one place not to choose is a pit, where you cannot get away. If I were to fight a lion, I at least would want to be out on a plain where I could take certain steps — preferably long ones — to get away! But you cannot run in a pit. Have you ever been there? Have you ever run into this terrible thing you dreaded to have happen, and found there was no way to avoid it? Notice also that Benaiah met this lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. That made it a very treacherous situation — the worst possible foe, in the worst possible place, under the worst possible circumstances.

How did he win? Benaiah was able to win because that is the kind of man he was. In the Bible, when you want to know what a man is like, look at his name. Biblical names are designed to give you a clue to the character of the individual. In almost every instance his name is with his father's — Benaiah the son of Jehoiada? If you take the meaning of those two names, you get the secret of how to kill a lion on a snowy day. Jehoiada means God knows, and Benaiah means God builds. Those twin truths are the secret of how to meet a lion, the worst possible foe, in the worst possible place, under the worst possible circumstances, and win.

Remember to rest upon the facts that God knows where you are. He chose that place for you. God put you where you are, and he knows all about you. Ah, but more than that, he builds. He has a purpose in mind. He knows what is happening and he is using it to work toward an end. Out of all the record of Paul's heartache and sorrow and suffering, This light affliction, he said, is but for a moment, and is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV). And this is not only in heaven some day, but now. Those who go through heartaches, pressure, problems, and tribulation always emerge, when they are in God's hand, softened, chastened, mellowed, more loving, warmer, more compassionate. This is the secret of survival: God knows, God builds.

Thank you for this truth, Lord, which leaps at me from an obscure incident in the Scriptures, that I may know how to face life and live as you want me to live. Amen.

Life Application

What can you do today to act in trust that God knows your life and is using circumstances according to his plan?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

How to Kill a Lion on a Snowy Day

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