DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

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Benaih
 

1. BENAIAH - "built up by God"

We often find in the Bible that the names of characters directly reflect their relationship with God or even the development of their personality as they walk with God. So it is with Benaiah, son of Jehoida. His name means "one who God has built up". We can surmise that he suggested to people around him a strong character of deep conviction, or maybe a man of God who, like Gideon, became strong after a struggle to come to terms with his God-given role in the Kingdom. Whichever of these is true, but Ps. 127 states that "unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain."

Psalm 127:1
A song of ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

The challenge for us is to ask how we are building our spiritual life to prepare us for useful service in the Kingdom of God.

Are we controlled by past defeats, low self-esteem and insecurity, or is our walk with God changing and moulding our character to become more like the Biblical examples of heroes in the faith who turned their weakness to strength?

Hebrews 11:34
quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

2. BENAIAH - Bold

2 Samuel 8:18
Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; and David's sons were royal advisers. We find that Benaiah is over the Kerethites and Pelethites, men renowned as professional soldiers, a no-nonsense brigade of fighting men. Only a leader of similar ability and courage would be accepted. The reason for Benaiah's ability to inspire is found in 2 Sam. 23:20 in which we read of his outrageous exploits, a few of which are here recorded. Such staggering boldness led to his appointment to King David's personal bodyguard.

2 Samuel 23:20
Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, who performed great exploits. He struck down two of Moab's best men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.

Are we challenged by such bold acts? How bold are we in evangelism, follow-up or even challenging fellow disciples? What is our boldest ever act of faith in our personal evangelism? We should take the challenge set by Benaiah's example and set a goal of two or three acts of boldness; maybe reaching out to intimidating people, having a bold, spiritual conversation with a family member or setting up a study with a work colleague, fellow student or just someone we meet today...

As with the disciples in Acts 4:29-31, our God needs to appear bigger to us than any obstacle or challenge.

Acts 4:29-31
29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.
30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.


3. BENAIAH and Son

1 Chronicles 27:5-6
5 The third army commander, for the third month, was Benaiah son of Jehoiada the priest. He was chief and there were 24,000 men in his division.
6 This was the Benaiah who was a mighty man among the Thirty and was over the Thirty. His son Ammizabad was in charge of his division.


"The third army commander, for the third month, was Benaiah son of Jehoiada the priest. He was chief and there were 24,000 men in his division. This was the Benaiah who was a mighty man among the Thirty and was over the Thirty. His son Ammizabad was in charge of his division", we gain a great insight into Benaiah's impact on those around him. We often find that the members of our own family are the hardest to influence for God, because they see our true level of conviction at home when we tend to be "off guard." What a triumph it is to see family members imitate our faith and gain our greatest convictions about serving God! Just a simple verse, but profound in significance: Benaiah raised up his own son, Ammizabad, to a position in the Royal army like his own, over 24,000 fighting men!

Does our spiritual life inspire others? Is our personal fruitfulness an upward call to the brothers and sisters? If married, are our children mirroring our convictions about God's Kingdom? All of us need to lead a spiritual life. However, the challenge is to be a leader of other Christians by our example of fervent prayer, love for the Bible, and our evangelism.

Finally, we are reminded by Benaiah's life of 2 Cor. 9:2, which states that a powerfully led, enthusiastic spiritual life will "stir others to action."

2 Corinthians 9:2
For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.