Have you ever held on to something so tightly that your knuckles turned white; and when you let go it actually hurt to straighten your hands?
Has there ever been a time when it seemed that you were alone in the heat of a battle, a heart and soul battle? Have you ever felt that surely you would not survive that battle?
Until recently, I'm sure I have read over Eleazar's name many times without paying much attention to his story. However, his is now a name I remind myself of in difficult times. Even when it feels I am all alone... No...especially when it feels I am all alone, I challenge and remind myself to be an Eleazar. To stand my ground, to fight, to cling...
II Sam. 23: 9
(Msg) "When the Philistines drew up for battle, Israel retreated. But Eleazar stood his ground and killed Philistines right and left until he was exhausted—but he never let go of his sword!"
(NASB) and (AMP) "until his hand was weary and clung to the sword."
The army retreated and left Eleazar. He stood his ground. He fought. He clung... to his sword.
Stop. Put yourself in that situation. Imagine just how tightly you would have been clinging to your sword.
After fighting that desperately, I wonder... did someone have to help pry his hand from his sword in the end? Was the battle so intense and long that it was as if his hand and sword had become one?
(NIV) "till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword."
Sometimes my life battles feel ever so fierce. There are times I feel so alone in the midst of those battles. God has used the story of Eleazar as a challenge to my own heart.
Do I cling to my sword as desperately, fighting for my very life in the midst of life's fiercest battles?
Eph. 6:17 (NIV) "Take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
Heb. 4:12 (NIV) "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword..."
Do I cling so tightly that my knuckles turn white? Is my grasp so intense that it is almost as if my sword, God's very Word, is frozen to my being? Is my grip so tight that to let loose would generate a pain of sorts?
In the heart battles that rage, by His grace and mercy:
Learning to not retreat.
Seeking courage to stand my ground.
Finding the strength to fight.
Determining to cling... so desperately... for my very life...
To my sword... the Word of God.