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Eleazar Clung to His Sword

David, Joshua, Jonathan – famous warriors for God. They were strong and courageous men who won many battles. But I would like us to consider another warrior who is not as well-known.

“Eleazar arose and struck the Philistines until his hand was weary and clung to the sword, and the LORD brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to strip the slain.”

2 Samuel 23.10

Eleazar “clung to his sword” and the Lord gave the victory. Reflect on two aspects of this great defeat of the enemy.

First, to have great victory, Eleazar had to know his sword. This was not the first time Eleazar would have wielded his weapon. He would have trained with it and used it in other battles. He would have spent hundreds of hours getting to know his sword to be able to effectively use it.

But also to have great victory, Eleazar had to trust in the Lord. When considering the different reigns of Israelite kings, we see many of the faithful warriors appear under David’s reign. David trusted in the Lord for battle. He served as an example for his warriors to do the same. Trusting in the Lord is why David and his men were so successful.

Eleazar is an encouraging man to read about. Many of us are not in a physical encounter like Eleazar; however, we are in a battle. It is not a fight against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces. We have a sword we cling to— the word of God (Ephesians 6.17). We are not trying to defeat the Philistines, but we are trying to change the hearts of men. Like Eleazar, we must be striving for victory in the Lord!

For us to have great victory, we must know our sword. We must spend time in God’s word. Read, study, and meditate on its contents! Paul wrote to Timothy “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3.16-17). For it to be profitable, there must be an investment.

If we don’t know the word, how can we share it? If we don’t know the word, how can we defend against error? If we don’t know the word, how can we grow to be more like God? It is crucial that we continue to study God’s word.

For us to have great victory, we must trust in the Lord. Eleazar’s swordsmanship would not have mattered without trust in the Lord. The same is true for us. We must have trust in God and the power of His word. As Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1.16). We must trust in the Lord and His power, not ourselves. His word transforms people. It is described as “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and pierces as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4.12). Not everyone will be converted, but that’s not what defines victory on our part. We are commanded to teach and sow the seed. Of course we pray others will change, but ultimately, it is their decision. Our role is to sow the seed and let God’s word pierce and convict the hearts of men.

Cling to God’s word and trust in Him for victory!