Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day. And he killed an Egyptian, a man of great height, five cubits tall. In the Egyptian’s hand there was a spear like a weaver’s beam; and he went down to him with a staff, wrested the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. 1 Chronicles 11:22-23
A Picture of Edification
The character’s name in today’s story is Benaiah and it means ‘edified’, or more precisely, ‘Jehovah has built’. We might ask what does it mean to be edified in the Lord or by the Lord? Well it may seem obvious, but the primary thing we must recognize is that edification comes either directly (or indirectly) from the Lord. Secondly, edification is something to be received and exercised. And finally, it is something we must use to glorify the Giver and bring honor to His name. Benaiah’s conduct exemplifies these tenets, but in particular it spotlights how he exercised his gift.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Benaiah’s first encounter was with two lion-like men. What does it mean that these two men were lion-like? The reality is that we can draw many conclusions from such a description, but I submit to you that this narrative is suggests these men were satan followers, or at the very least their behavior was so evil that one might draw that conclusion. They weren’t satan, they just emulated him. Nevertheless, Benaiah was strengthened and prepared to do battle with the real lion when he practiced with the imitation.
That’s the key.
We can make application that the lion Benaiah eventually slew is a picture (a type) of satan. Take note of the details: it was a snowy day and the battle took place in a pit. What’s unusual is that Benaiah ventured out in stormy weather and then purposely went into the pit to kill the beast. You have to know that once you enter a pit with a lion, there’s typically only one way out — over his dead body (Daniel would be the only exception that I can recall). An undertaking such as this is the epitome of commitment, but not something one knowingly tasks unless God is on your side, God has guided you to the place, and you have Cross-trained. Only fools go picking fights with the enemy. However, shy away from those things God has equipped you for and you will be ill-prepared to do battle when the true enemy shows his face.
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
Benaiah’s third conflict was with the Egyptian. Egypt we know (in typology) is a picture of the world. Notice that Benaiah kills his opponent with his own weapon. We should realize that we can do the same thing; we can take the world’s weaponry and use it to defeat the enemy.
Jon Courson tells the story of a smoker who was struggling to overcome her addiction. She was counseled that each and every time she had a craving to smoke that she should instead pray for the lost and the unsaved. She did. In time the urge to smoke left her completely. Why? I contend that satan loosed the bonds of her addiction when he came to realize that smoking was the very thing that was bringing her closer to God and to do the work of God. She took satan’s weapon and turned it back on him.
I have had a similar experience. I struggled with debilitating depression for years and was eventually healed miraculously by God. Afterwards I received wise counsel from two different people: “If the depression returns,” one said, “it was a choice I made,” and the other said, “If the depression returns, I need to let it be the thing that prompts me to do something for someone else.” From that point forward, every time satan drew his weapon, I wrestled it from his grip by using it to facilitate a behavior that was pleasing to God; the very weapon formed against me was the catalyst that brought me closer to my Lord and Savior.
No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord. Isaiah 54:17 NKJ
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