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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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Bean Fields and Mighty Men of Valor

Posted by admin in August 25th, 2009
Published in faith

Eleazar was one of David’s mighty men of valor. You know, the David from the Old Testament. The David who eventually became king, but was harangued by Saul. The David and Goliath guy. Anyway, the Bible says he had three Mighty Men of Valor and Eleazar was one of them. Eleazar and his story is one of my favorites ‘cause he’s a very determined dude and he never let the odds play a role in his faith. He wasn’t moved by what he saw, but always trusted God to deliver.

Eleazar came from a small Hebrew village. He joined David’s army at a young age and was a terrific fighter. He was a warrior. You may know him because he’s one of the guys that crossed enemy lines to bring thirsty Captain David a drink. Remember him? Well, he got military leave one fall weekend and headed home to see the fam after being at war for three years. When he got to his village everyone was hiding in their huts, shaking with fear. Eleazar asked, “What’s up y’all?” And the villagers trembled. It seemed that every harvest the Philistines had crossed over the hills on their horses, ransacked the village, took the harvest and anything else they wanted. The Hebrew villagers were scared to death of these Philistines and as a result they hadn’t been able to harvest any beans for the past few years. Bad times. Scary times. The poor villagers felt helpless against the marauding Philistines.

On his first morning back home, Eleazar woke to the sound of hoof beats and shouting. He grabbed his sword and headed outside to see what was going on. And there on the hills’ crest were the Philistines. Hundreds of them. Armed, threatening, and very scary. Well, old Eleazar headed for his bean field and when he reached it, he stood right in the center of that field, planted his feet and raised his sword. The nasty Philistines laughed when they saw this one guy standing all alone in his bean field with his sword raised in the air. What was this crazy Hebrew thinking? It was him against all of them. They howled with laughter and then they charged…

There was Eleazar all alone standing in his bean field. He fought with all his might and all his strength as the villagers hid under their beds, in their small huts, fearful. Dust flew, swords clanked, horses snorted and battles cries were loud as thunder from that bean field. A battle was raging—one man against an entire army.

And then a miracle happened. The Philistines started running for their lives. And as they retreated and hightailed it out of there the villagers began to peek their scared little noses out of their windows to see what happened. And when the dust settled and the war cries were far gone, left among dead horses and slain Philistines, Eleazar stood alone in his bean field. The villagers ran out to ol’ Eleazar and discovered that they couldn’t even pry the sword from his hand.

Eleazar stood in his bean field, with his sword and his God and refused to allow the enemy to take what was his. Great story. Good stuff. Important principle.

My sister and her husband run their own business. They have been successful and reputable business people for over 20 years. They’ve been faithful. They have run their company in the most godly way. They are good folks. They have worked hard to build their business and they have a great reputation in town. This is a couple who gives to the poor, helps their neighbors, prays blessings on their competitors and always, always lends a helping hand. This is a couple who prays together every day and never misses their daily devotionals and Bible reading. This is a couple who love God and have always tried to honor Him in their business. Their life motto: Man is not our source and God is never late.

But this year Philistines began to raid. The first attack on their bean field came from the IRS hitting them with a six-figure tax bill. Like I said, they’d been in business over 20 years, but they have never had a tax bill this size. It took them off guard. Jolted them a bit. But fortunately, they had the money on hand and paid the IRS in full. It was the first time in their company’s history (and all small business owners understand this), where they had to rob Peter to pay Paul. They weren’t worried though. God had always provided for them and even though they owed money to their vendors, they knew absolutely that new jobs would come in and they’d have the cash to pay everyone. Then the recession hit and all small businesses began struggling financially. Tight financial times were no longer just headlines on CNN, but were now hitting home. With the recession, money just wasn’t coming in and just when they didn’t think things could get any worse, they did.

Letters from lawyers started piling up on their office floor sneaking in through the brass mail slot of the front door. Secretaries around town started gossiping. Vendors started showing up demanding to be paid immediately. Rumor around town was that their twenty-year business was going down—they were finished.

What do we as followers of Christ do in a crisis situation? Do we collapse? Do we run and hide under our beds? Do we just give up? What do we do when the gates of hell seem to be prevailing against us? When the Philistines charge our bean fields?

Days turned into weeks for my sister and her husband. Weeks turned into months and still, no work. No money. They prayed. They worshiped. They confessed. They believed. They stood. And still, things got even worse.

Finally, they decided to consult someone; ask for some advice. It wasn’t really an exit strategy, but an information gathering. They spoke with a lawyer. His first question, “Are you willing to fight for your company?”

Good question. And they said yes. They wanted to fight for their bean field! They believed God. They stood on His promises. They praised Him in the darkness and trusted His mighty hand to deliver. They refused to speak ill of unfair collectors and businessmen in their town who wrongfully condemned them and mocked them. They stood in their bean field and sometimes it felt as though that field was on fire, but they stood firm and would not be moved. “This is our bean field! God has given this to us! God is our source and He is never late! God is our Deliverer.” And of course, things grew even worse. No work. No money. Bills piling up. Fear tried to take hold of their hearts. The enemy tried to steal their faith.

This is a true story. And I pray that today it is an encouragement to you because no matter what you are going through, God is still in control. And no matter how dark things get, He’s the light and His light burns brightest in the darkness.

Last Friday, when my sis and her husband realized they were going to have to sell their home and close their business doors, when it looked as if nothing would or could save them something miraculous happened!

Godly friends of theirs, whom they have just recently reconnected with after more than a decade of separation, called. Out of the blue. They called. It was a tough conversation. It’s never fun to hear from long-lost friends when you have to tell them your world is collapsing. It’s hard. My sis didn’t want to tell them how bad things really were, but she did. And the dear friends prayed for them. Cried with them. Spoke words of hope and truth to them. For reasons I can’t explain, often with financial crisis comes shame and people feel somehow it’s their fault that they are in the crises. Why is that? There is no shame in hitting hard times.

But sitting there, talking on the phone, my sister was encouraged by her sweet friend’s words, “God will make a way where there seems to be no way…” The phone conversation ended. But the story wasn’t over…

Late that afternoon, the godly friends called back. It seemed that God, who reigns and rules over all things, laid it upon their hearts to write my sister and her husband a check for $90,000! No payback required.

Ninety thousand dollars! And from an unexpected source. And when the dust settled and those nasty Philistines scampered up the hill, my sister and her husband were left standing in their bean field and ya can’t even pry the swords from their hands.

You think your situation is too difficult for God? No way. Our God reigns and He is faithful to deliver His children. I don’t know what your situation is today, but God is in control. Don’t lose faith. Don’t succumb to fear. Don’t let the Philistines run roughshod over you! Whatever the circumstances trust God and fight for what is yours. Because man is not your source and God is never late. I Chronicles 11:14, “And they set themselves in the midst of that parcel, and delivered it, and slew the Philistines; and the LORD saved them by a great deliverance.”

I hope today you, through God’s strength, are able to stand in your bean field and trust Him for a great deliverance. Peace.

7 users Responded In This Post

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mygif
206. Texas cuzzin Linda said,
August 25th, 2009 at 11:23 pm

The Lord takes care of his own. Praise God for his blessings on C’s family.

mygif
207. jalling1 said,
August 26th, 2009 at 7:03 am

Another Texas cuzzin Janis said,
We never knew that was going on. You never know behing people’s big smiles there is a battle waging. I love the verse from Psalm 37:25 “I have been young, and now I am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or his descendants begging bread.” We hold C and her family up in prayer today and can hardly wait to hear the rest of the story of God’s faithfulness. We love your family so much.

mygif
208. Deb said,
August 27th, 2009 at 9:07 am

Thanking the Lord for his provision. Also thanking God that their friends were not like Job’s friends.

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209. AMT said,
August 27th, 2009 at 11:44 am

Thanks very much for these words from scipture and application to today. I lean to worry and fear in uncertain times and try to work myself out of the circumstances. It is easy to say the right thing – faith in action can be hard. Thanks again for reminding from whence my strength should come.

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210. big sister said,
August 28th, 2009 at 8:10 am

I read “life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away” – This is God and I think it describes His awesomeness and blessings and most of all – his love for us. His compassions fail not and His mercies are new every morning – GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS! We can’t wait to share the on-goings of God’s greatness in the days to come – this testimony is not over – it is just beginning! love

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213. Linda in KC said,
September 3rd, 2009 at 11:17 am

Yes, God does big things! He showed our family that he will do above all that we ask or think. God likewise provided a job for my husband when all doors appeared shut. The job came literally a few days before he was to get let go from his other job! As a dear friend has said, “God is rarely early, but he’s never late” Thank you for this reminder!

mygif
214. admin said,
September 3rd, 2009 at 11:24 am

Praise God Linda in KC! How wonderful. So many people are writing me telling their stories of God’s goodness and provision. I’m reminded of that book by the Nazarene theologian Stan Toler, “God Has Never Failed Me, But He’s Scared me to Death a Few Times.” God is so faithful; He never fails.

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