“But Shammah took his stand in the
middle of the field.”
2 Sam 23:12
The Philistines were banding together in a field full of lentils and the Israelite
troops fled from them, but there Shammah, son of Agee, took his stand in the
middle of the field, defending his homeland and the Lord gave him a great
victory against the enemies.
Shammah, one of David’s mighty warriors, refused to give in to his fear when he encountered great
danger, while most Israelites were running for their lives. The urge to follow
all the others must have been quite irresistible; Shammah, however, didn’t
succumb to the temptation. He was the last one in the line of defense, and the
line of resistance would surely have collapsed had he left the field.
Do we have the courage to take a stand while most people are withdrawing?
The sea of faith has withdrawn; so has sound ethics and morality. In the midst of moral
chaos, with the boundaries between right and wrong increasingly vague, are we
going to follow the masses who seem to tolerate all wrongs and mock the ones
who believe otherwise?
A meaningful conversation with the X generation has become almost impossible. Not only is
there “generation gap” between us, which is hard to bridge, there is also a moral
gap that causes us to drift farther and farther apart. How can I have a
dialogue with the young people in the post modern era if I am constantly being accused
by them of being intolerant and bigotry?
I often find myself tiptoeing when I speak to my children’s friends, for fear of saying
Am I tempted to run away from my moral convictions and inch closer to moral ambiguity, which
a lot of people, including Christians, appear to be doing?
“Here I stand. I can do no other,” proclaimed Luther at the Diet of Worms, defending
his strong convictions derived from the Bible, refusing to budge even an inch,
even it meant his imprisonment and death. The battle lines had been drawn and there
was no retreat for the reformer, for he simply couldn’t compromise the eternal
truth found in the Scriptures.
Had Shammah given up and escaped, the hope of an entire nation would have been destroyed.
The Philistines were indeed threatening and he put his life on the line by
holding his ground, yet it brought no small comfort to the warrior’s heart,
knowing that he was on God’s side and what he was doing was God’s work.
If there is a God, where do we turn except to the way of God? If there is no God, we can turn
all ways, and they will all be right and wrong at the same time, which doesn’t
make the slightest difference either way.