(Victory in a Barley Field)
He was with David in the battle against the Philistines at Pas-dammim. The battle took place in a field full of barley, and the Israelite army fled. But Eleazar and David held their ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the LORD saved them by giving them a great victory.1Ch 11:13-14 NLT
This is one of those Scriptures I love. I love it because it is an obscure little Scripture that is easy to overlook but delivers a big punch of truth. This story is about David and one of his “mightiest three warriors,” Eleazar. We know that David had 30 mighty men, one of whom was Uriah the Hittite, Bathsheba’s husband. Of course, if you know the story of David and Bathsheba, you know that things didn’t work out well for Uriah.
But above and beyond the thirty mighty men, there were three “mightiest warriors.” These three men were the elite- the crème de crème! These were the men whose devotion to David was so great that they would risk life and limb for him without a second thought. And they took risks on many occasions. One time the three broke through enemy lines to bring David a drink of water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem. Wasn’t there a stream nearby? David had remarked longingly that he wanted the good water from the well. He didn’t ask them to go, but they did because they loved David. That is a dedication to the nth degree.
So here is what I love about this story from our Scripture today. We are told that David, Eleazar, and the Israelite army were in a fight with the Philistines. The battle was taking place in a barley field. That poor barley farmer, right? So, the battle rages on, and the Israelite army fighting with David and Eleazar turns and flees. Great help the Israelite army was! The fight presumably wasn’t going so well, and their fear made them run for the hills.
Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few. — 1 Samuel 14:6
So now the battle is two men against the Philistine Army. David and Eleazar stand alone with no human backup in the barley field, fending off the Philistine army. Not only did the two men hold the Philistines back from advancing, but they beat them back and won the battle. Scripture tells us that the Lord saved them by giving them a great victory.
I wonder what David and Eleazar thought when they looked back and saw their army gone. Whatever they thought, they did not quit; whether backed up by a great military machine or not, they continued the fight.
Have you ever found yourself standing in a barley field, struggling to beat back the enemy? And maybe you had one person fighting with you, or maybe you were all alone. Or perhaps you were fighting the battle, and although you had help, it wasn’t the kind of help that would stick around if the fighting got too tricky. We can learn a few things from David and his mightiest man.
Here are some lessons we can glean from this story:
Sometimes the Lord allows us to fight even when it seems a bit lonely. Right in the middle of the battle, we realize we are fighting alone. Everyone has left. Sometimes through no fault of others, we are in a fight made for one. Others can pray for us, but the fight falls on us alone.
When we find ourselves alone during a struggle, remember that although no human may be with us, God is with us. He fights for us, which is better than an army of a hundred mighty men. And he commands Heaven’s Armies- he has powerful resources to help us. It is his power that will secure the victory.
Then there are times we must simply hold our ground and stand firm regardless of the size of the opposition. Now, this isn’t easy, especially when our family and friends call on us to make a hasty retreat. But when we know for sure our job is to stand firm, we must stand even if alone. In times like this, we must stand on God’s rock-solid promises. Can you imagine the Israelite army yelling to David while retreating, come on, there is no HOPE!
Eleazor was indeed a “mightiest man.” He stayed with his beloved David and fought. He was a blessing to David, and as a result, he saw God’s great hand work as the Lord GAVE them a great victory. The next time we are in a battle made for one or two, let’s remember how God gave David and Eleazor victory that day in the barley field.
How great is our mighty God!
Each one of you will put to flight a thousand of the enemy, for the LORD your God fights for you, just as he has promised. Joshua 23:10
One thought on “Standing Alone!”
I love stories of David! In times of need we all would love having an Eleazer by our side!!