A lesson from Jashobeam: An Invitation To Greatness

“These constitute the list of the mighty men whom David had: Jashobeam, the son of a Hachmonite, the chief of the thirty; he lifted up his spear against three hundred whom he killed at one time.” (1Chr. 11:11)

I love this chapter in 1 Chronicles. This record of David’s thirty mighty men offers us brief snapshots of greatness. Each profile contains a hint of why they were chosen… an invitation to greatness that is extended to every single one of us!

David heralded thirty men because of something he saw in them. Whether it was in their courage, bravery, perseverance, loyalty, or strength, each one had qualities that stir the ordinary heart, and this chapter never ceases to stir mine!

The greatest of the thirty was a man named Jashobeam. He was chief of them all. In this profile, he is said to have defeated 300 men with his spear! It doesn’t reveal if it was done over an extended period of time nor if it were a guerilla sneak attack or a blatant frontal attack.

But regardless of the tactical plan, all I know is that Jashobeam had to stay with the arrangement 300 times longer than I would have had the heart to! It took a great deal of military skill in hand to hand combat to defeat 300 men.

I wonder how many times I’ve wanted to quit after one or two incidences… one or two complaints, and I am finished. One or two times explaining something to a staff intern, and I’m tired of repeating myself. One or two times I’ve said something to my children, and I am exasperated.

I wonder how many times Jesus has had to repeat Himself with me? One or two times?

I wonder how many times people have put up with my mistakes, my flat notes. When my tiredness barked out a few words with sharp edges to them, I wonder how many times others have dismissed it and given me another chance?

Thank God for the Jashobeams. I am so grateful for their resolve and persistent faithfulness.

Lord, I want to develop not only perseverance, but a joyful perseverance. Not one that grumbles all the time, but one that believes till the end. When God calls me to be faithful to a cause such as my family or my ministry, I want to stay with it all the way to the last Philistine!

I am truly grateful that the Lord has been faithful to me, and will be, all the way to the end! I want to become more and more like Him every day.

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