In His infinite wisdom, God designed man in such a way that each one has a specific genetic makeup to perform certain tasks with the skills with which the Creator has blessed. Some are endowed with outstanding leadership abilities, while others perform superbly in the role as ‘followers’. There are those who are brainy in mathematics and others whose curiosity lends them to be inventors who have provided the world with notable technology. Perhaps the greatest gift and calling that the Lord has bestowed is men who are soldiers of the Cross, not only in preaching the Word, but also in defending the faith with military skills. Scripture is full of men who are listed among God’s “the Few, The Proud. and the Brave”. Indeed, there are some who because of their military accomplishments are esteemed with the “Special Forces” of the Lord’s ‘Marine Corps’. Allow me to introduce to you the leader of one of God’s special forces units, a man by the name of Benaiah.
We begin in 2 Samuel 23: 20 where we learn that Benaiah, a man from the tribe of Ephraim, was the son of Jehoiada from Kabzeel; a priest and a valiant man. There does not seem to be any record of Benaiah having a wife. He came from a Godly heritage through not only his father, but also his grandfather. These men were great leaders because they were skilled in following the commands of their authority. Whether it be Jehovah or their earthly king, they submitted willingly and loyally to their authorities. These men did not seek their own, they did not ‘fight for the microphone’; they just did their job and did it well.
Benaiah was skilled in combat performance. It was not a surprise that his accomplishments soon gained the attention of King David. Stories of Benaiah killing two very ferocious ‘lion-like’ men of Moab must have raised the eyebrow of the king, but perhaps not as much as his slaying of a 7 foot tall, muscle-bound Egyptian who carried an enormous 15 pound spear. This spear is described as a weavers beam in 1 Chronicles 11, and Benaiah was only armed with a staff. The spear was wrenched from the Egyptians hand by Benaiah, whereby he was slain. Benaiah’s obvious lack of fear must have made an impression upon King David. especially when he heard that Benaiah had chased a lion into a pit during the snowy winter and then jumped into the pit himself and slew the beast.
David set Benaiah over his guard. Although he was not one of David’s top three men, Benaiah fulfilled his responsibilities with reverence and faithfulness. Because of their tremendous courage and bravery, King David chose 30 special warriors to be an elite force and placed Beniah as the leader. It is recorded that at one time Benaiah had command over 24,000 men. The testimony of his devotion to God and to his king was so widely known that when Adonijah attempted to seize the throne from David, he did not bother to consult with Benaiah.
While on his death bed, King David learned of Adonijahs’ plot to seize the kingship and we read in 1 Kings 1:32, that he summoned Zadok, Nathan and Benaiah, the Priest, the Prophet and the Patriot. Benaiah was David’s trusted and loyal soldier to the end. Interestingly, David’s inner circle of the “three’ valiant men are not listed in this meeting. Perhaps they were no longer, or perhaps Benaiah had ‘arrived’, so to speak.
Once Solomon was crowned King, he was blessed with the loyalty of Benaiah. Without hesitation, Benaiah obeyed the orders to slay the leaders of the insurrection, Joab and Adonijah. He later became the Commander of Solomon’s army. Benaiah was a God fearing man, a warrior who lived life to the fullest, never complaining, never compromising or backing down in the face of adversity. He was a man’s man. His bravery and fighting skills earned him his honor and a place in the Holy Writ as one of God’s behind the scene servants.
Acknowledgment to Pastor Andy Douglas for his inspiration that led to the writing of this artile.