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“Keep Swinging!”

Text: “And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel had retreated. 10 He arose and attacked the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand stuck to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to plunder.” (2 Sam. 23:9-10, NKJV)

I don’t know if you remember when you were little. In my place of birth, when kids would fight, but they didn’t want to fight, they would draw a line on the dirt and then they would say, “Don’t pass the line. If you do, you will have to fight me.” If the other kid passed the line, a fight would ensue.

On this particular day in Israel, the Israelites were facing the Philistines. By the description given, it seems that Israel ignited the fight, drawing the line on the ground. The rest of the army seemed to have left the field in cowardice. But Eleazar, one of the mighty men of David, proceeded to go forward in battle and defend the field upon which they were standing. David and Eleazar had a great victory that day.

Of particular importance today is what the Bible says about this conflict. Eleazar’s hand was tired but he had to continue fighting. So prolonged was the fight that “his hand stuck to the sword.” Imagine this! Even if he was tired, he had no option but to keep on swinging! If he stopped swinging, it would be the end of him, and possibly David. Yet he was a mighty man of valor. He just kept swinging!

This is a good lesson to learn! In life, there will be many times when our best intentions are not rewarded at first. We must know that we must keep swinging! Sometimes the doors that appeared to have opened, close…we must keep swinging! The possibilities of accomplishment evaporate sometimes, we must keep swinging! The fight is not sometimes to the strong, or to the smartest, or to the most capable. Sometimes, it just happens that victory goes to the one that keeps on fighting, and just keeps swinging!!!

If today you are facing insurmountable odds, or you are facing an impenetrable wall, you must keep swinging! If the heavens appear to be shut and made of bronze, keep praying! If love seems not to be rewarded, we have a promise that it does not fail, keep loving! If you have planted for years and there seems not to be a crop, keep watering! If it seems that your best efforts are met with rejection, keep pushing forward. Let the sword get stuck to your hand, keep swinging!

As you can see above, the name of Eleazar’s dad was Dodo. I know this is not a great biblical observation on my part, but Dodo means do, do. Just keep doing! Maybe he learned from his dad to not just do once, but to do again! And, although that is just minor humor, it does bring home the point, just keep swinging!

Questions for reflection:

1. Am I frustrated in life because a desired outcome is not happening?

2. Have I swung my sword to the point of exhaustion or is there more to swing?

3. Can I find inner strength to keep moving forward?

4. Am I a person that surrenders when things get tough, or do I find resolve to overcome?

Your devotional ends here. Please fill out a Reflection Form.

This is optional. For anyone who would like more, at your pleasure and discretion, take action as described below:

Action assignment: Identify an area of frustration in your life. Analyze this area in light of Zechariah 4:6. Have I tried only in my might? Have I tried only in my power? Did I try it by the Spirit of the Lord? Please discern and make adjustments.

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