Shammah

2 Samuel 23:11-12 is one of my favorite passages, and I think about it often. Little is known of Shammah’s life, but what I do know has for many years made him one of my favorite people in the Bible. His decision to fight when everyone else had quit has encouraged me to keep going through rejections, disappointments, and difficult times.

Shammah stands, literally, in stark contrast to Esau, who for moment of hunger sold his birthright away for a bowl of lentil soup (Genesis 25:29-34). Shammah defended an entire field of lentils, refusing to surrender the blessing and sustenance for all his people, including those who had abandoned him.

Adding to my love for him, Shammah’s name means “wonder.” It’s used most often in the Bible as a negative, as in being overwhelmed by destruction. But it can also be a holy, life-restoring awe, and like all of us, I think Shammah had a choice to make as to what his name would stand for.

Wonder is essential to me. Choosing to stay (or return) to hearing God’s voice in awe of him keeps me from thinking I need to have every answer before I can go on. Looking for him in wonder heals and renews my heart, and is my best defense against self-pity, resentment, and cynicism. Wonder leads me to trust, hope, and love, which give me strength to stand and fight. I pray you have a genuinely wonderful day, and have all the strength you need to thrive in your field.

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