Shabbat Shalom all,
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:10 “For the rest, my brothers, be strong in the Master and in the mightiness of His strength.”
In Sha’ul’s letter to the assembly at Ephesos, these were the words that he wrote just before giving the clear instructions of putting on the armour of Elohim in order to continue to remain steadfast and stand courageous in the daily battles of life that the true set apart and built up ones of Messiah face. This call to be strong and very courageous in the mightiness of the strength of our Master and King, יהושע Messiah, is still being shouted out to each and every one of us, who are being built up in Him. Tonight I want us to be encouraged to remain steadfast in possessing a complete and sound courageous faith in יהושע Messiah, in whom we put all our trust; and in the process ensure that we are encouraging and building each other up in the most set-apart faith! I love to read and learn from many of the true mighty men that we see being written about in Scripture, as the examples of their lives are clearly able to teach and train us in righteousness, as well as reprove and rebuke us if need be, as we look intently into the Word of Elohim. As we, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house and set-apart priesthood that is able to offer up acceptable spiritual slaughter offerings through יהושע Messiah, we need to continually be on guard against the wickedness and corruptness that surrounds us on a daily basis. To remain steadfast as ones who are being built up as a set-apart priesthood amidst a wicked world, requires great courage to stand firm; and to help us and encourage us to be strong and courageous I want us to look at a man who was one of Dawiḏ’s mighty men, one who was numbered among the 30 of his finest brave ones, in a message tonight called,
“THE COURAGE OF THE BUILT UP ONES!”
Please turn with me to Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 11:22-25 (Read).
The man that I want to focus a little on tonight is Benayah. This was one of Dawiḏ’s mighty men who displayed great courageous faith in the face of some pretty intense life threatening battles. In the Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, the word ‘courage’ is defined as, “mental or moral strength to resist opposition, danger or hardship”, and it implies, “a firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty”. It is the brave heart that displays true courage, and Benayah being a son of a brave man certainly displayed some brave courage, from which we can learn a great deal.
As we look at the meaning of the names mentioned here, as well as some key Hebrew words, we are able to clearly identify how we too are to stand firm in our daily lives, and recognise the enemy that lurks around us, always seeking to devour us at any given moment! The name בְּנָיָה Benayah – Strong’s H1141 means, ‘Yah has built up’, which comes from the two Hebrew words: 1) יה – ‘Yah’ – Strong’s H3050 which is the contracted Name of יהוה, and 2) בָּנָה banah – Strong’s H1129 meaning, ‘to build, besieged, construct, fortify, rebuild’. A word that is derived from this root word, through the meaning to build, is אֶבֶן eḇen – Strong’s H68 meaning, ‘stone, corner stone, differing weights, plumb line’. We are therefore able to see how it is יהוה who builds us up as living stones; and being built up in Him, we are able to stand strong and stand firm in any circumstance, with the full assurance that the Rock upon which we stand will stand firm and not be moved or shaken!
Benayah was the son of יְהוֹיָדָע Yehoyada – Strong’s H3077 which means, ‘יהוה knows’, which is made up from two words: 1) יהוה – Strong’s H3068 and 2) יָדַע yada – Strong’s H3045 meaning, ‘to know, to acknowledge, clearly understand, to perceive, distinguish and discern’, and this verb can also render the ability to know by experience, and while we recognise that יהוה certainly ‘knows’ all things, we also realise that in terms of יהוה knowing those who take refuge in Him, or that He knows those who are His, there is a deeper intimacy being expressed by the clear experience of a faithful and fruitful relationship between the Creator and His Created beings, that follow and adhere to His clearly prescribed ways for functioning as they should, by being faithfully obedient to His instructions for living set-apart lives unto Him!
Timotiyos Bet/2 Timothy 2:19 “However, the solid foundation of Elohim stands firm, having this seal, “יהוה knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the Name of Messiah turn away from unrighteous-ness.”
This one who was built up by יהוה, and known by יהוה, was the son of a brave man from Qaḇtse’ĕl. The Hebrew word translated here as ‘brave’ is חַיִל ḥayil – Strong’s H2428 which means, ‘strength, efficiency, wealth, army, ability, capability, excellence’ and comes from the root word חִיל ḥil – Strong’s H2342 which means, ‘to be firm, strong, endure, prosper’. This is the same word that is used to describe the ‘able’ men that Mosheh’s father in law instructed him to seek out! While many ought to be ‘able’ and ‘brave’, given the length of time that they have been walking according to the Torah, sadly the fruit of their lives proves otherwise and they are simply not qualified to be classed and ‘brave’ or ‘able’, when we all should be, as we make our firm stand in Messiah!
In the Hebrew ancient pictographic symbols the word for ‘able, brave’ – חַיִל ḥayil was written as follows:
– this is the Hebrew letter ‘ḥet’, which in the early script is pictured as a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent, or can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. A wall is also built up by stones, which can also picture for us as living stones being built up in Messiah!
– this is letter ‘yad or yod’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!
– this is the Hebrew letter ‘lamed’, which is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, representing ‘authority’ and can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority, as well as be submitted under the Authority of the Good Shepherd!
When we see these letters in the ancient script being used to describe someone who is considered ‘brave, and able’ we can certainly glean from this the following:
The true brave and able one in the body of Messiah is the one who truly represents what it means to be separated as a living stone, and submitted to doing the work of obedient service, being led under the Authority of our Good Shepherd, and equipped to teach and lead others to maturity in Messiah!
Benayah was not only a brave and able warrior in Dawiḏ’s army, he was a leader who led by example, expressing true courage and bravery in any situation!
The place קַבְצְאֵל Qaḇtse’ĕl – Strong’s H6909 means, ‘El gathers, El assembles’, and comes from two words: 1) אֵל el – Strong’s H410 which means, ‘Mighty, power, shortened form of Elohim – Mighty One’ and 2) קָבַץ qaḇats – Strong’s H6908 which means, ‘to gather, collect, assemble, meet, brought together’. This word is used a number of times in reference to the gathering of the remnant Yisra’ĕl to Her Beloved Husband and King:
Diḇre haYamim Aleph 11:1 “And all Yisra’ĕl came together to Dawiḏ at Ḥeḇron, saying, “See, we are your bone and your flesh.”
On the day that the Ark of the Covenant was returned and set up in the tent that Dawiḏ had built, he gave thanks and prayer to Elohim and part of this prayer is:
Diḇre haYamim Aleph 16:34-36 “Give thanks to יהוה, for He is good, For His kindness is everlasting! 35 And say, “Save us, O Elohim of our deliverance; And gather us together, And deliver us from the gentiles, To give thanks to Your set-apart Name, And boast in Your praise.” 36 Blessed be יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl From everlasting to everlasting! And all the people said, “Aměn!” and praised יהוה.”
What we are able to clearly see from the names and place being mentioned here in the introduction of this mighty brave one of Dawiḏ, is that our need to be gathered together and be known by יהוה, as we obediently gather on His Appointed Set-Apart Times, is critical in our being built up in Him, and equipped and able to be brave and courageous amidst the battles we face each and every day!
Benayah was the son of Yehoyaḏa, who was the leader of the priests who joined Dawiḏ at Ḥebron, and so we know he was from the tribe of Lĕwi – לֵוִי – Strong’s H3878 – ‘joined to’, and we are further able to see the clear shadow picture of royal priesthood of Messiah which speaks of those who are joined to and brought near by the blood of the Messiah, and are able to stand firm and be courageous!
I love reading of the great faith these seemingly little known characters display. This guy killed the two strongest men in Moaḇ; and he killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day; and he also killed a 7 ½ foot Mitsrian with his own spear! A man who many would think was nuts, yet Scripture refers to his actions as great exploits and he was held in high honour and promoted. Benayah remained faithful to Dawiḏ and displayed great courage and consistency in character. He won a name among the 3 mighty men, and was more esteemed that the 30, and Dawiḏ set him over his court! This is a powerful picture of those who overcome and stand firm in being true able and brave ones, shall be made a supporting post in the Dwelling Place of Elohim:
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:12 “He who overcomes, I shall make him a supporting post in the Dwelling Place of My Elohim, and he shall by no means go out. And I shall write on him the Name of My Elohim and the name of the city of My Elohim, the renewed Yerushalayim, which comes down out of the heaven from My Elohim, and My renewed Name.”
Benayah was a man that was built up by יהוה, and was able to be brave and fight the good fight of faith. Sha’ul , in his farewell speech to the assembly at Ephesos said this:
Ma’asei/Acts 20:32 “And now, brothers, I commit you to Elohim and to the word of His favour, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those having been set apart.”
It is the Word of Elohim that is able to build us up and cause us to stand firm, and our need to gather on His Shabbat furthers strengthens us as true brave set apart ones of the Most High!
As we consider some of these great exploits of Benayah, we are able to learn a great deal in identifying the very same battles we face today, in a metaphoric sense!
1 – He struck 2 lion-like Moaḇites
The Moaḇites were a nation who lived at the time on the borders of Yisra’ĕl. They were related to the Yisra’ĕlites – remember Lot, when he fled with his two daughters from Seḏom and hid in a cave, and his daughters thought that they would never marry and have children so they both got their father drunk and had sex with him; and so both had children from their father. The one was Ben-Ammi – father of the Ammonites and the other was Moaḇ, father of the Moaḇites – the people who Elohim said they were never allowed to ever be associated with, and no children from these two would enter into the congregation of Yisra’ĕl until the 10th generation. The people of Moaḇ could be a picture for us today of that which represents the “flesh” – or can even refer to our selfish life, or our sinful nature. Throughout Scripture Moaḇ is often a picture of the flesh – picturing to us everything involving uncontrollable life to physical lust – from addiction to alcohol to addictive lifestyles which involve self-gratification. Here Benayah struck down two of the best men of Moaḇ. We are to strike down these things in the flesh that are to have no part in our lives. These two men were ‘lion-like’, which is very interesting, as this simply means that they were very highly esteemed and powerful men among the Moaḇites, yet we are also able to be reminded here that the devil too is like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour! We are to strike down that which is of the flesh and that which tries to ensnare us and devour us!
Qolasim/Colossians 3:5 “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: whoring, uncleanness, passion, evil desire and greed of gain, which is idolatry.”
We are to put to death the flesh and its lusts! The people of Moaḇ tried to stop the children of Yisra’ĕl from reaching their promised land – their future – their possibilities; which you can read about in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 22-25, and the Moaḇite women seduced the Yisra’ĕlites into immorality and pagan worship; and Elohim caused 24,000 to die by a plague. Moaḇ represents that which tries to stop you fully walking in Elohim’s promises. We are to walk in the Spirit, controlled by the Spirit and not the flesh.
2 – He struck a lion in a pit on a snowy day
Listen, the devil is our enemy behind most of battles that we face; but what I am referring to here is that battle of the lies that the enemy throws at you and tries to destroy your faith, peace and joy in the Truth.
Picture the scene here – Benayah goes down into a pit and kills a lion! Kind of a reckless act don’t you think? Well when you understand the symbolic picture it shows us here then we rather say it is a courageous and bold act of faith conquering brilliance. Lions do not usually leave their pit – which means it is him or you! The lion here is pictured as the devil, our enemy – the one who seeks to devour us.
Kěpha Alep/1 Peter 5:8-9 “Be sober, watch, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in the belief, knowing that the same hardships are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
Benayah was certainly alert and self-controlled. He went down and killed the lion – if you don’t kill your spiritual enemies they will kill you! Kěpha tells us that our enemy, the devil, prowls around like a vicious lion looking for someone to eat up. The lion is the most dangerous of the 3 enemies Benayah faced. An average lion weighs anywhere between 180 – 250kg, is 3 ½ feet tall and 9 feet long from nose to tail. Just one swift blow from its paw can smash the human skull, which is one of the strongest bones in the human body. With its jaws a lion can bite through any bone in the human body. A lion’s eyesight is 5 times better than a human’s 20/20 vision. Benayah not only met a lion in a pit – which quite frankly is the worst possible place – a place of no escape – but it was also on a snowy day. Just imagine – a cold, wet and snowy day and you are in a pit with a lion. Benayah’s feet must have been unsteady on the snowy / icy surface, his hands possibly red with numbness from the cold – no thermals in those days! This was a dark cold isolated day – the worst place, worst circumstances and Benayah was victorious – he won!
You know these kind of life threatening conflicts we face, when the enemy is there like a lion ready to devour, rarely take place on the days you feel good and are full of life and confidence in יהוה. These moments come on what could be called ‘cold days’, ‘hard days’, or ‘snowy days’ or ‘stormy days’ – come on we have all had them – more often that we would care to! It is those days that are dark and gloomy and you don’t feel like fighting off the devil and his lies, possibly because you may be down and discouraged and feeling uncertain, and lacking in your spiritual zeal – days when you go down in to a ‘pity party’ for one so to speak! You know when you get sucked into one of those “oh I am not good enough” days, guess what – guess who is there in the pit you go down into – the devil, like a lion just waiting to eat you up with lies, making you feel worthless and sorry for yourself – trying to discourage you and disarm you of your faith. Well we need to learn from Benayah – rise up and fight the good fight – holding on to the bold confession of faith. If the devil can destroy your ‘now’ by reminding you of your ‘past’, he will reckon that you will not be able to go forward to your tomorrow and not step into your future! Those things that seek to destroy your present – your present joy and peace in יהוה will not leave uninvited – you must destroy that lion. Like I said Benayah went down into the pit – this shows great courageous faith – for he was on the offensive and as we know the offensive weapon in our spiritual armour is the Word – the Sword of the Spirit. Benayah was skilled and trained and utilised his knowledge combined with courageous faith to destroy the lion. We are to be skilled in the Word of יהוה, having been given authority in His Name to come against the devil and destroy his works. Benayah was not caught off guard – he went down, took an offensive weapon and killed the lion. Are you courageous like Benayah or do you find yourself running scared in fear of the enemy?
Two enemies Benayah defeated – The cunning and devious attacks of the devil and the wiles and limitations of the flesh; and now for the third enemy he faced:
3 – He killed a Mitsrian giant
This was a tall Mitsrian – somewhere between 7 ½ – 8 feet tall!
Here we can identify our battle against the dogmas and traditions of man, that have been so forcefully and intricately weaved into our culture! The tall Mitsrian represents for us the world and its systematic forms of worship that seeks to control and enslave the masses into a weaved scheme of deceit!
In the Mitsrians hand was a spear like a weavers beam – this was a huge javelin like spear, while in Benayah’s hand there was a staff! The Hebrew word used for ‘weaver’ אָרַג arag – Strong’s H707 which means, ‘weave, woven’, which means to interweave a thread or yarn in a certain pattern and density. We know that in Scripture that the fine linen garments speak of the ‘righteousnesses’ of the set-apart ones, and so our true walk in the Master should be one where we are clothed in His Word that has been finely woven into our lives. While this is true, we recognise that the enemy too wants to weave in his own counterfeit clothing that he presents as true, which may have a display of elaborate works yet are without the submission of walking in obedience to the commands! Benayah had a staff in his hand, which is the Hebrew word שֵׁבֶט sheḇet – Strong’s H7626 and means, ‘rod, staff, branch, shaft’ and is a symbol of authority and rulership, and is also translated as ‘sceptre’ in referring to the rule and authority of Messiah, the Sent One, in whom we have all authority!
What we can learn from this is that we are able to destroy the weaving of the world’s ways by taking our stand of faith in the Authority of the Word being active in our lives!!! Benayah wrenched the spear out of the giant Mitsrians hand, and this also carries the understanding of ‘plucking out, putting off or tearing away’! This teaches us that we, by the authority of the Word being active in our lives, have the ability to tear away the weaving thread of the world’s lies and traditions that have held us captive for so long! If we do not guard to keep the Sabbath or any other Feasts and commands of Elohim, we will stand empty handed before the giant system of man-made traditions and lies, and be unable to tear off that which is weaved into our very being, yet if we hold fast to the commands, guard the Sabbath and walk confidently in complete obedience to the commands of our King, then the worlds ways will have no way of being interwoven into our lives!
So many today are still struggling to ‘defeat’ the giant system of man-made dogmas and traditions as they fail to have in their hand a firm grip on the Truth and authority of the Word that leads, and the Torah that lights our path!
The story of Benayah is a extremely fascinating and inspiring one and so as we look to learn from the life of a mighty warrior let us today stand up and put to death the flesh, resist the devil and not be conformed to the pattern of this world – for then we too can and will have such great exploits as Benayah, son of Yehoyaḏa had.
Qolasim/Colossians 2:6-8 “Therefore, as you accepted Messiah יהושע the Master, walk in Him, 7 having been rooted and built up in Him, and established in the belief, as you were taught, overflowing in it with thanksgiving. 8 See to it that no one makes a prey of you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary matters of the world, and not according to Messiah.”
What battles and struggles are you facing? Are you battling against the flesh? Are you wrestling against man-made philosophies and the deceit of vain traditions that your family is still trying to impose on you, or are you wrestling against your identity in Messiah that the enemy tries to diminish through guilt and lies? Are you being built up in Messiah by guarding His Word, guarding His Shabbat and proclaiming His praises, or has life’s struggles in the flesh, the enemies lies and the worlds ways of compromise got you empty handed and without a firm grip on the truth? We must learn from the example of this mighty able and brave man of Elohim who was a mighty warrior of the beloved king!
Remember the one יהוה builds is chosen, royal and set-apart – that is you – now live like it and kill any fears with courageous faith in His perfect love which drives out all fear – as you walk in total love – that is obedience to His commands – with great precision and perfection – being a mighty brave and able one of the Most High – this is a call for THE COURAGE OF THE BUILT UP ONES to be firmly established as we proclaim the reign of Messiah to come!!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!