Improve God's remembrance of you

Remembrance and its opposite - Fourth in a series

One of the thieves crucified at Calvary alongside Christ wanted to be remembered by him. He defended Jesus against the taunts of the other thief, and Christ promised him, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:40-43)

However, both thieves mocked Christ as their punishments began. “[…the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders…] The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth." (Mat 27:41-44) And they that were crucified with him reviled him. (Mark 15:32)

But in the end, after hours of excruciating pain, the one had amended his views. At last he said, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. (Luke 23:40-42)

Thus did physical torture and delay in deliverance lead to eternal reward.

Have you wondered why you are experiencing torturous delays to answered prayers and painful, lengthy trials? Yet in waiting on God:

  • We learn patience, endurance and perseverance.
  • We gain insight to the suffering of others and become able to counsel and comfort them.
  • We are led to draw close to God for strength and peace.
  • As we strain to listen and he draws us nearer, we become more like him.
  • We may even be led to wonder if what we are waiting for is, after all, what we really need. We gain wisdom. Indeed, if we thought he did not know us fully, we were in great need of enlightenment. Will we now pray in new ways?

Thus, as we wait and suffer, often feeling that God has forgotten us, we are made better so that God's remembrance of us might be improved, in a manner of speaking.

Unfinished Business

Fifth in the Solomon Series

David's last words as king (2 Sam 23:1) were in tender remembrance of God's mercy to him, but his last words to Solomon were pointed, instructing him to keep God's commandments, and not to show mercy to certain men. (1 Kings 2:1-9)

To carry out David's behests, and to deal with the insurrectionists, a man would be needed. Benaiah was that man.

Benaiah was one of David's mighty men and the son of Jehoiada who was the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel in southern Judah.

There is some confusion when we hear the name, "Jehoiada," which also was the name of a famous priest who lived a number of generations after the time of Solomon. The purpose in distinguishing Benaiah as Jehoiada's son was that there were two Benaiahs among David's mighty men. The other one was Benaiah the Pirathonite. Pirathon was a town in Ephraim.

Benaiah was in charge of the Cherethites and Pelethites. The Cherethites were the guards of King David whose jobs were to carry out capital punishments and to convey the king's orders as fast as possible to those in the king's service. The Pelethites were couriers (Gesenius's Lexicon).

Of Benaiah, we have these verses: And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow: And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear. These [things] did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among three mighty men. He was more honourable than the thirty, but he attained not to the [first] three. And David set him over his guard. 2Sa 23:20-23. (This description is repeated in 1 Ch 11:22-25.)

To sum up, his notable exploits were:

  1. Power to destroy, two against one — a sign of God's help.
  2. Bravery to come against the lion — ability and courage to defeat both men and wild beasts — and that in inclement weather!
  3. Superior reflexes to disarm the enemy — Benaiah was so quick that he killed a man with the man's own weapon, after snatching it from him by a staff.

His abilities showed the favor of God on his life. Why, then, did he not "attain to the first three"? God had unfinished business: He planned to raise him up and set him in a high place, but this would come during Solomon's reign.

Are you in second place or much lower even though your skills are excellent? Wait on the Lord to finish all his business.