Just a Pea Patch

  • II Samuel 23:11 “And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines.
  • 12 But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory.”

Those who know me are aware that, with few exceptions, I despise eating “lentiles” and “legumes.” 🙂 For me, I cannot fathom Esau selling his birthright for a “pottage of lentiles” in Gen. 25:34 nor for Shammah to risk his life for “a piece of ground full of lentiles” here in II Sam. 23:11. And yet, life is full of needing to stand for what may just seem like small, unneeded pea patches.

Take a moment to think about Daniel and how he stood for what seemed like just a preference of food and drink in Daniel 1. No one else made a big deal of the king’s provisions except for Daniel and his 3 friends. If Daniel was living today, most would still not support Daniel in such a stand. We always think that food, clothing, music, etc… are nothing important. But they all are important. Everything you say, do, think, feel, and everywhere you go is important to God. Even our idle words are important to God (Mt. 12:36).

The “pea patches” of life make all the difference in the long run for who stands and who doesn’t. It was just a tree/a small bite of fruit in the Garden of Eden, and yet, the most devastating tragedy of all time, sin, came “upon all men” (Rom. 5:12) for not taking a stand. Daniel could have just closed his windows to pray during the month-long decree in Dan. 6. I mean, how many people do you know who would risk their life between whether they should pray in their closet or in an open window for all to see? But to do so would have changed a well-known habit of Daniel’s. Holy consistency was an irreplaceable testimony for Daniel. Daniel’s enemies expected it of him. Skipping a month of noticeable prayer would have ruined a lifelong witness.

Believers in Christ are always touting their boldness to stand “when the time comes.” But almost all of life is not composed of “big moments” but of “pea patches” that seem insignificant. For this reason, most believers wind up running away instead of standing just like Peter and Christ’s disciples did when they promised they would stand for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and, in the end, fled. Dear reader, every decision you make and every choice you’re given is momentous. Close your church during lockdowns? Wear a mandatory mask? Laugh at a dirty joke? Hair length? Dress length? Dresses or pants on women? Shorts or pants on men? Public swimming? Taste in music? Attendance to all church services? Ignore cuss words in your home entertainment (TV, videos, etc…)? Work on Sunday to pay the bills? Talk about someone behind their back and/or listen to others do so? The list of pea patches goes on and on. Almost none of us will have to choose between life and death with a gun to our head in our stand for Jesus. And yet, Shammah and Daniel reveal to us that the pea patches of life are still important “life and death” stands. Notice how “the LORD wrought a great victory” even for “a piece of ground full of lentiles.” Even the mundane, the small, the insignificant stands are important to God.