Lesser known characters :: Felix

Felix was the Roman governor during the days of Paul. When Ananias the high priest and Tertullus a lawyer brought charges against Apostle Paul, stating that he was a troublemaker and the leader of the sect of the Nazarenes (followers of Christ Jesus who was from Nazareth), to Felix, Paul mounts his defense against Ananias and Tertullus about the Way (of Salvation through Jesus Christ, the resurrected Lord). The Bible says that Felix had perfect knowledge of the Way, meaning that he was aware of the belief of the Christians (Acts 24:22). Felix does not immediately try Paul, but wishes to do so in front of Lysias, the chief captain and until then keeps Paul under guard (imprisoned). After a few days, he and his wife Drusilla, who was the daughter of king Agrippa, come and listen to Paul concerning Paul’s faith in Christ and when Paul reasoned with Felix of impending judgment and the need of being imputed righteousness through belief in Jesus, and matters of temperance, Felix becomes afraid (trembles) and states that he will wait for a more convenient time to discuss faith matters. Felix continues to keep Paul imprisoned and expecting bribes, he sends for Paul often and talks with Paul. For two years, Felix leaves Paul imprisoned, in order to please the Jews. Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus.

What can we learn from Felix?
Felix had perfect knowledge of the Way but in order to please the Jews who brought charges against Paul, Felix imprisons Paul. Clearly Felix sins here for knowing to do the right thing and not doing it, for him it is sin (James 4:17). We must not refrain from doing that which is the right thing to do. Secondly, Felix (and his wife Drusilla) came to hear of Paul’s faith in Jesus Christ, and when he is given the message of righteousness, temperance and judgment, instead of responding to the call to be righteous, by simply believing in Jesus Christ, Felix chickens out and pushes his decisions to what he calls a more “convenient” time. The best time to respond to God is now (2 Corinthians 6:2). Thirdly Felix’s covetousness of materialistic things (bribes), made him want to come and talk often with Paul, but what is unfortunate is that Felix’s mind was focussed on what he could get materialistically instead of what really mattered which is Salvation in Christ Jesus. Fourthly for his fear of displeasing the jews, Felix continued in the baseless imprisonment of Paul for two years (again knowing the right thing to do, but not doing it). Trying to please men over God can make us do some foolish things against God and his people. Let us not be like Felix.

Acts 24:22-27 (KJV)
And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.
23 And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him.
24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.
But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix’ room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.

Lesser known characters :: Euodias and Syntyche

Euodias was a fellow laborer of Paul for the cause of the gospel of Jesus Christ from Philippi. She was beseeched of Paul to be of the same mind as Syntyche which indicates that there might have been some disagreement between Euodias and Syntyche. Same mind here would mean that these Christians are not to be in discord but in one accord (Acts 1:14), but it could also be extrapolated to reflect the “mind” of Christ that Paul counsels the entire church at Philippi to emulate.

What can we learn from Euodias and Syntyche?
Despite the fact that we may be fellow laborers for the cause of the gospel of Jesus Christ, there is always the potential that we may not see eye to eye with other fellow laborers. There is always a chance for disagreement, which can lead to discord, which is what the enemy (satan) wants.

We must be of the same mind with God putting on the mind of Christ. Paul counsels that the mind of Christ be in us (Philippians 2:5) This is the mind that makes one of no reputation just as Christ Jesus made himself of no reputation, leaving his rights of deity and came to earth, for the sake of redeeming mankind by shedding his blood, through which there is remission of sins.

We must be of the same mind with other fellow believers. In humility we must esteem others better than ourselves, looking into the interests of others, over our very own (Philippians 2:3,4). This way, there is little to no chance of being in discord with others fellow laborers.

Philippians 4:2-3 (KJV)
2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

Philippians 2: 3, 5-8 (KJV)
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Lesser known characters :: Eunice and Lois

Have you heard about Nike, the “Just Do It” company? Have you heard about Eunice, the “just Do it” mother? The name Eunice is Greek in origin and it means good victory.  Interestingly, the word Eunice is derived from Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.

Napolean Bonaparte is purported to have said, “Let France have good mothers, and she will have good sons”, which is often paraphrased as “If you give me a good mother, I will give you a good nation.” I think that if he had met the Biblical Eunice and her mother Lois, he would have probably said, “Let France have good mothers like Eunice and Lois, and she will have good sons.”

Eunice, the mother of Timothy is commended by Apostle Paul along with her mother Lois, for having raised Timothy with the same kind of unfeigned faith as was in them (2 Timothy 1:5). Eunice was a Jewess, but she was married to a Greek man (Acts 16:1). The Bible says that she was a believer in Christ Jesus (Acts 16:1), but makes no mention of whether her husband was a believer or not. How did Eunice pass on her sincere faith to her son and what was the outcome? We get the answer to this question from two portions of the Bible. The first can be derived from what Paul tells of Timothy, that he needs to continue in the knowledge he had learned from his childhood days (most probably from his mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois). What was it that Timothy had learned? Timothy had learned the holy scriptures that made one wise in the salvation of the Lord through faith (2 Timothy 3:14-15). The outcome of this upbringing was that, everyone in the two (not one) cities, Lystra and Iconium, had a good report of Timothy and spoke well of him (Acts 16:2), so much so that Apostle Paul desired that Timothy went with him on his missionary trip.

What can we learn from Eunice?
Eunice followed the instructions given in the holy Scripture that one must teach their children to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul and mind (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). We must do likewise as well. Secondly, despite that fact that Eunice was unequally yoked in her marriage with a Greek, she nonetheless followed her instruction as per the law, but more importantly, she followed the instruction as per her Lord, being a believer, to teach her son that if he was yoked with Jesus Christ, his yoke would be easy and his burden would be light (Matthew 11:30). The evidence of Timothy being yoked with Jesus Christ is seen in testimony that the people in the cities speak of him, so much so that Apostle Paul, who was yoked with Jesus Christ, wishes to be yoked with Timothy for the cause of Christ in his missionary journey.

If we want our children to be spoken well off in the cities and if we want them to be sought out for God’s missions, then we must be like Eunice, teaching them the Salvation of the Lord that comes through faith, by teaching them the holy Scripture, right from their childhood days. We must teach them to be yoked with Jesus Christ (as any good mother would teach her children to do). Eunice had good victory in raising a godly son and if she was here to give us counsel, she would tell us to do the same and advice us to “just do it”.

2 Timothy 1:5 (KJV)
5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

2 Timothy 3:14-15 (KJV)
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Acts 16:1-3 (KJV)
Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (KJV)
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

Lesser known characters :: Ethan

If I was to ask you, do you know, who penned the famous words, that we sometimes sing, “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, I will sing, I will sing; I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, I will sing of the mercies of the Lord. With my mouth will I make thy faithfulness, thy faithfulness to all generations”, it is less than likely that one would realize that it was written by Ethan the Ezrahite and secondly that it is the first verse of Psalm 89. Psalm 89 was authored by Ethan, It starts with Ethan expressing that he would sing of God’s mercy forever and make known the faithfulness of God to all generations with his mouth. He ends his Psalm, by saying “Blessed be the Lord forever, Amen and Amen”.

Who is this Ethan? Ethan was the son of Mahol, who was known for his wisdom. His wisdom was only surpassed by king Solomon (1 Kings 4:30-31). In fact, the very first name that is mentioned in relation to comparing the wisdom of Solomon is Ethan the Ezrahite (1 Kings 4:31). From the scripture, we can be assured that Ethan was wise. How can we be so sure. Proverbs 11:30 states that a soul winner is wise and in order to win souls, one must understand that they must sing of God’s mercy and tell of God’s faithfulness, which is exactly what Ethan writes in the beginning of his Psalm (Psalm 89:1).

What can we learn from Ethan?
To be wise as he was we must be soul winners, which means, we must be singing of God’s mercies forever and telling of his faithfulness which was to redeem us from the penalty and power of sin and death, by sending us His Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the FAITHFUL and TRUE (Revelation 19:11) one. Everyone who believes in Jesus will not perish but will be saved i.e., their souls will be won for God’s kingdom from the grips of the devil.Let us be more like Ethan the Ezrahite. Blessed be the LORD forever, Amen and Amen.

1 Kings 4:30-31 (KJV)
And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.
31 For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about.

Psalm 89:1, 52 (KJV)
1 I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
52 Blessed be the LORD for evermore. Amen, and Amen.

Proverbs 11:30 (KJV)
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

Lesser known characters :: Eliezer

From the book of Genesis we learn that the name of the servant of Abraham was Eliezer who would have inherited everything his master Abraham had, should Abraham have remained childless (Genesis 15:2). Eliezer means, my father’s God is my helper (Exodus 18:4). Eliezer was Abraham’s trusted aide and the senior servant whom Abraham had put in charge of everything he had. Abraham makes Eliezer swear that Eliezer would find a bride for his son, Isaac, from his own people. Eliezer is sent on this mission to find the bride for Isaac. Before leaving, Eliezer questions, “what if the bride is unwilling to come with me back to your son?” and Abraham assures Eliezer that the LORD God of heaven will be faithful to his word and send his angel before Eliezer to help accomplish the mission in getting a bride for his son (Genesis 24:5,7).  Then when Eliezer is on his mission, he first prays and asks God to show kindness and help him fulfill his mission. Then when he sees Rebekah, he runs to meet her. When he finds out that she is a relative of Abraham, from his own people, Eliezer worships God. Later Eliezer is invited to Rebekah’s home where he meets her father Bethuel and her brother Laban, but he refuses to eat until he has told them of his mission. Eliezer tells Rebekah’s family Abraham and Isaac and his mission and asks for Rebekah’s hand for his master’s son. When Rebekah’s family agree, Eliezer worships the LORD God and after some rest and refreshments, hurries back to his master Abraham. Upon their return, when they come to where Isaac had come to meditate, Isaac meets Rebekah and Eliezer reports to Isaac all the things he had done, following which Isaac weds Rebekah.

What can we learn from Eliezer?
We must be like Eliezer. We have all be given a mission by God the Father to bring the bride for his son, Jesus Christ. We are on a mission. While many a times, we may question, “what if the people (bride) don’t want to believe in Jesus?”, God has assured us that he has chosen the bride of Christ, even before the foundation of the world and that he will send his angels before us to keep charge of us. Now before we embark on the mission of winning souls for Christ, we must first pray for God to show kindness and help us in our mission, as Eliezer did.  Then when we see the people in need of Christ, we must run to them. We must put the will of God to share God’s mission of reconciliation and the wedding of the Lamb of God (Rev 19) before our personal needs (be it food or drink or other wants). And when the bride (people) of God are willing to accept Jesus as their very own Lord and Savior, we must worship God and tarry not further in bringing Jesus’ bride to Him. Upon our return to Christ Jesus, we must report on our actions, on all that we did to secure the bride for Jesus Christ.  We must be like Eliezer for God our Father is our helper, and we are on the mission of securing the bride (people) for the bridegroom, God’s son, Jesus Christ.

Genesis 24:1-67 (KJV)
And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.
2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:
3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:
4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.
5 And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?
6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.
7 The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.
8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.
9 And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.
10 And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.
11 And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water.
12 And he said O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham.
13 Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:
14 And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.
15 And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.
16 And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.
17 And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher.
18 And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink.
19 And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking.
20 And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.
21 And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.
22 And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold;
23 And said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father’s house for us to lodge in?
24 And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor.
25 She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.
26 And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD.
27 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren.
28 And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother’s house these things.
29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well.
30 And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well.
And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the LORD; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.

32 And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men’s feet that were with him.
33 And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on.
34 And he said, I am Abraham’s servant.
35 And the LORD hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses.
36 And Sarah my master’s wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath.
37 And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell:
38 But thou shalt go unto my father’s house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son.
39 And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me.
40 And he said unto me, The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father’s house:
41 Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath.
42 And I came this day unto the well, and said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go:
43 Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink;
44 And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom the LORD hath appointed out for my master’s son.
45 And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee.
46 And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and she made the camels drink also.
47 And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, the daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands.
48 And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter unto his son.
49 And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.
50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.
51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the LORD hath spoken.
52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth.
53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.
54 And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master.
55 And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go.
56 And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.
57 And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth.
58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.
59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men.
60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.
61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.
62 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country.
63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.
64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.
65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself.
66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done.
67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

Lesser known characters :: Eliakim

During the times when the leaders of the nation of Israel were evil and undependable, God promises through prophet Isaiah, that God will raise a servant named Eliakim (Isaiah 22:20). In fact, the very name, Eliakim means “God will raise up”. And Eliakim was to be given the government and authority (key of the house of David) to rule. He will be dependable like a nail in a sure place, on which many burdens of the people could be hung.

What can we learn from Eliakim?
The servant that God raises up is one that is to rule wisely with the authority that God has instituted on him/her. The servant must be dependable and must be one that bears the burden of others. Eliakim is a picture of Jesus Christ, the greatest servant of all (Matthew 20:28) whom God raised up from the dead (Romans 8:11), in whose shoulders was the government placed (Isaiah 9:6-7), who holds the key of David (Revelation 3:7) and on whom you can cast all your burdens for he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). If we are to be servants of God, we must be like Eliakim, who was a picture of Jesus. We must be dependable, and we must want to serve and not want to be served.

Isaiah 22:20-25 (KJV)
20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah:
21 And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.
22 And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.
23 And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house.
24 And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons.
25 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the LORD hath spoken it.

Lesser known characters :: Eliab

Eliab, the firstborn of Jesse was the eldest brother of David. Little is said of Eliab except that he was not only tall but that he was handsome as well (1 Samuel 16: 7). To anoint the next king of Israel (since the LORD had rejected Saul as king) God sent prophet Samuel to Jesse’s home and told Samuel that one of the sons of Jesse would be the next king. When Eliab, the firstborn was presented, Samuel thought to himself after seeing Eliab, that Eliab must surely be the anointed one of the LORD, since he was handsome and tall (1 Samuel 16:6), but God tells Samuel to pass over Eliab, informing Samuel that the LORD does not see as man does; for man looks at outward appearances while the LORD looks at the heart.
Eliab enlists to be soldier in king Saul’s army. When Goliath defied the army of God that was led by king Saul, Eliab and his other two brothers (Abinadab and Shammah) did not answer the call to restore the peace of Israel, because they were afraid, like the rest of Israel to face Goliath (1 Samuel 17:11, 24) and when David comes to the army camp and questions the audacity of the giant Goliath to defy God’s army and asks about the reward that would be given to the one who would take away the reproach of Israel, Eliab gets angry. Eliab in his anger also accuses David of having a naughty heart alleging that David came to be a spectator of the war.

What can we learn from Eliab?
Tall, dark and handsome are often the traits that one looks for, in selecting an individual, especially in the context of marriage. Sometimes such review of external traits and physical characteristics is also used when dealing with the selection of successors and leaders. Like Eliab, we may come across many who are appealing in their outward appearance, but the selection of others (for God’s service) should be based on whom the LORD has anointed. God looks at the heart and we must look at the heart of others as God does. For if we fail to do so, we may be choosing those who would end up accusing those selected by the LORD to have a insincere heart. Remember, it was on matters of the heart that Eliab was rejected and we see Eliab questioning the character (heart) of David; the heart that God himself said was after his very own (Acts 13:22). The one who is after God’s own heart (as was David unlike Eliab) does not remain a spectator when the job calls for; they are ready to take action and engage in battle to secure the victory for God’s glory.  The ones we choose must be the ones who are after God’s own heart, for the LORD rejects all others.

Is your/my heart after God’s own heart as was David or is it like that of Eliab?

1 Samuel 16:6-7 (KJV)
6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him.
7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

1 Samuel 17:28 (KJV)
28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.

Lesser known characters :: Elhanan

If I was to ask you, can you name some of the slayers of giants mentioned in the Bible, chances are that one would recount of David (who killed Goliath; 1 Samuel 17), the Israelites under the leadership of Moses and later Joshua (who killed the kings Sihon and Og; Deuteronomy 3:11, Numbers 21:21-35, Joshua 2:10) and Caleb (who killed the gigantic descendants of Anak that lived on a mountain; Joshua 14). It is unlikely that one of the names in that list would be of Elhanan. But Elhanan, like David, Moses & Joshua and Caleb was a giant slayer as well. Elhanan is mentioned once in the Bible (in two verse) and what makes him stand out is that in his introduction (in both verses), he is identified as the killer of Lahmi, a giant, who was the brother of the giant Goliath and who carried a spear very similar to that of Goliath (1 Chronicles 20:5; 2 Samuel 21:19).

What can we learn from Elhanan?
Though Elhanan killed a giant as did David, he is mentioned only once. It is not how much is known of us, but what is known of us that matters. Sometimes our feats and accomplishments, though it may be similar in magnitude, may not be very well known by others as that of some others, but nonetheless,  the important thing is that we must be diligent in our duties to do what is required of us.  Elhanan is recorded as a giant slayer and will forever hold that accolade, irrespective of the extent of how much people known of him; and everytime someone talks of Elhanan, he will be known as a giant killer, placed in the same echelon of David, Moses & Joshua and Caleb.

1 Chronicles 20:5 (KJV)
5 And there was war again with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, whose spear staff was like a weaver’s beam.

2 Samuel 21:19 (KJV)
19 And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.

Lesser known characters :: Ehud

When Israel’s first Judge, Othniel, the son of Kenaz died, the Israelites reverted to their evil ways and so God strengthened Eglon, the king of Moab to smite Israel and rule over Israel for eighteen years. When the Israelites repented, God raised up a deliverer. This deliverer was Ehud, the son of Gera, who was left-handed. Ehud made a two edged dagger and strapped it to his right thigh, under his garment. He went to meet with Eglon and when he was found alone with Eglon, Ehud reached out with his left hand and took the dagger from his right thigh and thrust it into Eglon’s belly. Eglon was a fat man; He was so fat that even the handle of the dagger sank into Eglon’s belly and the fat closed in over the dagger. Eglon is killed with his bowels falling out. Ehud escapes and goes to the children of Israel. He mobilizes Israel to fight against the Moabites and ten thousand, lusty Moabite men of valor are killed and Israel sees peace for a period of eighty years.

What can we learn from Ehud?
We are in the business of delivering people from being subjects in the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s son Jesus Christ. God made Ehud left-handed which meant that he had to hide the two edged dagger on his right side, which is not the usual side, where a sword is sheathed, and this could have been advantageous for Ehud to take his dagger into the presence of king Eglon. God has made each one of us different and can use each of us just as we are. We must hide the word of God (a two edged sword; Hebrews 4:12) and unleash it in full against the evil one (Ephesians 6:17) to restore the peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7) in the hearts of men.

Judges 3:11-30 (KJV)
And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.
12 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.
13 And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees.
14 So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.
15 But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.
16 But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh.
17 And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.
18 And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present.
19 But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.
20 And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.
21 And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:
22 And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.
23 Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlour upon him, and locked them.
24 When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber.
25 And they tarried till they were ashamed: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlour; therefore they took a key, and opened them: and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth.
26 And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirath.
27 And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.
28 And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over.
29 And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man.
30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.

Lesser known characters :: Dorcas (Tabitha)

Dorcas in Greek also known as Tabitha in Hebrew was the name of a disciple of Jesus, who was raised to life after her death by the apostle Peter. Peter kneeled down and prayed for her resurrection and God miraculously raised her to life. Dorcas was known to be full of good works and a giver of alms to those in need (Acts 9:36-42).

What can we learn from Dorcas?
Dorcas was a disciple, meaning she had faith and was a follower of Jesus Christ.
Dorcas was full of good works and helper of the poor, meaning that her faith was followed by action.
From Dorcas, we can learn that faith and action must go hand in hand; for faith without action is dead (James 2:17).

Acts 9: 36-42 (KJV)
Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.

37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
38 And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.
39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.
42 And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.