Lesser known characters :: Benaiah


Benaiah which in Hebrew means “Made/built by the Lord” was the son of Jehoiada. He was numbered to be one of king David three mighty warriors and was a loyal and trusted officer in king David’s army (2 Samuel 8:18). Of Benaiah, it is said, that he was the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who performed great (not ordinary) exploits. Two of Moab’s mightiest warriors were struck by Benaiah and on a snowy day, Benaiah went down into the pit of a lion and killed it. He even struck down a huge Egyptian with the Egyptian’s own spear, whom he faced with just a staff in his hand. (2 Samuel 23:20-21)

When king David’s son, Adonijah tried to usurp Israel’s throne, unlike Joab the son of Zeruiah and Abiathar the priest, Benaiah remained faithful to king David along with Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and other mighty men of David. When king David comes to know of his son, Adonijah’s treachery, King David sends the priest (Zadok), the prophet (Nathan) and the protector (Benaiah) to crown Solomon as king and protect him from his brother Adonijah. Upon king Solomon’s coronation, we see that Benaiah was loyal to king Solomon as well (1 Kings 1:5-10;  1 Kings 1:36-37). King Solomon, then entrusts the punishment by death edict against his enemies (including his own brother Adonijah), to Benaiah, and Benaiah slays the treasonous Adonijah (1 Kings 2:23-25). Like king David had done, king Solomon makes Benaiah, the commander of the armies of Israel as well, in place of Joab (who had defected) (1 Kings 2:25).

What can we learn from Benaiah?
We are made by the Lord, in his own image. We are mighty warriors in God’s army, fashioned to do great (not ordinary) exploits. We must be loyal and faithful to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We must be willing to go into the pits of darkness, despite how cold the world seems to be, to war against the devil (the roaring lion) in spiritual warfare, by submitting first to God. We must be courageous to face anyone, with whatever resources God has given us (staff), even if they have weapons of warfare (spear) with them.  We must be faithful to whomever God institutes to rule over us and be ready to protect his appointed. As Benaiah expressed allegiance to king David (1 Kings 1:36-37), we must do the same as well to express our allegiance to Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Remember, we are made in God’s image.

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