“And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel had retreated. He arose and attacked the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand stuck to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day…”
2 Samuel 23:9-10
David’s soldiers would’ve been quite the sight to see! These were not your normal, run-of-the-mill soldiers. These were men of valor, courage, faith. They were risk takers, and they had an appetite for battle. There is a grouping of David’s army named, “The Thirty.” These were the toughest military warriors and are credited for many heroic feats. From among these heroes, there was “The Three,” Josheb, Eleazar, and Shammah. The exact roles of this elite group are not clear, but they were certainly seen as ‘stand-outs’ among David’s Mighty Men.
The scripture above tells us one of Eleazar’s defining moments and shows us a couple of important spiritual lessons.
#1: “until his hand was weary…” These are the moments that give you the right to be called a Mighty Man. Israel sees the enemy, evaluates the situation through their human perspective, and then runs for it! I’m sure they had many rational reasons for their retreat, but Eleazar, for whatever reason, decided that he wouldn’t be defined as a man that would flee from his enemy. So, when everyone else turned and ran, Eleazar stood his ground and fought, until his hand became weary. This is important to see. He wasn’t weary of the battle. He was weary in it. Eleazar wasn’t regretting his choice to fight. He was not second guessing his decision to stand his ground. The enemy had to be addressed, and he knew if the Lord was in it, then victory was assured. Don’t retreat because you fear of becoming weary. Know that the Lord will strengthen you in the battle!
#2: “…his hand stuck to the sword.” This is wild to even imagine! How long does one need to fight until the hand muscles literally freeze in place? Perhaps to get an idea of how intense the battle was, compare it with another battle fought by Josheb. In verse eight, it states that on another occasion, Josheb fought and killed 800 men at one time. Yet, with no mention of his hand freezing to his weapon. No one knows what this battle for Eleazar must have been like, but we do know this. He was not about to give up. If he was going to die, he would die with his sword in hand and his enemies falling with him. When in battle, never let go of the sword! Let the Word of God become the sharp weapon it was always meant to be! Hold on and keep fighting until the victory is won!
The enemy is always roaring and will want you to tuck tail and run. When you’re in that battle, take some cues from Eleazar. Don’t retreat! Grip your sword, and know that the battle is won by the Lord.