“Benaiah… also went down into a pit
on a snowy day and killed a lion.”
1 Chronicles 11:22 (NIV)
Today we look at another fine person who was a great soldier in King David’s army. Several of his notable exploits are recorded in Scripture. He was famous for the work he did that others were there to witness. However, there is no record of people seeing the deed we read of in our verse. Apparently this was done in private.
The lion referred to was trapped in a pit. How it arrived is anyone’s guess. It was on a snowy day that Benaiah went down into the pit and slew the lion.
Perhaps Benaiah thought that if the lion could be trapped in the pit then other people passing by the pit might slip into the hole as well. This could be the reason he descended into the jaws of death in order to prevent a possible disaster for some family.
Why did the man not reason that if the lion was trapped in the pit it would soon die of starvation and no one would come to harm? Why did he not reason that he might be killed himself and therefore should not descend into the pit? Could he not know that the snow in the pit might cause him to lose his footing and the lion might then win the fight?
There seemed many reasons for him to just leave the man-eating beast where it was and let it die of starvation. But from what we know of the man’s history, he was an intelligent and resourceful person. So if he decided he had to risk his own life to take the life of the lion it was an important task. There is no record of anyone with him so he could have passed by the danger and let things go. No one would have known anything different.
So we see that Benaiah did his duty regardless of no one knowing the difference. This is being faithful to your calling. It is one thing to behave the proper way when the eyes of the world are on you. It is something else to do what is right when no one would know.
Perhaps you have neglected a duty when no one was there to see you. You may have been the opposite of Benaiah. Many times people have confessed to me sins they did in secret and no one knew until the person told me.
Marital infidelity, cheating on an employer, reading pornography or a multitude of other things that can so easily come into our lives to cause us to neglect our duty to be holy and faithful in our actions in secret as well as in the public eye.
You might wonder how you could be a Christian and do what you did in secret. Behind closed doors the eleven apostles pledged to go with Jesus to the death if necessary (Matthew 26:35). Yet they forsook their beloved Master and fled. If such close followers of Jesus could run off in the darkness of Gethsemane (Mark 14:50), how about us? Are we any better?
If we are honest with ourselves, we all have done things in secret that would disgrace us if others knew. Jesus’ love for His people is not dependent on how faithful we are to our Christian duties. We may not have a faithful track record like Benaiah. Yet, we are still held close by Jesus. Go to Him today and confess whatever it is that you did in darkness. He will receive you, forgive the sin, and strengthen you against that temptation in the future.