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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

1 Chronicles 11

Verses 1-47

1 Chronicles 11:22

This was one of the exploits of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel. The historian is endeavouring to draw for our instruction the character of men who surrounded David at the time when Israel offered him the throne.

I. This exploit of Benaiah may be looked upon as a parable. It contains some suggestions which we may find useful. I would suggest that the day was unpropitious. It was a snowy day a day when one would be greatly tempted to stay at home in ease and comfort. The snowy day has often come into our religious history. Let us take one or two instances. Since my text is associated with David, we might take our first instance from his life.

( a ) That was a snowy day when he fled from the face of Saul, and dwelt in the cave of Adullam.

( b ) It was a snowy day when David's Son was nailed to His Cross.

( c ) It was a snowy day when John Wycliffe sent forth his Bible in our mother tongue and sent forth his teachers to read it in the churches and marketplaces.

How marked is all this in the pathway along which the Church has come. And the snowy day, the unpropitious hour, is with us still. Benaiah went forth on a snowy day to slay a lion. In this unpropitious day a lion lurks. It is a true parable of our daily life. The very temptation to suppress one's convictions, to steer a middle and compromising course against one's conscience, is, in itself, a grave peril. But he who would sally forth on such a day must count the cost. In the snowy day there lurks the lion, but it is just such a lion which makes a man. Man is not made by sunny hours. Strong men are made by shadows not by sunshine, by storm and not by calm. It may be the lion of drink, or the lion of lust, or the lion of ungoverned temper. The longer that lion lies lurking within unslain the stronger and the more ferocious he will become.

II. Who will deny that in the society of today there lurks many a lion ready to destroy the peace of the people? There is that hydra-headed monster known as 'Vested Interest'. There are many wrongs, crying, grievous wrongs which are permitted to remain; there are reforms, reforms in which may be heard the cry of the poor, which are delayed from year to year, until the heart grows weary with hope deferred, and all because those wrongs and those reforms touch vested interests. It would seem that this monster gathers up into himself all the evils of our day. The drink evil, the gambling evil. It lies at the root of the unemployed problem, the problem of the housing of the poor, the education problem. I am persuaded that what is more required in Church and State today than anything else is the disinterested spirit of men like this Benaiah who are prepared to set aside all personal interests and seek to slay the lion which threatens the life of the defenceless people. God is not unmindful of our unselfish work. There is no deed wrought in His name He does not note. He who in the unpropitious day, the unfavourable hour, the inconvenient moment slays the lion, first within himself, which threatens to destroy his own life, and then in the midst of the people which menaces the peace, comfort, happiness of men, shall receive even in this world a thousand fold and in the world to come life everlasting.

J. Gay, Common Truths from Queer Texts, p. 25.

References. XI. 22. A. G. Brown, Penny Pulpit, No. 1068. XI. 23. G. A. Sowter, From Heart to Heart, p. 37. XII. 5. J. M. Neale, Sermons Preached in Sackville College Chapel, vol. iv. p. 279. XII. 16-18. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxx. No. 1770. XII. 32. D. Burns, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxvii. p. 68. H. A. Thomas, Sermons by Welshmen, p. 107. J. Baldwin Brown, Old Testament Outlines, p. 85. XIII. 12. H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 2308. XIII. 14. J. H. Holford, Memorial Sermons, p. 139. XVI. 4. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxii. No. 1308.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 11". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/1-chronicles-11.html. 1910.