163: In a Pit On a Snowy Day

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He stepped out of his house to the screams of his neighbors. Another boy in the village had been attacked and killed by a lion during the night. Blood soaked the snowy ground. This was the third killing in so many weeks. Ben talked among the elders of the village and came up with a plan. They would dig a large hole and cover it over. Then tie a goat to one side of the hole. When the lion came to attack the goat, it would fall into the pit.

The hole was dug and covered. The powdery snow hid the trap well. As the sun was beginning to go down, Ben was tying the goat. Then he detected movement out of the corner of his eye. The lion was already on the prowl. As Ben stood erect, his eye caught the eye of the lion. The other men of the village ran, but Ben stood his ground and continued to stare at the beast.

Ben sneered at the big cat and then turned his back and began to run away. Suddenly the lion came out of hiding and began to chase Ben. The next sound was a pitiful roar as the lion fell into the deep hole the men had dug. It was trying desperately to jump out, but the hole was too deep.

The entire village surrounded the hole, jumping for joy, satisfied that the lion would starve to death. But Ben wasn’t satisfied. The Bible records his next decision. 2 Samuel 23:20 says, “Ben(aiah) son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, who performed great exploits. He struck down two of Moab’s best men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.”

To the horror of the other villagers, Ben jumped into the pit with the lion. Grabbing it by its mane, he plunged his knife into the animal over and over until it stopped breathing. He wasn’t about the wait till it starved to death, or take the chance that it escaped. That lion had terrorized his village and taken the lives of some of the children. He was going to mete out justice and make sure it would never harm another child again.

You and I face “lions” of a different kind every day. But we all need the courage and determination of Ben. The devil is referred to as a lion in 1 Peter 5:8-9. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”          

What are some of the “lions” you face? Are they current circumstances or old habits? Are they financial or relational, or both. Don’t be surprised by the roar of the devil. He wants you to run scared and to worry. He tries to rob you of your joy and peace, and distract you from the calming voice of the Holy Spirit, “I’ve got this. Don’t worry.”

In a more important sense, the Lord Jesus is our Ben. Mankind had no hope until Jesus left Heaven and jumped down into our world as the perfect man to fight the devil hand-to-hand. A couple of significant verses are Colossians 2:15, “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Another is 1 John 3:8, “He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” We were like POW’s and the Lord rescued us and set us free from the hand of our captor. Jesus “destroyed” the devil’s hold on us. Though the devil is still active, one day he will be cast into the Lake of Fire, never to bother humanity again!

Marlon Furtado

I regularly went to church as a boy, but I was not exposed to the Gospel until I was nearly twenty years old. Hearing that God loved me in spite of my behavior was new to me. In response, I received Jesus Christ and became one of His followers on September 12, 1971. I practiced chiropractic for eight years before becoming a pastor from 1986 to 2018.