Friday March 18, 2011
There was a deodorant advertisement a few years ago that had the slogan “the deodorant with staying power.” It was supposed to continue covering your body odor throughout the day and not leave you. When I think of staying power I think of words such as tenacity, or perseverance, stick tuitiveness, hanging in there. It signifies a quality of loyalty and never giving up.
It’s a quality that emerged in one of King David’s three closest friends and warriors. To my knowledge he is not mentioned anywhere else in scripture, but this place. In II Samuel 23:9-10 we read, “Eleazar, son of Dodai the Ahohite, was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. Then the Israelites retreated, but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The lord brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.” The Isrealites were fighting the Philistines and for whatever reason decided to retreat from battle. All retreated except Eleazar. He stood his ground! He struck down the Philistines! He grew tired! His hand froze to the sword! He had staying power! And the lord gave great victory that day! Why? Rather than retreating when he got tired or saw the enemy outnumber him, he stayed and relied on God’s power to gain the victory.
As you read the last part of the passage, it says the troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead. They only came back to reap the benefits of what someone else had done. Rather than staying power, they had retreating power. When the going got tough, they ran. Retreated. Gave up. Withdrew. When the battle was hard they didn’t want any part of the action, but they were ready to collect the rewards of victory.
What quality comes across in your relationships and conflicts with others? Would you be characterized by staying in the conflict until you experience victory, or do you have a tendency to retreat when problems arise? There will definitely be times of being worn out when you feel like giving up. But when God calls you to a task or work on a relationship, He will give you the tenacity (staying power) to stick in there until it is accomplished.
On this journey I want to be known for my staying power with God and with others. What about you?