2 Samuel 21:15-22 – That Moment When You Realize You Ain’t “All-That-And-A-Bag-of-Chips!”

Posted: August 27, 2018 in 10-2 Samuel

2 Samuel 21:15-22
Battles Against Philistine Giants

Have you ever had to come to some harsh realizations about yourself? Realizing where you are not as talented as you have made yourself out to be in your mind? Even though I am making about 40% of what I used to make in my previous job, I am learning things as a staff pastor and department head (business services) that I thought I already knew. It makes me realize that I have lived in a leadership nirvana of sorts for the past decade.

In my previous job (in the secular world), by the time I left that job in February 2018, I had been in that job for 10 years. Certainly, the job and my responsibilities accumulated grew over time as I became the financial and administrative expert in our organization. However, from a leadership perspective, I had the same work force for the last 7 ½ years that I was there. Sure, there was coaching to be done over the years but in those last few years, my department had become a well-oiled machine. Everybody knew their jobs very well. Everyone was compensated well and was happy working for the company. All of us had the intent of being long-termers. I had three women, each very professional working for me, so my management style over the past decade had become more suggestive than directive as each one had a desire for excellence that reflected my own. Basically, it was had become a pretty easy job and I would still be there had God not called me into full-time ministry.

Here, at Calvary, with a different mix of people and talents, I have learned that my management style needs growing and also more shockingly to myself is that I am not the best and most talented among the department heads at my church. I am not THAT guy. I have learned that my public speaking skills need so much work. I feel like that new kid just out of college in their first job and having that realization that nothing that you learned in school is going to help you in the practical day to day of your first job. I am learning that I need help to grow into the leader that I need to be within our church. I am having to learn that I am not the most charismatic guy on staff. I am having to learn that I am not as talented as I thought I was. I am having to learn that I must submit myself to the ways things are developing at church where I am not that guy that’s “all-that”. Recognizing that you are not as talented and not as good a leader as someone else and recognizing that they are simply more talented in every possible way than you is a tough realization. What I am learning is that, I am always going to be a learner. I am learning that it’s OK not to be the most talented ballplayer on the court. Even though that’s a tough realization, it’s a good one to learn. There is humility in that. There humility in saying that I have so much more to learn to be a good pastor. There’s humility in simply doing what’s in front of me and leaving the rest to God. There’s humility in recognizing that you need assistance from others to grow into what God has for you – even at age 56 (as of this past Saturday).

That’s what I thought of this morning as I read through this passage for today, 2 Samuel 21:15-22. David had to recognize here that he is “not all that and a bag of chips”. David had to recognize his limitations and that he needed help. Let’s read this passage now:

15 Once again the Philistines were at war with Israel. And when David and his men were in the thick of battle, David became weak and exhausted. 16 Ishbi-benob was a descendant of the giants[a]; his bronze spearhead weighed more than seven pounds,[b] and he was armed with a new sword. He had cornered David and was about to kill him. 17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue and killed the Philistine. Then David’s men declared, “You are not going out to battle with us again! Why risk snuffing out the light of Israel?”

18 After this, there was another battle against the Philistines at Gob. As they fought, Sibbecai from Hushah killed Saph, another descendant of the giants.

19 During another battle at Gob, Elhanan son of Jair[c] from Bethlehem killed the brother of Goliath of Gath.[d] The handle of his spear was as thick as a weaver’s beam!

20 In another battle with the Philistines at Gath, they encountered a huge man[e] with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all, who was also a descendant of the giants. 21 But when he defied and taunted Israel, he was killed by Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimea.[f]

22 These four Philistines were descendants of the giants of Gath, but David and his warriors killed them.

In this passage, we see that David needed help. David is getting older in this scene. He is not a young buck anymore. He can’t go full-bore, all-out in battle for extended periods of time as he could when he was a younger man. Here, he got tired and weak and made mistakes that allowed him to get cornered. He needed help to survive. He got the help he needed. He took their advice too about changing his role when it comes to future battles. Even when we are older, we must be capable of recognizing our limitations and I am not just talking about physical ones.

We must be able to admit that maybe there is some young dude that can do what you want to do better than you can do it. We must be able to admit that we still have things to learn. We must be able to say hey you know what, I need help in this area where I am weak. For me, that means seeking mentoring relationships with my fellow staff pastors and my senior pastor. For me, it is saying to them this is where I am weak, I admit it, and can you help me? For me, that means having the humility like David to realize that I need a helping hand. For me, that means having the humility to realize that not all of my talents are superstar status. For me, it is part of God’s chiseling process for me to make me more and more into Christ’s likeness. When we think we got it all covered, God finds it harder to teach us anything. When we come to those humble realizations that hey maybe we are not the superstar we think we are, then, then, God’s got some clay to work with, to mold us into the man of God that He wants us to be. It’s starts with that humble statement of saying, “I just don’t have what it takes for this Lord! I need you to show me the way. I need you to help me do this thing that you have called me to do. I feel so inadequate so it’s gotta be you working through me to make this happen because I cannot do it without you.” There is a freedom in that humble statement. There is peace in letting it go and depending on God.

Amen and Amen.

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