2 Samuel 23:11-12
11 And next to him was Shammah, the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines gathered together at Lehi, where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and Israel’s troops fled from the Philistines. But Shammah took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines, and the Lord worked a great victory.”
This is one of my favorite stories. It’s about one of David’s Mighty Men. When David’s army ran away from the Philistines, Shammah stood and faced the enemy. It was Shammah and God against a multitude.
How can we raise up children to be like Shammah? How do we prepare them to stand alone with God and face the world outside of home and VVCS? Here at school we memorize scriptures and teach the children the stories of the Bible. We teach them how to pray and listen for God's voice. We work on developing Christian character traits. We learn to let our light shine and to be salt, to seek first and to serve. We give the children opportunities to enter into a relationship with Jesus. Is all that enough?
Let’s compare our students to Shammah. He had been trained as a soldier, and I think it’s safe to assume, he had a weapon of some kind, a sword or spear. Likewise our students are receiving training to be soldiers for the Lord at school, at home, and at church. They have weapons: knowledge of the Bible and prayer.
The problem that we teachers anguish over is, we can't teach them an intimate relationship with Jesus. We can model it but we can't make them love Jesus. We can give them head knowledge but head knowledge can be reasoned away by convincing (though not necessarily true) argument. We can give them weapons, but are weapons enough?
How often have you seen kids from Christian families launch into life standing strong for the Lord? Then after a year of college they either reject their parent's faith or turn to neutralized lukewarmness?
Let's look back at our story of Shammah. Like our children, he had training and weapons. He also had three choices. He could run off with the unfaithful, lukewarm, ineffective soldiers of Israel, he could join the Philistines, or he could stand alone with God. Our children have the same choices. Live a lukewarm powerless "Christian" life, completely reject Christianity, or stand alone with God in the bean field of this world.
What more can we do as a school to produce Shammahs? What more can you do as parents? I think a huge key is prayer. Fervent prayer, consistent prayer, battle prayer, sacrificial prayer, FASTING prayer (my least favorite), and never giving up prayer. What do we pray? That our kids will have a Mighty Man spirit. That they will be friends with the Holy Spirit, yielded to Him so He can work in their lives like He did in Shammah's. Pray that they will choose to take a stand in the bean field even if they are the only one standing. Pray that they will choose NOT to run away with the lukewarm or the Philistines. Pray that God will work a great victory.You pray over them as they sleep while we pray over them at school. The prayers we pray now are eternal. The answers to our prayers are like time released capsules coming to them as needed throughout their lives. The Bible tells us our prayers are held in bowls. The Lord is waiting to tip the bowl and send the answer at just the right time.
Revelation 5:8 "And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God's people."
We train, prepare, supply, and model the Christian life for our children but in this crazy bean field in which we live, all that is not enough. We must diligently pray that God will show Himself real to this next generation. Will we produce Mighty Men or might-less men? Only our prayers and the Holy Spirit can move the hearts of our children.
-Peggy White (VVCS 4th Grade Teacher)