What To Do When It Snows! - 2nd Samuel 23:20-23 (Wednesday Night Worship)


Considering they are calling for our second round of winter weather within just two weeks, I thought it might be good to discuss appropriate activities for when the winter weather sets in.
There was once a woman driving through town who became lost in a massive snowstorm. She started to panic, but then remembered what her dad had told her years ago, "If you ever get lost in a snowstorm, just pullover and wait for a snowplow to come along and then follow the plow.
Sure enough a snowplow came along and she fell right in behind it.  
She followed the plow for about forty-five minutes, until the plow came to a stop and the driver walked to her door and asked what she was doing. She told him what her father had told her about following the snowplow. He just nodded and smiled, "Well, I'm finished with Wal-Mart now, but you can follow me over to Sears if you want to."
What do you do when it snows?
Some folks go out and play…snowball fights, building snowmen, sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and making snow angels…
Some folks go out and work, shoveling and scrapping driveways and sidewalks…
Some folks stay in and watch movies or read a book, maybe sitting by a warm fireplace…
Some folks may get on the phone and make calls, checking on friends and family, or getting in touch with someone they haven’t seen in a while…
Some folks just go about their day to day business as if nothing special has happened…
What is your favorite childhood memory of a snow day? 
I have two, both of them involved the community.  The first one came after what I believe was a long period without snow and we finally had a great snowfall.  We lived in a neighborhood in which within the block (two streets that probably encompassed the distance from here to the parsonage) there were probably about eight of us within all within one to two years age difference.  I can’t remember exactly how old we were, but when this snow came one of the girls on the street I lived was sick at home with the chickenpox.  The rest of us all felt bad that she could not come out and join us in the fun, so we stopped what we were doing and built a snowman in her front yard for her while she watched out the window. 
The second one not nearly the act of compassion of the first one…and it was not a snowy day, it was the night of a snowy day.
I only went once, but it was an adventure I will never forget.  Night would fall, and folks would make a pilgrimage to Butner Lake (now called Holt Reservoir—the name of which bears a significant connection to a member of Dale Crisp—it is a small world after all).  Fire barrels would be lit along the roadway and up an unbelievable hill.  We would all climb to the top of the hill (the hill is the length of 1 ½ football fields with a 150-foot drop), on the way down, you would have to dodge folks climbing the hill, folks wrecking on their way down the hill, and the fire barrels all while running a good 20-25 miles per hour.  You would pick up enough speed coming down the hill, that if you rode it out once leveling out, you would probably clear from here to Houston’s house, and possibly beyond.  If you weren’t careful, the end of the run would shoot you out onto Old Oxford Highway (the stretch of highway that would connect Durham and Oxford before I-85 was completed).  It was high speed and adrenaline pumping fun.
Did you realize that the Bible gives us a picture of what Biblical folks would do on a snowy day?  Who, other than those that I’ve told since I’ve been here, know where to find it?
It is found tucked away in the 23rd chapter of 2nd Samuel (or in 1st Chronicles 11): 
Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant warrior from Kabzeel, a doer of great deeds; he struck down two sons of Ariel of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. And he killed an Egyptian, a handsome man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but Benaiah went against him with a staff, snatched the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. Such were the things Benaiah son of Jehoiada did, and won a name beside the three warriors. He was renowned among the Thirty, but he did not attain to the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard. 
How many of you knew the Bible offered this snowy day description?
Now we do not know what precipitated this event between Benaiah and the lion.  We do not know if there was a lion that had been causing trouble for the people of the region.  We do not know if this pit was a trap that had been laid for the lion.  We do not know if, perhaps, Benaiah was simply out walking, enjoying a stroll on a snowy day, and encountered a lion, or if the lion found him.  It is possible that Benaiah saw the lion and tracked him down in order to kill him.
What we do know is that on a day when snow had fallen, Benaiah went down in a pit, and killed a lion.  Benaiah entered a high risk, dangerous situation, and came out the victor.  He did not run, he did not hide, he met the challenge head on.
Just how dangerous was this challenge.  Think of it.  We are not talking about a kitty cat or a tame circus lion, but a wild lion.  Think also of the pit...the space in which Benaiah went toe to toe with the lion was not a wide-open space with lots of room to run, but a pit, which means, most likely, no quick exit.  Now think about the snow…think of any walking in the snow you may have done in our recent storm.  There is no quick movement when it comes to snow…there is not a lot of traction…and attempts at running can result in a face or rear-end planted in the snow in a hurry.  These are the conditions of the challenge that Benaiah took on. 
What do we do on a day when snow has fallen?  What do we do when we encounter a lion on a day when snow has fallen?  Do we run, do we hide, or do we meet the challenge head on?
What are our snowy day lions?
Maybe it is a situation at work…a major project that has been presented to us to complete…or maybe trouble with a co-worker or supervisor…
Maybe it is an illness or disease and the treatment that we must face that is going to wreak havoc on our bodies…
Maybe it is rehab following surgery, illness, or injury…
Maybe it is having to move to a new location or a new job…
Maybe it is a challenging class or activity in school…
Maybe it is facing down a bully…
Maybe it is starting a new ministry or joining a ministry in an area that makes you uncomfortable…
Maybe it is taking an unpopular stand against a public injustice…
You get the idea…we have snowy days and lions that we encounter in our lives on a regular basis…
Again, I ask, what do we do…do we run, hide, or face it head on?
How do we find the courage that Benaiah had?  How do we face a lion in a pit on a snowy day?
The Bible does not tell us of Benaiah’s relationship with God…but we know that he was among God’s chosen people…the Israelites.  We do know about our relationship with God and His faithfulness.  We have seen God’s faithfulness in the snowy days and lions that Christ faced…the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes…the demons and diseases…the critics and hecklers…the Roman leaders and soldiers…the cross…and despite it all…Christ faced them without backing down and came out victorious…
We know that the same God who was with Benaiah…the same God who was with Christ…is with us and will be with us as we face the snowy days and lions in our lives…the times where the things that threaten us and roar in our faces…the times where the traction under us seems uncertain.  When we turn to Him, God will give us the strength to stand firm and sure…safe and secure from all alarms…for we know the promise of Christ…“What is impossible for mortals is possible for God.” With God we can face any lion in any condition and know that we will win.
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen





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