A few more thoughts on the story of our hero, Shammah, lest we leave him fighting in a field of lentils.
Back in the day, names usually signified something—an important characteristic of the person, or an event when the child was born, something like that. Names were important, not just something to throw around casually.
Many are familiar with the name “Shammah” as one of the covenant names of God, meaning “There” or “Present”. (1) The name “Shammah”, used in this context and for this soldier of Israel, actually means “desolation, horror.” (2) Gag! Whatever happened for this poor baby to get such a moniker? Who knows, but the name stuck, as names generally do, particularly when we don’t want them to…
It gives me pause to consider why God would allow one of the mighty men of battle to have a name so closely sounding like His own, yet with entirely opposite meaning. Just a few thoughts:
- Many times it is in the very place of utter abandonment and horror that God chooses to show Himself the most astonishingly present. (Consider the cross, for example…)(3)
- Even when circumstances seems the most desolate, the fight continues, must continue, will continue. (The Philistines weren’t just going to call it a day and go home.) (4)
- God is not intimidated by numbers, for OR against. His name of Shammah, His presence and power, are ready to work through us and for us as we stand our ground. (5)
Thanks for readin’!!
- Strong’s Concordance #8033
- Strong’s Concordance #8047
- Romans 8:28
- Hebrews 12: 1-2
- Philippians 4:13