2 Samuel 23:11-12


2Sam 23:11-12

Next in rank was Shammah son of Agee from Harar. One time the Philistines gathered at Lehi and attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, but Shammah held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory.


King David was very wise in that he surrounded himself with men of integrity and character. Shammah was such a man. But why, we might ask, would he fight for a field of lentils? The field was certainly not worth much financially but Shammah had gotten to the point where compromise was no longer an option. He had had it with giving in to the Philistines and continually giving up little bits of ground. He realized that if he gave up this little piece of ground for a moment of peace the Philistines would be back for more. The Philistines were always back for more… they were relentless and wouldn’t go away.


Shammah had to make a choice in a time of war and he put his life on the line. We are not physically fighting the Philistines but we are in a war against sickness and disease. We have many choices to make every day that will determine the outcome of our health and the length of our lives. This fight is very real and we can see many who are losing the battle as we look around us.


Shammah fought for something that was really of no consequence. Who cares about a field of lentils? When we make choices about what we will eat one choice will not make much difference. What’s one more piece of candy? What can a cupcake do to your health? Aspirin is medicine so it can’t hurt you. But fried chicken is so good. I only have a birthday once a year; Christmas is only once a year. But she made it just for me, how can I refuse. These and other little “lentil” choices will not make much difference in the big scheme of things. One piece of candy really won’t hurt you; neither will one fried chicken meal or that birthday cake with the creamy rose on top. We realize, as did Shammah, that this little patch of ground (little bit of food) was meaningless.


However, Shammah was a man who thought beyond his present comfort. He reasoned that if he gave up this field it would make the Philistines even more confident in taking whatever they wanted. And what would be next? His home? His children? His city? His life? He made a decision to stand up to the enemy and fight for his life and all he held dear. So what does giving in to one fried chicken meal do? Not much. But what is next? More fried chicken? More holidays? More health destroying treats?


Where do these choices lead? Making your body overwork once in a while is no big deal but causing it to fight off disease daily at every meal soon overwhelms our body’s defense systems and we begin to break down. Everyone wants health and everyone wants to have the ability to do all that is necessary to live well and have an enjoyable life. Knowing how to accomplish that is confusing and very difficult if you listen to all the information available from the media. Most people just say “forget it”. It was easier for Shammah, his enemy was clearly defined. Health destroying food is a bit more difficult to spot but it is possible and a Food Coach style meal plan can help to do just that.


Shammah realized that continually giving up little bits to the Philistines would result in ultimate failure and complete defeat. If we continually consume little bits of foods that destroy us we will ultimately be defeated. We have bodies that are marvelously designed and equipped with amazing systems to keep us healthy and strong for as many years as we choose to stay here.


For Shammah, a great victory was his when he defended his field and destroyed the enemy. The battle became an opportunity and he became one of David’s mighty men. When we defend our health and limit or eliminate the addictive, destructive foods from our diet our great reward is a long, satisfied life and the ability to run our race fully and completely.


Do you really know which foods are health destroying and which are health building? It would be wise to find out and Ask the Food Coach and the Choose Well program can help.

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