Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Shammah and the Lentils



2Sa 23:8  These are the names of the mighty men whom David had:

2Sa 23:11-12  And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines had gathered together into a troop where there was a piece of ground full of lentils. So the people fled from the Philistines. But he stationed himself in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So the LORD brought about a great victory.


David’s Mighty Men

The mighty men that are listed in this chapter must have been precious to David.  They fought his battles, they were courageous, they defended him and they were devoted to him.  It appears that any one of them would have been willing to give his life for the life of David.  Of course Joab, David’s chief general, is not in the list.  While Joab did mighty deeds for David, Joab was always out for Joab, while these men seemed to be truly devoted to David.  Joab’s armor bearer and his two brothers are listed, but Joab is not.  Today, we need to ask ourselves, “Do we do mighty deeds for ourselves or do we do them for the Lord?”



I have been thinking about Shammah the son of Agee the Haarite.  He defended a patch of lentils when all the people fled from the Philistines.  Now we know that this literally happened, but there seems to be some allegorical truth here as well.  I would like to believe that the patch of lentils was the food that the Israelites needed.  Shammah was not defending people in this battle, he was defending food.  Now if we consider the Word of God to be food for the people of God and if we can assume that we are called to defend “a patch of lentils” today, would we do it?


What about the Doctrines of the Gospel?

I am talking to people today who believe that you can be born again or saved without ever finding out that you are lost.  A person kind of grows into his or her faith according to this doctrine.  But the Bible says that the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).  The idea of being saved is illustrated in the Bible by a number of conversions and by a number of healings and by a number of people who had demons cast out of them.  These experiences were not things that a person would forget.  I can understand forgetting the date when a person who was lost is found and saved, but I cannot understand forgetting the experience.  The Philippian Jailer in Acts 16 was saved and he could tell others how and when it happened.  The Ethiopian Eunuch, Paul, and the Centurion in Acts 8, 9, and 10 knew when they were saved.  Nicodemus in John 3 was born again when he met the Lord at night. Just because it is popular to preach otherwise, we are not being faithful to the unsaved when we give up this patch of lentils just because people and preachers have quit preaching the doctrine. 


What about the Doctrine of Headship?

Again, once we are saved, we are surely devoted to the Lord and should be willing to do anything to please Him.  In our chapter, three men risked their lives to get a cup of cold water from a well in Bethlehem where David grew up.  What they did was foolishness in a natural sense.  David wouldn’t even drink the water when they brought it because he knew they could have died breaking through the ranks of the enemy to get that one cup of cold water. 


We have one teaching in the New Testament that makes no logical sense to me but carrying out the instructions pleases the Lord.  The teaching is found in 1 Corinthians 11 and deals with order in the assembly.  Angels are witnesses to this order and obedience.  A man’s uncovered head demonstrates that he as a representative of mankind is subjecting himself to the Lord (his head).  Women are to cover their heads since she represents the glory of man or mankind.  In covering their heads, women are not being singled out as second class citizens.  Instead, they are being given the privilege of teaching the angels that mankind is subject to the Lord in everything that is done in the church.  Put simply, in the assembly, we don’t make up our own minds as to how things should be done, we let the Lord lead.  Men’s uncovered heads and women’s covered heads are simply demonstrating that in object lesson form.  A man’s head (the Lord) is to be visible, the woman’s head (mankind) is to be out of sight.


The Great Commission

How many of us are willing to defend these patches of lentils, today?  I have heard many leaders say that practicing the doctrine of headship as found in 1 Corinthians 11 limits our ability to carry out the great commission.  The great commission as found in Matthew 28:20 requires us to teach disciples “all things”.  I fail to understand how teaching “all things” on headship is going to hinder the work of the Gospel.  I fail to understand how assuming that one can be saved without finding out first that one is lost is going to hinder the work of the Gospel.  But when we give up these patches of lentils, we are giving up truth that not only pleases the Lord, but we are giving up truth that the church needs in order to be preserved.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of April 30, 2017

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>