Fearless in the face of overwhelming odds


Argh!

I watched 300 a few months ago. Wow. Blood, gore, screaming, pain, seriously evil bad guys and fight scenes from start to finish. Sounds like a night out in Hillbrow doesn’t it? Now I don’t perceive myself as a prude but the first time I watched it I told my friends how poor I thought the movie was. My words were along the lines of, “It’s just gratuitous violence packaged in a film strip and sold on to little boys who are all balls and no brains.” To me it was, “A steroid induced testosterone fest.” I was nearly lynched (turns out this figure of speech isn’t exactly PC).

Out of respect of my masculine side I watched it again after coercion from the mob and second time round I got it. I’m much less of a sword in hand and much more of a pen on paper kind of guy. Since watching the movie I’ve had this poem turning over in my head.

Lift up your swords you gods of war, I challenge you!
I shake my fist and scoff at your cowardliness, where are you?
Come from your hole wherever you are, face me!
I blaspheme you because I, Leonidas, am victorious.*

As I was thinking about the movie this evening and was reminded of a similar epic battle in the Old Testament which captured my imagination when I was a kid. Over whelming odds, larger than life hero, this is the stuff of movies from 1 Samuel 14:

1 Now the day came that Jonathan, the son of Saul, said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.2 Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree which is in Migron. And the people who {were} with him {were} about six hundred men, 3 and Ahijah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the priest of the LORD at Shiloh, was wearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone.4 Between the passes by which Jonathan sought to cross over to the Philistines’ garrison, there was a sharp crag on the one side and a sharp crag on the other side, and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.
5 The one crag rose on the north opposite Michmash, and the other on the south opposite Geba.
6 Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the LORD will work for us, for the LORD is not restrained to save by many or by few.” 7 His armor bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart; turn yourself, {and} here I am with you according to your desire.” 8 Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men and reveal ourselves to them. 9 “If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you’; then we will stand in our place and not go up to them. 10 “But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for the LORD has given them into our hands; and this shall be the sign to us.” 11 When both of them revealed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines, the Philistines said, “Behold, Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.” 12 So the men of the garrison hailed Jonathan and his armor bearer and said, “Come up to us and we will tell you something.” And Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come up after me, for the LORD has given them into the hands of Israel.” 13 Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, with his armor bearer behind him; and they fell before Jonathan, and his armor bearer put some to death after him. 14 That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armor bearer made was about twenty men within about half a furrow in an acre of land.
15 And there was a trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. Even the garrison and the raiders trembled, and the earth quaked so that it became a great trembling.

Want to hear the verse in context? 1 Samuel 11 – 15
What is this about?

* If this makes it through to FaceBook know that I own my own content. You can’t have it!

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