Eleazar tumbled to the ground, leaving David’s sword pointed at his throat. Eleazar stared at his own reflection in the sharpened steel. This is what the moment before death felt like. David retracted his sword and extended his hand.
“Get up brother. Don’t let me rattle your bones so easily,” said David.
Eleazar grabbed David’s hand. As David helped Eleazar from the ground, the grip slipped and down Eleazar went again.
“Ha! Brother, a man’s grip is like his trust in his brothers, like his faith in the Lord. You can’t be a warrior slipping like that,” David said.
Eleazar knew speaking would just make him appear weak. He stood up, sword in hand, ready to spar until David fell. Unfortunately his legs were not cooperating, shaking violently. David pretended not to notice.
David said, “Today you march with Shammah and Jashobeam. Observe their technique. Trust the Lord to guide you.”
Eleazar tried to avoid the front lines, where the three usually marched. It only took one look from David for Eleazar to move to the front of the pack.
On this day, the army of Israelites marched to confront the Philistine menace. Eleazar’s bones didn’t rattle as he walked between Shammah with his sling and Jashobeam with his spear. Eleazar struck a Philistine so hard the armor vanished beneath him. The Philistines fell and began to retreat. They were nothing compared to the might of the Lord’s army.
Or at least it felt that way to Eleazar. His eyes only looked forward, never behind. He had advanced well beyond the pack of the army. So far in fact, he had not noticed they began to retreat. He advanced beyond the reach of even Shammah and Jashobeam, who were viciously defending their ground against the might of the Philistine army.
“Who will stand against the Lord’s army? Bring yourself forward! Bring your champion.” said Eleazar.
Surrounding Eleazar wasn’t difficult for the Philistines. He was simply outnumbered. All it took was one swipe of a Philistine staff to disarm him.
Eleazar’s legs began to shake. He again felt the impending fear of death. He looked for his reflection in the spear and saw only the sun. He reached for the Philistine staff and gripped it with all of his might. He gripped it so hard the spear snapped.
“For the Lord.” He said, grabbing his sword. His hand clenched it and froze. He swung the sword with all of his might, until the last Philistine ran, shaking in fear.
Eleazar shouted, “For the Lord!” hoping to bring more Philistines to challenge his strength. Instead he found the openness of the desert. His sword felt heavy; he usually would let it go, but today, his grip would not lessen. He turned around and marched back toward the Israelite camp.