There are two men in the Bible whose story fits into the topic I want to discuss. Their stories are quite short and hidden in the stream of the more important personalities of the Bible, but they have lessons that will shape our thinking and warn us as we live our lives in the days ahead.

The first person is a young man named ASAHEL. He was one of David’s 30 (thirty) mightiest men, and he had one major advantage at his disposal, which was his swiftness. The Holy Scriptures remarked that he was as swift-footed as a deer. His ability to run was massively great. Speed was his greatest advantage in life. However, he had a great disadvantage that led to his death, and that was his stupidity. He did not know how to face wars that were at his level, rather he attempted to fight wars that was to be left for Generals, and it led to his death. What happened?

He joined in David’s forces, alongside his brother Joab and Abishai, against the armies of Saul’s son led by Abner. Abner was a General and a mighty man of valour, of the rank of Joab, Abishai and even King David. Yet as the war raged on between Abner’s forces and Joab’s forces, Asahel began to chase after Abner the commander of Saul’s armies. He refused to turn aside and face other men his equals, but rather kept up his chase against the commander. When Abner had ran some distance from him, and noticed that it was Asahel that was chasing him, he began to pity the young man. He spoke up and pleaded with the young man to stop chasing him and turn over to any other of his fellows in the battle, but he refused. Abner begged him again not to risk his life by chasing him, because he (Abner) did not want to kill him (Asahel) as he was afraid of the vengeful anger of Joab (Asahel’s brother) who was the commander of David’s Army.

However, Asahel refused and kept chasing Abner until Abner had no option but to strike him with the butt end of his spear (not even the sharp end) and the young man fell down and died. If only he had learnt a lesson from his master David who said that his eyes were not haughty, and he did not involve himself in things too great for him (Psalm 131 vs. 1), he would have turned aside and faced others his equal, and perhaps one day, he would have lived to face a man as powerful as Abner. But his desire to achieve great things too early led to his untimely end.

This is a warning to young ones, swiftness and speed is not a sign of great strength. Wisdom is needed to guide a man. You must not be too ambitious or haughty, neither should you involve yourself in things too great for you. It is wisdom to fight wars that are at your level. You may say, what about Goliath and David? But Goliath was David’s level. That fight was not a function of David’s ambition and desire to achieve great things while young, he simply felt bad at the insult God’s people were receiving from the Giant, and his spirit stirred up in him that God would have him take on the fight. In fact, before then, he had taken out a lion and a bear when no one was watching him, hence, when he took on Goliath, he was not engaging in something too great for him.

Never be led by ambition, or the desire to perform great things at a young age. Never involve in things too wonderful for you. You may be swift, but be wise, and handle life at your level, and simply as God leads you. Even if others your age are achieving great things, don’t be pressured by that to want to achieve your own. Live your God-given size per time, and grow into your achievements. God bless you. Amen.

©️Joshua Obodozie

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