My Bodyguard

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“Then the king appointed Benaiah to command the army in place of Joab…” I Kings 2

In 1980, a movie came out entitled “My Bodyguard.” It’s the story of a bullied kid making friends with an unusually big and strong classmate who becomes his bodyguard. As their friendship grows, they both find themselves growing stronger, facing the past and confronting their fears. I remember thinking how cool it would have been in 7th grade to have a bodyguard. There were a few occasions I sure could have used one! The distresses of today still produce the need for bodyguards regardless of whether that distress is some type of bully, an addiction, a lost job, a temptation or a slow drift from Jesus.

When King David died, one of the greatest gifts he gave his son Solomon was his bodyguard, Benaiah, son of Jehoiada. Benaiah, in our vernacular, was “one bad man.” His feats in battle were well known by everyone. David, a valiant warrior himself, was quick to set him up as his personal bodyguard. That decision preserved not only his life, but as it turns out the life of his son Solomon. He was critical in eradicating any who would threaten David or Solomon. There is no mention of his death in the Bible. Who knows, perhaps Solomon’s spiritual collapse at the end of his life reflects the absence of his bodyguard.

The Bible is full of instruction and illustrations regarding the importance of significant and positive relationships in our lives. However, too many of us live two lives: the one we present and the one behind the scenes. Our friendships, sadly, tend to be shallow, safely managed and scripted. We must ask ourselves, “Who is our bodyguard?” Who stands with us loyal to our personal, relational and most importantly spiritual health? Who is there to protect us from that which is harmful even when it’s us? On the flip side, who knows us as their Benaiah? What a terrible thing it would be in the midst of a fierce battle to look to your right and left and see no one standing with you.

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