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Lest We Forget

I’m reading a book called “Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives” by Charles R. Swindoll. It’s about the people behind the scenes, who make it possible for famous individuals to succeed. For example, ever heard of Josheb-basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, or Shaman son of Agee the Hararite? I didn’t know who they were until I read the reference:

These are the names of David’s mighty warriors: Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter. Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. Then the Israelites retreated, but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.
Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.
” 2 Samuel 23:8-12

Thanks to these men, David was able to survive the years of persecution and exile while King Saul was alive. Because of their dedication and sacrifice, David became the King of Israel. Yet we don’t often hear about them, or the many others whose incredible stories of loyalty and devotion would merit individual biographies, if there were enough information about them.

It is a timely reminder to treasure each person around us who make different things possible—the postman who delivers our Christmas presents and cards, the train conductors who keep us safe on the tracks, the nurse who attends to our needs at the hospital, and the janitor who keeps our workplace clean.
Every one has a story that if we listened, would be a fascinating, even heartbreaking story of redemption, loss, and hope. Every one fills a place that may be unnoticed by the majority but nurtured carefully by the Creator who designed each person with unique personality, skills, interests, and opportunities.
You may feel invisible and insignificant in the drama of culture, politics, and competition that flash in blinding colours and burn in the spotlight—but in God’s eyes, you shine like a star (c.f. Daniel 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:5-7; Philippians 2:14-16).

So let’s remember the unsung heroes this Christmas season. Let’s appreciate each other as we celebrate the birth of a baby, born in a manger to poor parents. After all, the world has never applauded the meek and humble—but the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

Jinha Kim pastors a church plant in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Roy. They also have two lively little boys, which keep her very busy!


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