Week of Monday, February 27 ­– Sunday, March 5
Battle Buddy – Man as Battle Buddy

"When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of the LORD and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the LORD. Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, “This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.” … There was another man who prophesied in the name of the LORD, Uriah the son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim. He prophesied against this city and against this land in words like those of Jeremiah. And when King Jehoiakim, with all his warriors and all the officials, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death. But when Uriah heard of it, he was afraid and fled and escaped to Egypt. Then King Jehoiakim sent to Egypt certain men, Elnathan the son of Achbor and others with him, and they took Uriah from Egypt and brought him to King Jehoiakim, who struck him down with the sword and dumped his dead body into the burial place of the common people. But the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah so that he was not given over to the people to be put to death." -Jeremiah 26:10-11, 20-24 ESV

I came across a story attributed to Willie Morris in Parade Magazine that relates a compelling example of being a Battle Buddy in a time of need:

In his first seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play Major League baseball, faced venom nearly everywhere he traveled; fast balls at his head, spikings on the bases, brutal epithets from the opposing dugouts and from the crowds. During one game in Boston, the taunts and racial slurs seemed to reach a peak. In the midst of this, another Dodger, a Southern white named Pee Wee Reese, called timeout. He walked from his position at shortstop toward Robinson at second base, put his arm around Robinson’s shoulder, and stood there with him for what seemed like a long time. The gesture spoke more eloquently than the words: “this man is my friend.”

For the past 20 years, Jeremiah had faithfully spoken the word of the Lord to the people, calling them to repentance for their idolatrous behavior and speaking of God’s impending judgment. Some declared Jeremiah was worthy of death for prophesying against Jerusalem. The threats to Jeremiah’s life were not idle ones, as evidenced by fellow prophet Urijah’s capture and brutal death at the hands of King Jehoiakim. But here the biblical account introduces us to Ahikam, who stands by Jeremiah and saves his life!
Spiritual life and death are what’s at stake for each of us men! Having a Battle Buddy who doesn’t flinch and stands with us in the face of adversity is a great treasure. In contrast, it may well be that our Battle Buddy finds himself in a critical situation where we are called upon to stand strong for him! Ahikam gives us a powerful example of selflessness and courage, reminding us of the importance of having a close brother in the faith who stands on the field of life alongside us and says, “You are my friend!”
- Do you have a Battle Buddy like Ahikam who you know you can count on? If not, begin praying today for God to bring that man into your life.
- If you have a Battle Buddy, how are you cultivating that friendship? Are you meeting regularly to study the Word or read through a good biblical book? Are you praying for one another and holding one another accountable before God?
- Ask God to help you deepen your friendship with your Battle Buddy. Someday your life may depend on it!