When listenting this morning to the account about the 200 men who were too exhausted to pursue the rescue of their own wives and children, along with the other 400 men and David, I have to admit (and maybe this is the first time after going over this passage many times before), it was a bit of a head scratcher for me. I'd have to be practically dead to not be on my way, especially after the Lord had promised David that they would overtake the raiding party and rescue their loved ones.
Sometimes the critics of Scripture (and there are growing militants of that in Western society today) will call attention to passages like this one, in their disdain for Scripture and faith in God. But on the other hand, in Scripture, there is a refreshing realism in the stories, David's included, which as in Abraham Lincoln's portrait, includes "warts and all," just as Lincoln insisted.
I have experienced depression, and knowing how distraught the men were, how they were weeping and even suggesting treason by stoning David to death- I can understand why they might want to catch a cat nap, but why the others would refuse to wait, even for a half an hour. Of course I'm using my imagination here, and the text doesn't fill in the details, but we do need to see these as real life stories (not using "story" here as in the sense of myth, but in the sense of a special telling of events which happened).
The Lord gave special faith to David, and through him to many of the other men, I take it, during this crisis. And I would think the grace of humility to those who found themselves unbelievably exhausted. I could see myself in this portrait in more than one place. Maybe looking down on my brothers who didn't do whatever necessary to keep themselves going, and shaking my head literally over that. Or on the other hand, seeing myself as so completely exhausted, so completely spent over the deep depression, maybe even flagging in my faith, though one would think there was a renewed hope through the Lord's word given to David- I could see myself with others asking for a brief rest, maybe suggesting we'd be better off if we did.
I like what David did in insisting that the men who went and those left behind would share equally in the plunder, David making that a statute for Israel. Grace is needed all around. It's an attitude of needing each other, and not judging another, while exercising discernment, which I believe David did well at that point.
Good to think through, and especially to see ourselves in Scripture. And in all of that, to see our God and his ongoing Story at work in our lives and in this world through Jesus.
What would you like to add to these thoughts?