“The Christian alternative to war is worship.” -Stanley Hauerwas
Our worship of the Lord should not be performed as a duty, but as an act of devotion because we love our King.
2 Samuel 23:20-23 Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day. 21 And he killed an Egyptian, a spectacular man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand; so he went down to him with a staff, wrested the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. 22 These things Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did, and won a name among three mighty men. 23 He was more honored than the thirty, but he did not attain to the first three. And David appointed him over his guard.
Each of us is called out of the cave to the fight of faith, to overcome through on the job training as more than conquerors. We know our three battle grounds (the world, the flesh and the devil) and Benaiah’s battles pattern for us the victory that overcomes…our faith.
1 Peter 5:8 Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Benaiah “went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day.” Be offensive against the “gates of hell”
Benaiah also showed his might by overcoming “two of Moab’s best men.” The Moabites were physically related to Israel and yet they were enemies…they represent the flesh when it is not under control. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires & greed, which is idolatry. Col 3:5. Here are two examples from Moab as a picture of the flesh:
- Moab came from an incestuous relationship between Lot and one of his daughters – his flesh was not under control!
- Remember the immensely fat king Eglon of Moab – his flesh was not under control!
Benaiah showed his might by killing an impressive Egyptian. After the Exodus, Israel was still attracted to, craved and even wanted to go back to Egypt! We can’t deny that the world at times looks as impressive to us as Egypt looked to Israel. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father, but is of the world.
2 Sam 23:14-17 David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15 And David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” 16 So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord. 17 And he said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this! Is this not the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it.
When these mighty men came to him, they were distressed, discontented and in debt and David became their captain. The crowd that gathered to him in the cave of Adullum needed to be redeemed from worthless lives. When they had nothing to live for, he gave them a vision and a cause. He trained them and made them an army and a family.
Of all the stories that could have been told of David and his men, this story became famous as one of the most extravagant and surprising acts of, not duty, but devotion toward the king. They were not commanded to perform this deed. It was not a military duty. They acted out of love for their king. The Lord desires people who go beyond the minimum requirements. He searches for lives of lavish commitment. The church doesn’t need volunteers, they need people who know they have been forgiven much…they are the ones who will love much.
I imagine them whispering to each other, “Don’t spill that water, whatever you do!” When they got back to the cave, they presented the water to David and he refused to drink it, but rather poured it out before the Lord. The fact that David poured the water out on the ground makes it seem like the mighty three were involved in a wasteful effort. But David considered their act to be so significant that he honored it and “elevated” it by giving the water as a drink offering to the Lord.
Paul in light of Christ’s own sacrifice for us uses the idea of drink offering to identify his own life of service, suffering and sacrifice. It came in two stages: daily and in his departure. First, in Philippians 2:17 he writes, But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a drink offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. Later, in 2 Timothy 4:6, in his very last letter, Paul writes, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering and the time of my departure has come.
So the question is not, WILL your life be poured out – it inevitably will. The only question is, ON WHAT will you have it poured out?
When you look back on your life, what are you going to rejoice in having done? Your joy, when this life is over, is only going to be found in the ways that you “poured out” your life in loving God and loving others.
Remember Jesus said, “He who wishes to save his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for my sake, will find it.” Who wants to give up their own “pursuit of happiness” and be “poured out” like an unused drink?!
When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back. “You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages”, he cried. To that, Calvert replied, “We died before we came here.”
What we do know is that the pouring out of a drink offering is a metaphor for the blood Jesus spilled on the cross (Psalm 22:14). After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you. Luke 22:20
Leviticus 21:6,8,17 the offerings by fire are called “the food of God”. This is what God is hungry for. If the sacrifices are God’s food (literally, bread), then the libations are evidently God’s drink. The law of the drink offering, therefore, tells us that God would not drink wine with His bread until His people entered the land.
The Question Behind the Question by John G Miller