de Grot – Cave of the Heart part 7

“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.

worship2 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.The-World-The-Flesh-And-The-Devil

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.

hope-silhouette-sunset2 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 Knights and Swordsas 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.

poured-outWhat do we mean by a “drink offering”? He is referring to the Old Testament “drink offering”, in which wine would be poured out on the place of sacrifice.

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, heart crown of waterwhen 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.”

CrucifiedI cry out, “O Lord, I have wasted so much time and money on myself. I have spent so little of my time in being poured out before You as a living sacrifice.

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.

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The Question Behind the Question by John G Miller

Diet-CokeIt was a beautiful day in downtown Minneapolis when I stopped into a Rock Bottom restaurant for a quick lunch. The place was jammed. I didn’t have much time, so I was happy to grab the one stool they had available at the bar. A few minutes after I sat down, a young man carrying a tray full of dirty dishes hurried past me on his way to the kitchen, but noticing me out of the corner of his eye, stopped, came back and said, “Sir, have you been helped?” “No, I haven’t,” I said, “but all I really want is a salad and a couple of rolls.”

“I can get you that, sir. What would you like to drink?”

“I’ll have a Diet Coke, please.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, sir, we sell Pepsi. Would that be all right?”

“Ah, no thanks,” I said with a smile, “I’ll just have water with lemon, please.”

“Great, I’ll be back.” He disappeared.

Moments later he came back with the salad, the rolls, and the water. I thanked him, and he was quickly gone again, leaving me to enjoy my meal, a satisfied customer. Suddenly, there was a blur of activity off to my left, the “wind of enthusiasm” stirred behind me, and then, over my right shoulder stretched the “long arm of service,” delivering a twenty-ounce bottle, frosty on the outside, cold on the inside, of—you guessed it—Diet Coke!

“Wow!” I said. “Thank you!”

“You’re welcome,” he said with a smile, and hurried off again.

Talk about going the extra mile! He was clearly not your average employee. But the more I thought about the extraordinary thing he’d just done, the more I wanted to talk to him. So as soon as I could get his attention, I waved him over.

“Excuse me, I thought you didn’t sell Coke,” I said.

“That’s right, sir, we don’t.”

“Well, where did this come from?”

“The grocery store around the corner, sir.”

I was taken back.

“Who paid for it?” I asked.

“I did, sir; just a dollar.”

“Come on, you’ve been awfully busy. How did you have time to go get it?”

Smiling and seemingly growing taller before my eyes, he said, “I didn’t, sir. I sent my manager!”

I couldn’t believe it. It was the lunch rush. He was already busy, with plenty to do. But he noticed a customer who, though not in his section, looked as though he needed some attention, so he decided to do what he could to help.

As I left that day, I gave him a good tip, as anyone would have, bouncing my quarters across the bar. (Just kidding. It was the excellent tip he deserved.) And when I returned a couple of months later and asked for “my favorite server, the hostess said, “I’m sorry, sir, Jacob is no longer…” I simply interrupted with, “Oh no, you lost him?” to which she brightly responded, “Oh, no sir, we didn’t lose him, he was promoted.”

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About Michael Welchert

My wife Diana and I have been married since 1985 and have five wonderful children. I have been in ministry since 1980 and we currently reside in the Denver, CO area.
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