So David took the spear and water jug from next to Saul’s head, and they left.
1 Samuel 26:12
When Tim and Irene Martin invited our church youth group to a sledding party, we thought it would be fun. But we soon learned the important distinction between fun and crazy.
The Martins lived at Star Meadows, high up in the mountains of Montana, and after we parked our cars along the roadside, our adventure began by sledding uphill.
Tim tied a heavy rope to the back of his four-wheel drive. We would sit on our sleds, hang onto the rope, and he would gun his rig – taking us on a wild ride up his long driveway. As we rounded a bend, the centrifugal force threw Lauren off her sled and I ran over her, but we found her still breathing, so the party was successful so far.
Once we got to the top things got interesting. Tim expected us to go sledding down the mountain back to the road. We pointed out to him that there were a lot of big trees on his very steep mountainside, but he failed to comprehend the significance of this.
While we tried to think of a Bible verse that talked about prudence, Tim’s dad came out of the house. He was a retired medical doctor, so everyone still called him Doc.
“Hey, Doc,” one of the kids said, “you come out to watch us?”
Doc looked hurt. “No,” he said, “I came to go sledding!”
I hasten to point out that Doc Martin was 83 years old at the time, so we laughed at his joke. But, it turned out that Doc wasn’t joking. He sat on his sled and we listened to him whooping it up as he disappeared down the mountain.
When Saul was king of Israel, he was intent on killing the young warrior, David. When men reported David’s whereabouts to Saul, the king gathered 3000 chosen men to pursue him.
David’s scouts reported that Saul was after him, so he went out to investigate and saw where Saul was camped for the night.
Somehow, David got it into his head that he wanted to sneak into Saul’s camp and asked which of his leaders wanted to join him. Abishai, who couldn’t think of a Bible verse about prudence, agreed to join him.
That night, David and Abishai snuck past 3000 of Saul’s best soldiers, and stole Saul’s spear and water jug that was lying beside the king’s head.
You can’t deny that David and Abishai were daring, but what’s the point? Why attempt something so foolhardy? It’s not as if David had to do this.
David did this because he was David. He didn’t have an on\off switch to regulate his courage.
Careening down a mountainside on a sled doesn’t sound like an overly biblical thing to do. But it’s practice – practice for the day when the Lord will call on us to suppress our fears to do something valiant in his name. And, since only Luke broke a bone, it wasn’t nearly as bad as we originally thought it would be.
No one has ever accused the Martin family of being sane. But, no matter – they have taught us the glory of stealing spears and water jugs.
And the importance of memorizing Bible verses about prudence.
(copyright 2011 by Marty Kaarre)