I haven’t checked in with you all for a while for the 2020 read through of the Bible. I just finished 1 Chronicles today.
The first time I did a complete read through in a year, by the time I got to Chronicles I thought…did I lose my page number because I feel like I have already read all of this. Several times.
And that, my friends is the beauty of 1 and 2 Chronicles. It fills in some of the details but basically covers similar material to 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings.
But don’t skip it! Because there are always nuggets of gold to be mined just when you need them.
As many times as I have read through all the Scripture, I find new things and I revisit old friends and it is the power of God to change and transform us.
When I read Scripture, I underline things or bracket them. I draw hearts and question marks and stars depending on my reaction. I date it, I write a quick thought that comes to mind or a response or a correlation to something that is going on in my life or the world around me.
I take sermon and teaching notes in the margins and write references to other passages that I was led to that connect the dots for me. This year there a lot of “Covid19…this sure applies” notes that will be a reminder in the years to come of how God spoke into this pandemic lived out in the walls of our home.
One passage in 1 Chronicles is just so tender to me and every time I read it, I am moved by the depths of what it expresses. I have seen the heart behind this passage in real life.
In 1 Chronicles 11, the author is recounting the epic heroism of David’s elite warriors. I am not what I would call a violent person, but you can’t help but be impressed by the exploits of these powerful men who gave allegiance to the King of Israel when he was finally placed on the throne years after being anointed by Saul.
Beginning in verse 15, David and his men are holed up in a stronghold while the Philistine army is entrenched at Bethlehem.
In this setting, supplies must be scarce and David is extremely thirsty. He mentions to his men how much he would love to have water and for it to come from the well at the city gate of Bethlehem.
The three who were his “Mighty Men” break though the Philistine camp and get water from that well and bring it back to their beloved leader.
Here is the part that gets me every time. Here is King David, parched and thirsty and these three big galoots bring him a bag of water fetched right from the city gate of his birth home.
Imagine the years he had spent drinking water from that well, maybe he had even gone himself and drawn water with his mom as a young boy.
It’s not just the water.
Here is not just liquid to quench his thirst, but water from the place of his youth and family line that is now surrounded by the enemy.
And what does he do?
He refuses to drink it.
Because the potential cost to these three dedicated soldiers when they put their lives in danger to bring him this gift was too high for him to deserve.
He poured the water out as an offering to God.
I don’t know how those men felt.
I don’t know if they felt like it was a slap in the face or rejection of a gift, but I hope they saw instead the way David valued them over his own flesh.
Their lives were more important than his needs that day.
The only one worthy of such a sacrificial gift of love was Jehovah.
So he made the water a sacrament as he gave honor to both their lives and the glory of the God they served.
I think of that sometimes.
I have “gifts” that come with a sacrifice from the giver. I think of love that I am given by family and friends that I really don’t deserve. I have people who do such sweet things for me that I could never repay.
Often I find I have to “pour out” the deep gratitude of I have for these gifts I have been given.
Sometimes they are as simple as a marker picture delivered from one of those little Fab Four’s we love so much.
I am often handed these offerings of love – so dear as they will make a search through a stack of them until they find the one they made for me and the one they made for their Papi.
There are others designated for various family members, each was made with the recipient in mind as ink was scattered across the page and on their little chubby hands.
The artist looks deeply into my eyes, boring down into my soul and says “I made dis for you” and as I take it and tape it up on an already overflowing pantry door…I have to say…I am not worthy of such love.
It is sacred to be loved well and like David, we have to learn how to take those moments that fill our hearts and pour them out like the water of Bethlehem before the LORD.
He is worthy of all that fills our hearts <3