“More than a Symbol
March 16 | Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 28-29; Mark 14:54-72
In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
READ 2 SAMUEL 23:13–17
On the verge of making team history, University of Iowa basketball star Jordan Bohannon intentionally missed the free throw that would have broken a twenty-five-year-old school record. Why? In 1993, days after Iowa’s Chris Street had made thirty-four free throws in a row, he lost his life in a car crash. Bohannon chose to honor Street’s memory by not breaking his record.
Bohannon showed a keen awareness of things more important than his own advancement. We see similar values in the life of the young warrior David. Hiding in a cave with his ragtag army, David longed for a drink from the well in his hometown of Bethlehem, but the dreaded Philistines occupied the area (2 Samuel 23:14-15).
In a stunning act of bravery, three of David’s warriors “broke through the Philistine lines,” got the water, and brought it to David. But David couldn’t bring himself to drink it. Instead, he “poured it out before the LORD,” saying, “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” (vv. 16-17).
In a world that often rewards those who seize whatever they can grasp, how powerful acts of love and sacrifice can be! Such deeds are much more than mere symbols.” By Tim Gustafson
REFLECT & PRAY
Father, guide my heart today. Rearrange my priorities so that I value the needs of others as well as my own.
Instead of advancing your own agenda, how can you celebrate someone else and their efforts? How do our acts of love reflect God’s own?
“David had a group of elite soldiers collectively known as “the Thirty” (2 Samuel 23:13, 23-24) comprised of some thirty-seven “chief warriors” who led his army (v. 39). Totally loyal to David, they were credited as men God used to fulfill His purpose of making David king of the entire land of Israel (1 Chronicles 11:10-47). In 2 Samuel 23:13-17, David honored the devotion of three men (known as “the Three,” vv. 8, 13-19, 23) by not drinking the water they had risked their lives to obtain. “Instead, [David] poured it out before the LORD” (v. 16). David was not being callous. Rather, in deepest humility and gratefulness, he deemed this water as symbolically representing the blood of his three men (v. 17). Mindful that “the blood is the life,” David poured out the water as an offering to God (Deuteronomy 12:23-24), acknowledging that He—not David—was the one for whom the men should sacrifice their lives.” K. T. Sim