Lord, I Am Not Worthy
Synopsis 2Sam 23:16-23 2/8/2019
As David prepared for death, he and the people recounted the exploits of his mighty men. Once, while living in the wilderness, David had a craving. He wanted water from the cistern outside his hometown. But Philistine soldiers were garrisoned there. So, he could not visit.
Amongst all of David’s early followers in the wilderness were two special groups. “The Three” and “The Thirty”. Members of the “The Three’ once heard David express this desire for a cup of water from Bethlehem. So, they made their way behind the enemy forces and drew some water for him. However, when they brought the water for him to drink, he refused to drink it.
Abishai and Benaiah similarly made a name for themselves through their extraordinary military exploits. These two were part of “The Thirty”. In fact, Abishai was the leader of “The Thirty”. But even so, the scripture carefully distinguishes that even these exploits were not comparable to those of the elite “Three”.
The Water of “The Three”
“The Three” made their way through enemy lines to bring David the desire of his heart. He wanted water. He wanted the water he remembered from his childhood. And so, these men risked their lives to satisfy this desire.
But David could not accept the gift. Something had happened to the water. As desirable and delicious as it would have been for David to drink, the container now carried in it more than just a special taste. For David, it carried the life of the people who risked everything to bring it.
And, according to scripture, the life of any person is in the person’s blood. So, as David saw it, the water was no longer only water, but blood. It was the blood these valiant friends were willing to risk for David’s sake.
But David also understood that this was not his to take. Under the Law of Moses, God forbade the consumption of blood. And this, because life is essentially holy and sacred. It was not David’s to receive. The life, no matter how freely given, belonged only to God. It could only belong to God. And so, David gave it back to God, by pouring out the water on the ground, as a sacrifice of blood.
And “The Three” were not offended at the waste of their effort. For, they recognized that their love for David had had its effect.
Lord I Am Not Worthy
A man once said to me, “I do not have the right to consume the life, the blood, of another person. This is, in fact, an abomination to the Lord.”
He talked about how he often felt a certain revulsion. “The thought of consuming the blood of another is repulsive,” he said, “Not merely because of the horrible ickyness of it. But rather because the life is in the blood. I can have no legitimate claim on the life of another – let alone the Holy One of Israel.”
And I felt that. So, I silently asked the Lord, “How can I share in your life? How can I, a miserable sinner, participate in your righteousness? What share could I possibly have with the Holy One of Israel?”
And then I heard, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”
And so, I pass through the revulsion. Like air in my lungs, this one thing matters. And so I say, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof – but only say the word and I shall be healed.”
And I am healed.
“Lord, I am not worthy…” Matt 8:8