So David waxed greater and greater; for the Lord of hosts was with himI. GOD IS THE TRUE SOURCE OF PROSPERITY.
II. GOD DETERMINES THE REAL NATURE OF PROSPERITY.
III. GOD FIXES THE EXACT TIME OF PROSPERITY.
(J. Thain Davidson, D. D.)
Now three of the thirty captains went down to the rock to David.
I. THE BASE ACCEPTANCE OF THE INCALCULABLE RISKS AND TOILS AND SORROWS OF OTHER MEN is to be noted in —
1. Those in whom is developed the undue love of command and the imperious appetite for personal distinction. The monarchs of the older world who remorselessly sacrificed blood and treasure to build themselves impregnable cities, or to erect stately sepulchres. The Eastern chieftain who bade his warrior take the needless death-leap. Napoleon Bonaparte.
2. In those simply selfish ones who have not yet risen high enough to afford themselves the luxury of tyranny. Their maxim is "Everybody for himself." I have heard of a farmer, whose parcel of ground one might ride round in a couple of hours, express an eager desire for a war between two great powers, since it would probably enrich him. Merchants and millowners have not been free from such wishes. All this is to batten on flesh and blood.
3. In the indifferent many of us are like the receivers of stolen property, only too satisfied to receive and to ask no questions. We expect all the machinery of our life to work with regularity, but are coldly indifferent to the means. Let us learn from David a view of life diviner and therefore more humane.
II. THINK OF THE HEROIC WATER-FETCHING THAT LIES BEHIND OUR OWN LIFE.
1. Historically. Whole civilisations lie behind us; the Egyptian, Assyrian, Persian, Greek, and Roman — each has contributed its quota and we inherit the best of each. Do we reflect, with sufficient gratitude to God and man, on that costly part of which we are — the result?
2. The present day. Our life is enriched by the multitudinous toil of those who remain unknown, and often scantily rewarded. David's words are not without meaning to us under existing social conditions.
3. Let us step on to more personal ground.(1) Some of us are where we are through the wonderful devotion of our parents.(2) Some of us, later on in life, have been saved by the generous resolve and clinging faithfulness of those whom it cost a great effort to befriend us.
III. WHAT DOES DAVID'S VIEW LEAD US TO?
1. Solemn thoughtfulness. What are we that all this should have been done for us? We ought to learn reverence for that majesty of history which the children of the market-place deride. We ought to view our privileges with a more anxious sense of responsibility.
2. The acceptance of such services as have been referred to is inevitable, for we cannot unmake history or sever ourselves from the complex influences of the present order of society. But what does rest in every man's power is to form his own estimate of the value of such services and to decide what use their sacred splendour or gentle unselfishness urge him to put them to.
3. The impulse to self-abnegation which we see in David. This is the practical tendency of all such lives and deeds. The legend of Curtius, self-devoted that he might save the State, may have been simply a concrete personification of the general patriotism of early Rome; but it gave memorable impulses to later generations. It was not absent from the mind of Regulus; it helped to cheer the Roman legions in Parthia and Persia and amid the German swamps and forests. God has set our lives in a framework of noble and unceasing sacrifice. In this old Jewish story we have a significant though undesigned illustration of the transcendent sacrifice of Christ. He has brought us the true "living water."
(T. Rhys Evans.)
I. A MANIFESTATION OF DEVOTED LOYALTY. What ought we to venture for our King Jesus?
II. HIGH APPRECIATION OF SERVICE. David pours it out before the Lord as the only One who is worthy to receive so great a sacrifice. Some might blame him for appearing to throw a slight on the act of the brave men — judicious waste. Some had indignation when the woman broke the alabaster box of ointment over Christ's feet; but He looked at it in another light — He approved that loving, loyal, lavish "waste." Only selfish souls could be indifferent to the lives of others. His act was not like that of the Pasha in the Russo-Turkish war who, when English doctors went to him at a great cost, eager to help the wounded Turkish soldiers, repulsed them and firmly declined to receive their services. What ought to be our feeling towards our King who has broken through the ranks of evil, to gain for us the water of Life?
(J. Parker, D. D.)
(T. De Witt Talmage.)
Sunday Companion.A window in the chapel of the Lichfield Cathedral has a special meaning. It is one of several windows presented by the officers and men who had served in New Zealand during the Maori War, in token of their gratitude for Bishop Selwyn's attention to their welfare in that campaign. It is a medallion depicting David in the act of pouring out the longed-for "water of the well of Bethlehem," procured for him by "the three mighty men" at the risk of their lives. This medallion commemorates the similar heroic action of a Christian Maori who had been a pupil of Dr. Selwyn's when he was Bishop of New Zealand. This Maori, Henere Taratoa, when the war broke out, felt hound to join his tribe. He was placed in charge of a fortified village known as the formidable "Gate Psalm" The British troops stormed the pa, and were repulsed with great slaughter. Several wounded officers were left inside the village, mad one of them feebly moaned for water. There was no water to be had, the nearest being within the British lines. At night this young Christian Maori crept down, at the risk of his life, within the line of English sentries, filled a vessel with water, and carried it back to the pa to refresh his dying enemy's lips. The next day the British again stormed the place, and Henere was killed. On his person was found the text of Holy Scripture which had suggested the deed: "If thine enemy thirst, give him drink!"
The son of a valiant man of Kabzeel.minus in an alarming degree, quite an indifferent figure, an incapable person, a living irony upon the greatness of the father to whom he belongs; yet in the next generation there may be a distinct advance, and even the original greatness may be transcended. We must never forget the responsibility of having a great father.
(J. Parker, D. D.)
And he slew an Egyptian.
1. There is a lion to be fought by every man — Satan (1 Peter 5:8). We are called upon to fight against —
3. Worldly fashion.
4. Worldly ambition.Truly there is battle enough now to be done. Whosoever will set himself against the customs of his time, the popular policies of the circle in which he moves, the prejudices of the persons whose friendship he values, will find that he must have a sword in his right hand, and that even whilst he sleeps he must have his armour so near that at a moment's notice he can be once more in the fray.
(J. Parker, D. D.)