At Harvest Time
During harvest time, three of the thirty chief warriors came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim.
- 2 Samuel 23:13
David defeated his giant, but the battle continued. The Philistines returned time and time again to attack Israel. And David resisted them time and time again.
This week’s story takes place during harvest time. The Philistines have invaded Israel and are disrupting the harvest. In an agricultural society, an invasion at harvest time meant the following:
- The invading party might make off with the valuable food you’ve labored for months to grow
- You may be forced to fight the invaders and unable to harvest your crop, causing it to rot in the fields
- You may not have enough food to make it through the winter and next growing season which can cause malnutrition and indebtedness
The setting of the story matters. As we’ll see in the coming days, this is a story about courage and loyalty, about leadership and sacrifice, about longing and service. But it’s also a story about food and water.
Although the Bible is intimately concerned with the highest spiritual themes, it doesn’t shy away from engaging with issues like hunger and thirst. One of Jesus’ final “words” on the cross was “I thirst.” And one of the first things he did after his resurrection from the dead was to eat some fish.
We can’t separate the spiritual from the physical. The Lord has woven us together body and soul. And we are grounded in our environment. We eat; we drink; we pray; we play; we work, we sleep; we worship. All this is done “before the Lord.”
How can you invite the Lord into your moments of food acquisition and preparation today? Try offering him thanks, asking him for guidance, or praising him for his generosity to you.