But Abishai, son of Zeruiah came to his aid, and attacked the Philistine and killed him. Then David's men swore to him, "You shall not go out with us to battle any longer, so that you do not quench the lamp of Israel." II Samuel 21:17 NRSV
I haven't gotten there yet but I know someday I am going to have to give up some things because I am just not capable of doing them anymore.
David is not capable of fighting because of his age. His advisers are frightened that he will be killed in battle (rather than dying in his bed of old age) and the morale of the Israelites will be greatly compromised.
My parents, who are in their late seventies, are beginning to think about giving up their house for a smaller dwelling. They just can't keep up with it as they used to. For me, it is an easy choice. However, I am not having to make that decision!
How humiliated David must have felt, possibly ashamed as well. He has always been known as a warrior - he has fought the ten thousands- yet now he must rely on others. An essential part of who David is has been lost. King David is not the man he once was.
Do you have a loved one who has had to give up something recently because of age or illness? I invite you to spend some time with them, asking how they are doing and feeling with this change in their lives. Show them empathy as well as appreciation for who they are right now.
God, thank you for always being with us, no matter our age or our abilities. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims