David and his army are in pursuit of their enemies. They are on a hike that makes ultra-marathons look like 5ks. One third of his men have already deserted. The remaining two-thirds are doubtless exhausted, hungry, and hurting as well. But God has directed them to go and fight. He has promised them victory. So on they march.
They found an Egyptian in the open country and brought him to David. And they gave him bread and he ate. They gave him water to drink, 12 and they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. And when he had eaten, his spirit revived, for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. 13 And David said to him, “To whom do you belong? And where are you from?” He said, “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago. 14 We had made a raid against the Negeb of the Cherethites and against that which belongs to Judah and against the Negeb of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire.” 15 And David said to him, “Will you take me down to this band?” And he said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this band.” ~1 Samuel 30:11-15
One of David’s men happens upon an Egyptian man who is near death. Knowing little more than his need, David’s men gave him sustenance. They gave him bread. They gave him water. They gave him a cake of figs. They gave him two clusters of raisins. They gave an awful lot to a perfect stranger – especially considering their own need at the time. This was a man who, by rights, was destined to be their prisoner and was as good as dead. Instead, they cared for him as a brother and he came back to life due to the kindness and generosity shown by godly strangers.
Three days later, when the man is strengthened, David asks him who he is and where he is from. The Egyptian answers truthfully and God gives favor to David by using this man to lead him to the enemy he is seeking. There’s only one condition – David must promise to spare the life of this informant.
Like, well, everything, this reminds me of Jesus.
Who else went on a long, amazing, difficult journey in pursuit of an enemy and in order to rescue his family? Who else had one third of his army desert? Who found the lost foreigners, gave us his own bread, water of life, and then some sweetness despite his own great need? Who showed unbelievable kindness and generosity to would-be prisoners and treated dead men as brothers? Who spoke to those strangers after three days? Who used those strangers in pursuit of his enemy and promised to spare their lives if we become a traitor to that same enemy? Who was promised victory?
Answer key: Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.
Need I say more? This account screams salvation. Let us remember that it is our unbelievable kindness and generosity, too, that gives life to the dead and sets the would-be prisoner free.