“Stay here with me, and I’ll protect you with my own life. Any harm to you will be over my dead body.”
Sounds like a line from an action film, but David spoke those words in First Samuel 22:23, to a young man named Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech, a Priest during the Old Testament days of King Saul.
David was a warrior. He was a soldier, from the time he was very young. Even before Samuel anointed him to be king, David had slain lions and bears to protect the sheep he was charged with guarding. He had a lion’s heart himself, much like our courageous American soldiers.
You see, King Saul had disobeyed God, so the Lord’s spirit left the King, and a “tormenting spirit” was sent, according to First Samuel. As per a suggestion from one of his men, the King summoned David, who was perhaps in his late teens, to play the harp and sing for him, in hopes of soothing his soul and chasing the bad spirit away. It worked (or rather, would TEMPORARILY work), and David quickly moved up the ranks in Saul’s army. Soon, however, the King grew jealous when the young man seemed to be more successful in battle than him.
“Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands!” the people chanted.
The King’s envy sent him down a path of rage which would carry him all the way to his violent death with the sword by his own hand.
While David was on the run, he and his men made a pit stop to ask Priest Ahimelech for something to eat. While he was there, David also asked the Priest if he had a spear or a sword, since he had left in such a hurry—in his attempt to flee the King’s wrath—he didn’t have the chance to grab one.
Ahimelech: “We have no weapons here except the sword of Goliath, the Philistine you killed in the valley of Elah. Look, you’ll find it wrapped in a cloth behind the sacred vest (i.e. in the closet). You may take that, if you like, for that is the only weapon here.”
David: “It is one of a kind. Let me take it. (First Samuel 21:9)”
King Saul was there when David had slain Goliath, perhaps the mightiest warrior anyone had ever seen, before or since. The fact that David once again possessed the very sword he used to sever the giant’s head must’ve terrified Saul. So when he heard about Ahimelech giving David some food and that sword, he was enraged, and ordered his soldiers to kill all the Priests, their families and all their animals and livestock. The soldiers refused. Thus, Saul’s little stool pigeon—Doeg, who had ratted on the Priest in the first place—took it upon himself to do the dirty work. He killed 85 priests, and then “killed the priests’ families—men, women, children, and babies, and also all the oxen, donkeys, and sheep,” according to First Samuel 22:19.
It was a despicable act, not unlike the evil carried out by America’s enemies.
Only Abiathar, one of Ahimelech’s sons, escaped Doeg’s wrath. He found David and told him what had happened. So did the future king freak out? No way; he replied, “I knew it! When I saw Doeg there, I knew he would tell Saul. Now I have caused the death of all of your father’s family. Stay here with me, and I’ll protect you with my own life. Any harm to you will be over my dead body. (First Samuel 22:22-23)”
That’s hardcore, man. That’s faith in action. He didn’t reply, “Wow, that’s too bad. I’ll be praying for you, bro.”
No, he vowed to protect the man, even to the point of giving his own life for him.
This mirrors the spirit of the American soldier, for which I and millions of others are most grateful.
Don’t believe the cynical, liberal media; the majority of our country LOVE our men and women in uniform, and are indebted to them.
“For the greatest love of all is a love that sacrifices all. And this great love is demonstrated when a person sacrifices his life for his friends. (John 15:13)”
I guess I don’t get the backlash against the American soldier. I thank God neither my son nor I have been in the presence of one of these ungrateful dogs who slander one of our warriors. Knowing us, we’d end up getting thrown in jail for the night, as I won’t stand for one of our Servicemen or Women to be disgraced. I’ve watched the despicable YouTube videos where thankless mongrels scream and spit on soldiers, and am deeply angered by what I see.
Makes me sick.
These men and women put their lives on the line for our country, and that’s the thanks they get?
It’s hard enough for them to mingle back into civilized society after facing the atrocities of the enemy. No, a handful of idiots have to take it upon themselves to rage against the very ones providing them the freedom to be idiots.
So, while it doesn’t mean much, I’d like to offer my appreciation for the sacrifices of the American soldier.
Thanks to my buddies Mike and Brad.
Thanks to my old high school friend, James.
Thanks to my buddies from church, like David, Mike, Dennis and the others.
Thanks to my Uncle Bill.
Thanks to my Uncle Jim.
Thanks to my dad.
Thanks to my Grandpa Stroud (RIP).
And many, many others.
May God richly bless you for your service. I salute you.
4 comments on “Saluting the American Soldier”
Thank you very much!
As an old veteran I’d have to disagree with a lot of what you’ve said on this post, but there’s no reason any of us should find it necessary to agree with one another. Veterans are people who, when there was a draft, were coerced, and after the draft, volunteered to abdicate their morals and ethics into the hands of politicians. We did it for all sorts of reasons and few of those included ‘sacrifice’, ‘protecting the rights’, ‘protecting freedom’, or anything else so lofty, so abstract. Thank you for your service is a phrase that never reaches the lips or minds of non–veterans unless there’s a potentially unpopular war somewhere that needs propping up by making heroes and icons of veterans, among all the other drum beatings and trumpet calls.
Thank you for the feedback! I wasn’t saying that people went into the service with these lofty ideals, but more that this is what our veterans have done in general. No matter where their heart was, the fact is they sacrificed much, and in some cases all, for their country. Whether they did it on purpose or were forced was not the issue in this blog. I was simply stating my great admiration for the sacrifice. Thank you for your service.