Days ago I awoke to the first frost of winter. The ground, rooftops, and the windows of the house and car glistened white with the frozen dew of the morning. The aching of my leg and hand joints confirm that Old Man Winter is upon us.
One of my sisters lived in southern California for a while and complained one year that it was 70 degrees (21 celsius) and everyone was buying winter coats. She’s returned to Oregon and knows that here, 70 is the beginning of shorts and sunbathing weather! O for 70 degrees again!
King David was old, advanced in years; and they put covers on him, but he could not get warm…. So they sough for a lovely young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. And the young woman was very lovely; and she cared for the king, and served him; but the king did not know her (1 Kings 1:1, 3-4).
It gets cold in Israel. When I arrived in Tel Aviv in the Spring of 1993, it had snowed the day before and closed the airport! One of the effects of old age is a persistent coldness caused by the slowing of blood flow through the body. Between being 70 years old and the weather, King David couldn’t keep warm despite all the blankets in the world, so a beautiful young woman was found to care for the aging king, and even use her own body heat to keep him warm.
Some throw dispersion on David, digging up bones of the past and attempting to add flesh to them. They argue that David was sexually involved with the young woman … after all, he’d committed adultery once. But the Scriptures are clear that was one event in David’s distant past, a past he’d repented of.
The national hero who had once slain giants and defeated armies now couldn’t leave his bed. David was facing the winter of life, the reality of old age and death.
David’s son Solomon wrote about old age, ending with the poetic charge: Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7).
Are you ready to meet the God who gave you life?