• Tim Clark

The Male Honor Code

If you've spent any time around me, you've heard me speak of the "male honor code". It is "male" because I've found it to exist only among men. It is a "code" because I believe it to ba part of the innate firmware with which God has wired the sons of Adam. One of the best examples of it is found in our text for today:


1 Chronicles 11:15 Three of the thirty chiefs came down to David to the rock at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 16 At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 17 David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” 18 So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out to the Lord. 19 “God forbid that I should do this!” he said. “Should I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives?” Because they risked their lives to bring it back, David would not drink it.


As David ascends to the throne of Israel upon the death of Saul, mighty fighting men gather around him in support of his new administration. Among these men, thirty stand out. Among the thirty, just a few, "The Three" become known for their extraordinary exploits.


Like frat boys on a dare, they set out on a mission for a drink of water. Not just any water, mind you- but water drawn from the well of David's hometown, Bethlehem, located behind enemy lines! Make no mistake, these men were not on a "foolish" mission, but on one driven by the male honor code. As far as they were concerned, mere words were not enough to pledge their loyalty to David- their desire was to allow their actions to speak for them. David's simple desire became their singular mission!


Upon returing to camp with the proof of their devotion, the scene is set at its presentation to the king. What happens next only makes sense when seen through the perspective of the male honor code. When David accepted their offering, honor demanded that he turn it into a libation to God. Pouring out the water was actually an act completely in line with "the code". In so doing, he honored the men who brought it at the risk if their own lives, and he honored God by humbly acknowledging that such gifts might only be rightly recieved by Diety.


It is a picture of devotion among real men directed toward the one living God. It is a glimpse into the world of the "male honor code".

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