“Abishai son of Zeruiah came to his aid and he struck the Philistine, killing him. Then David’s men swore to him, saying, ‘You shall not go out to war with us anymore, so that you not extinguish the candle of Israel.’” (Samuel II 21:17)
Rabbi Moshe David Vialli (Moshia Chosim) explains that when a person dies in battle it is like a candle going out when there is still plenty of oil left to burn. David, the king of Israel, is the representation of God’s attribute of Kingship.
David’s soldiers were concerned lest King David’s life would be extinguished while there was still more oil to burn and would represent unexpressed potential, the very opposite of representing Kingship, in which all potential is realized and unified.
Look at the oil as a representation of our potential that is yet to be expressed. Pray that, “Just as this candle burns and gives light, so too, may my potential be expressed as light, revealing more of God’s Presence in the world.”