What a wonderful world the Almighty has created! The magnificent blue sky; the golden sun that shines its warmth and its health upon us; the great mountains that tower up to the Heavens, their snowcapped peaks glistening; the lovely lakes and lush green fields – all these things attest to the majesty and grandeur of the Holy One Blessed Be He.
Then, of course, there are the creatures that roam the face of this wonderful world. Each one, be he small or great, has a definite place on this earth and a specific reason for being.
What? You question this? Do you wonder at times what possible purpose some little insect might have for being? This is exactly the question that David HaMelech once asked. He, too, wondered about the need for a little spider in this world. He was soon to see, however, that there was a very good reason for her creation. Indeed, the answer was to save the life of the future King of Israel.
David And Shaul
Before David became king he was the greatest general in the army of Shaul HaMelech. No man fought more bravely, no soldier more courageously than the Sweet Singer of Israel.
One day, however, after returning from a great victory over the Pilishtim, David, Shaul and the returning armies were greeted by a joyous group who ran out to meet them with dances and songs. And to celebrate the victory, as they danced, they sang:
“Shaul has slain his thousands, but David his tens of thousands.”
Shaul HaMelech was deeply insulted. The people considered David a better warrior than he! From that day on, his jealousy of the young David grew and grew until he decided that David posed a threat to the kingdom. He decided that David must die!
David was forced to flee for his life and he escaped to the deserted Cave of Adullam. There he crept into the furthest, darkest corner and lay on his back weak and exhausted. Little did he know, however, that a spy for the king had seen him and at that very moment was hurrying to inform on him.
As David lay in the dark, damp cave, he saw a little spider crawling about. Even in his suffering and discomfort David did not stop reflecting upon the world and the Almighty.
“I wonder,” he thought, “why G-d created this ugly spider? What benefit does she offer the world that she should have merited being brought unto this earth?”
To his amazement, it was as if the spider had read his thoughts, for she said:
“Know you, David that nothing the Almighty ever made was created for naught.”
To Help David
“I know this, little spider,” replied David, “but I must confess that though there must be some reason for your spinning your countless webs, I cannot see it.”
“And yet there is, David. There is a very important reason as far as you are concerned.”
“What do you mean, little spider?”
“I mean that the Holy One, Blessed Be He has sent me to this cave to save you from the hands of Shaul.”
David could not refrain from laughing.
“The Almighty has sent you, little spider, to help me? Pardon me for doubting you but I need a great miracle now – lightning to strike the soldiers who pursue me – and not a little insect.”
“And yet,” insisted the spider, “you will see. I will be the one to save you.”
And so speaking, the spider crawled to the mouth of the cave and began to spin a web, cleverly and swiftly. David watched in fascination as the little spider spun her delicate threads. Little by little, the mouth of the cave began to be covered with the silky strands until soon it was completely covered.
Just then, David heard the tramp of many feet coming down the path leading to the cave.
“It is Shaul and his soldiers,” he cried in panic. “I must try to escape while there is yet time.”
“No, no,” cried the spider. “If you try to leave the cave you will surely be seen. You must stay here. Have faith and you will see that you will be saved.”
David saw that he had no choice but to obey the advice of the spider and he lay huddled in fear as the soldiers reached the cave.
“The spy said that he saw David in the area of the cave. Let us enter and see if he is still inside.”
David shrank back, expecting the soldiers to enter momentarily. Suddenly, however, he heard the voice of Shaul HaMelech himself:
“No, it is impossible for David to have entered this cave. Behold the web that covers the entire mouth. Had David entered, he would surely have broken the web.”
To David’s amazed relief he heard the soldiers turn around and continue on their way.
“I am saved! I am saved, little spider,” he cried.
“Indeed, you are,” replied the little insect. “And do you know what it was that saved you?”
“Yes, yes. It was you and the magnificent web that you wove. Now I see what you meant. It is indeed true that the Almighty in His great wisdom created nothing for naught. All – even the tiniest insect has a reason for being and a place on earth.