“Then three of the thirty chief men went down at harvest time and came to David at the cave of Adullam. And the troop of Philistines encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. And David said with longing, ‘Oh, that someone would give me a drink of water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!’
So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord. And he said, ‘Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this! Is this not the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?’ Therefore he would not drink it. These things were done by the three mighty men.”
2 Samuel 23:13-17
David yearned for a drink of water. That’s it – a drink! Nothing noble; nothing these men would have been awarded a prize for obtaining. Placing myself in this story, I think I’d more likely be one of the soldiers in the back scoffing that these men would risk their lives for such a silly thing. Surely David could go a little longer without a drink; the Philistine army was nasty, blood-thirsty, and completely in the way of the well. Why risk anyone’s life for a thing so insignificant?
These men saw a bigger picture. They had full dedication to their master; what he said was what they did. They honored him and respected him greatly. And because of their dedication, they sought to honor even the smallest things.
David hadn’t even ordered someone to get him a drink; he had merely expressed a desire. Yet see how quick these men were to go above and beyond; how quick they were to do what he desired. They showed such love for their leader that they were willing to do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, even if it meant losing their lives in order to please him.
When they returned with the water, David saw their commitment and wholehearted dedication. He honored them in return by recognizing their sacrifice and refusing to drink the water that could have cost them their lives.
I think of the bravery, dedication, commitment, honor, strength, and love in this story and I’m floored. What an example and inspiration! These men stopped at nothing in order to see their master’s desires come to pass. Oh, that I could have that same determination with my Master. To be so sensitive to His leading, so committed to Him, so bent on honoring Him and seeing His desires come to pass. The three mighty men loved their king so much they’d die for him in the smallest of tasks; may I love my King so much I’d do the same.
The men weren’t motivated out of fear; they were motivated out of love. In the same way, I pray we as Christians will be motivated not out of fear but out of love for our Father. May our desires be reflections of His desires, our actions taken out of determination to see His love and share it with others. May we forgive and accept forgiveness, continuing to press on toward knowing Him and making Him known. May we live with increasing holy ambition and be filled to overflowing with His goodness and mercy.