In the last post we started looking at some of David’s Mighty men and today we will look at a story of three of David’s men and their courageous act. Look at 2nd Samuel 23 verses 13-17: 13 Then three of the thirty chief men went down and came to David in the harvest time to the cave of Adullam, while the troop of the Philistines was camping in the valley of Rephaim. 14 David was then in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15 David had a craving and said, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!” 16 So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water from the well of Bethlehem which 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; 17 and he said, “Be it far from me, O Lord, that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did.
The writer of Samuel shares a story of these might men before David became king and while he was still fleeing from Saul. The “cave of Adullam” is first mentioned in 1 Samuel 22:1. This cave is where David located after he fled from Gath. It is where a number of his family and friends joined him as well as others who were also out of favor with Saul and where David’s band of mighty men first started. At some point in time, David and his men were in this cave while they were at war with the Philistines. The Philistines had taken possession of David’s hometown of Bethlehem and were camped there. David then said in passing that he would love a drink from that well in Bethlehem because of how good the water was from it.
So what happened was that some of his men heard what David said and decided that they would provide for their leader whatever he wanted. I do not see it that he had given orders to fetch him the water from that well or even intended that anyone to get him water from the well, but to these three brave men, David’s wish was their command. The men left the safety of the cave, went 12 miles or so to Bethlehem, broke through the enemy lines, drew water for David, and came back 12 miles to bring it to him. When presented with this water, David did what seems unusual; he refused to drink the water, and instead poured it out on the ground. This is not because he disdained the efforts of these courageous men or because he did not wish to drink it but his actions demonstrated that he wanted to honor the courage of those who obtained it. David never intended to put these men’s lives at risk for his own desires because that kind of devotion that was showed to him was the kind of devotion that belonged to God. Pouring this water out before the Lord was David’s highest expression of appreciation and regard for these men. The water was a symbol of the blood these men nearly shed, serving him. The highest use to which this water could be put was the worship of God, and so David poured it out to the Lord in worship.
Do you have the courage and selflessness to do what these men did? They selflessly served. Do you selflessly serve or do selfishly serve? Selflessness is not caring about your wants or preferences but about others and their needs. Selfishness is only worrying about what you want and your preferences and nothing about what is the best for others. Which describes you? The Christ like attitude is that of selflessness because selflessness shows real courage.
How do you guard against selfishness? What is a story of how someone served you selflessly? Do you see service as an act of worship?