“So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David.” 1 Ch 11:18
The weather was scorching hot and David was probably just speaking in passing. “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” The problem was the City of Bread was occupied by the Philistines and it would have been quite a risky enterprise for anyone to do so. I don’t think David meant for anybody to actually risk their life to fetch him a drink of cold water. Yet three warriors in the camp seemed to take David’s wishes rather seriously, and were about to put their lives on the line to satisfy David’s thirst.
Had David known what the three were going to do, he would have kept them from proceeding. It simply wasn’t worth it to jeopardize one’s life for such a casual yearning. What exactly caused three people to take such a great risk for a mere cup of water from the well in Bethlehem, we may wonder.
Most people were drawn to David by his charisma and they couldn’t help but cater to his every wish, for they wanted so much to please the man. They even went to such an extent as to risk their own lives for him. They didn’t perform the deed by coercion at all; they did so mostly by their own compulsion. They might not have done it had they thought more about what their action might have entailed. I guess that is how heroes are created in most cases. When one is overcome by a heroic spirit or an ideal so compelling, their life become less significant compared to what they desire to achieve. The three warriors were more than willing to put their lives on the line for something as whimsical as some cold water. Of course, the water itself meant very little compared to what it truly represented.
It stands for an ideal, a kind of love and loyalty that is beyond our comprehension. Nothing seemed to be as serious and honorable as what they were about to do. Was it blind loyalty to someone who might or might not have the claim? Perhaps. Yet that wasn’t something that concerned the three warriors. They were determined, and carried out something they considered noble and honorable, which was quite enough for them.
Was David worthy of these people’s sacrifice? By no means. Even the king himself didn’t deem himself deserving of such a sacrifice. He would have been insane had he accepted such worship and adoration. Many despots in history might have routinely done that, and it hasn’t been all that uncommon for emperors to bring hundreds of people down to Sheol with them after their passing. But the man after God’s own heart couldn’t have done that. He poured the water out before the Lord as a form of sacrifice, indicating that only God was entitled to receive such lofty honor and sacrifice.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 6:38:00 AM