I have always been fascinated by the exploits of David’s mighty men. You might not know their names, with the exception, of Uriah the Hittite, and we all know him for a completely different reason. (Check out II Samuel 11 for Uriah’s story and II Samuel 23 for the names and stories of the other mighty men.)
But there’s one story about the mighty men that sticks out above the rest. David, after a long and tedious battle mentioned that he longed for the waters of Bethlehem and the three mighty men risk life and limb to bring their leader a drink of water. Their courage and devotion is admirable.
But then when they offer the king a drink from their beloved home town, not only does the king refuse to drink, but he pours their offering on the ground.
I have all kinds of issues with this story. If you know me at all, you know that I don’t love (or even like) easily, but once I do love you, I love immensely and intensely, and so yes, I’d cross enemy lines for you. That being said, I don’t know how well I’d react if I risked everything I had to bring you a gift, and you cavalierly tossed it to the ground. But there is no indication that the mighty men even batted an eye. No mention of broken bones or bad attitudes,and as far as we know, the brothers just went back to work.
Try as I might, I don’t understand. But as much as I do not understand the mighty men, I understand King David’s reaction in this story even less. He was tired and thirsty. That water could have changed his life. Instead, he takes it and pours it to the ground.
My spiritual self says that we ought to take everything we receive, no matter the sacrifice, and offer it to the LORD.
My spiritual self says the love and devotion of the three mighty men is what every every believer ought to aspire to.
My spiritual self says that I am like the waters of Bethlehem: sought after, preserved, but that ultimately, that I too will be poured out as a drink offering.
My physical self, however, still needs convincing. My physical self wants to minimize risk, and be appreciated for the sacrifices I do make.
Water is life. Love it. Live it. Give it.