Little Sara died this morning. A one week old orphan found naked, on a cold rainy morning, abandoned in a ditch two days ago. She was brought in yesterday struggling for breath and septic—despite multiple interventions and numerous prayer warrior interceding, she graduated from this world into her Fathers arms this morning. She is the 8th little one to die in the past 2 weeks. This was my morning reading
2 Samuel 23:13–17 (ESV) 13 And three of the thirty chief men went down and came about harvest time to David at the cave of Adullam, when a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. 15 And David said longingly, “Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!” 16 Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate and carried and brought it to David. But he would not drink of it. He poured it out to the Lord 17 and said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did.
And this was the commentary the Lord used to lift my eyes back to Him. Thought I would share it with you.
The second “three mighty men” (vv. 13–17; 1 Chron. 11:15–19). These three aren’t named, but they were a part of the “thirty” listed in verses 24–29. This suggests that they were not the three men named previously. All people are created equal before God and the law, but all people are not equal in gifts and abilities; some people have greater gifts and opportunities than others. However, the fact that we can’t achieve like “the first three” shouldn’t keep us from doing less than our best and perhaps establishing a “second three.” God doesn’t measure us by what He helped others do but by what He wanted us to do with the abilities and opportunities He graciously gave us. The fact that David was hiding in a cave near Bethlehem suggests that this event took place either during the time that David was fleeing from Saul or shortly after he was made king in Hebron and the Philistines attacked him (2 Sam. 5:17; 1 Chron. 14:8). It was harvest time, which meant there had been no rain and the cisterns were empty. No water was available in the cave, and David thirsted for the water from the well at Bethlehem that he used to drink from when he was a boy. The text suggests that David spoke to himself about the water and didn’t issue any orders, but the three men wanted to please their leader more than anything else. They were close enough to hear his whispered words, loyal enough to take his wish as their command, and brave enough to obey at any cost. They traveled twelve miles, broke through enemy lines, and came back with the water. What an example for us to follow in our relationship with the Captain of our salvation! No matter what the Lord put in David’s hands, he used it to honor God and help God’s people—a sling, a sword, a harp, a scepter, even a cup of water—and this occasion was no exception. When David looked into the cup, he didn’t see water; he saw the blood of the three men who had risked their lives to satisfy his desire. To drink that water would demean all his men and cheapen the brave deed of the three heroes. It would communicate that their lives really weren’t important to him. Instead, David turned the cave into a temple and poured the water out as a drink offering to the Lord, as he had seen the priests do at the tabernacle. The drink offering accompanied the giving of another sacrifice, such as the burnt offering, and was not offered independently. It was an act of dedication that symbolized a person’s life poured out in the service of the Lord. The three men had given themselves as a sacrifice to the Lord to serve David (Rom. 12:1), so David added his offering to theirs to show them he was one with them in their devotion to Jehovah. To paraphrase his own words in 24:24, David would not treat as nothing that which had cost those three men everything. All leaders need to follow David’s example and let their followers know how much they appreciate them and the sacrifices they make. Jesus gave Himself as a sacrifice for us, and also as a drink offering (Ps. 22:14; Isa. 53:12). Paul used the image of the drink offering to describe his own dedication to the Lord (Phil. 2:17; 2 Tim. 4:6). Mother Teresa often said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” But doing small things because we love Christ turns them into great things. According to Jesus, whenever we show love and kindness to others and seek to meet their needs, we give Him a cup of cold water (Matt. 25:34–40).
The Lord used this passage to remind of a reality my emotions want to ignore on mornings like this.
My soul’s redemption cost Christ His life…the least I can do is pour out my everything, as a small offering, to Him who chose to die to give me life.
Praying this morning that we are close enough to hear his whispered words, loyal enough to take his wish as my command, and brave enough to obey no matter the physical or emotional cost.
“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” Mother Teresa