“One day during harvest, the Three parted from the Thirty and joined David at the Cave of Adullam. A squad of Philistines had set up camp in the Valley of Rephaim. While David was holed up in the Cave, the Philistines had their base camp in Bethlehem. David had a sudden craving and said, ‘Would I ever like a drink of water from the well at the gate of Bethlehem!’ So the Three penetrated the Philistine lines, drew water from the well at the gate of Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But David wouldn’t drink it; he poured it out as an offering to God, saying, ‘There is no way, God, that I’ll drink this! This isn’t mere water, it’s their life-blood—they risked their very lives to bring it!’ So David refused to drink it. This is the sort of thing that the Three did.” 2 Samuel 23:13-17 (MSG)
David’s Mighty Men were the best of the best. Out of a whole nation, three men were designated as part of the “Three.” Josheb-Basshebeth, Eleazar, and Shammah had great victories against their enemy, the Philistines. In this instance, they heard their leader, David, state an impossible desire. He wanted to drink water from a specific well in Bethlehem. The battlefield lines stood as a barrier to this well. Could he have not been satisfied with water from a different source? Most would have let this statement simply pass. Yet, when these three men heard these words leave David’s mouth, they immediately got together and started moving. The plan was to cross the enemy lines, get the water, and return to the camp. Carrying water through military lines is not the best strategy. Everyone needs to be on guard and ready to fight. These three men were not intimidated by the present situation, but with bravery and courage, accomplished the unthinkable. When David saw the water presented to him, he immediately understood the risk that was involved to accomplish this feat. His top three men were willing to die to satisfy a flippant desire professed by their leader. At the end of verse 17, it says, “This is the sort of thing that the Three did.” It would seem that to these three men defeating enemy armies was an everyday occurrence. What would seem rare to others was commonplace to these men.
Though we could look at this passage from the viewpoint of leaders being mindful of how they are leading others, the perspective and preparation of these three men is astounding. They were not the people that stood back and waited for someone else to start moving. They were on the front lines, facing challenges and trusting God for great victories. There were not just three people included in David’s Mighty Men. Other men who were ranked as part of David’s Mighty Men could have decided to participate in this plan.Yet, there were only three men who crossed enemy lines. What if you had that kind of perspective as you face your life, job, or ministry? In order to start moving, it takes courage. There are victories that God wants to bring into your life and the lives of those around you. It will require you to have courage, bravery, great faith, and a willingness to move. There will be moments that fear wants to hold you back. We have to decide if we will let fear dictate our faith and undermine our courage. Out of a nation, there were only a few men that qualified as ‘mighty men’. Why were there not more? It is not always the most popular choice to step out, but it can bring about great change and victory when people of courage and faith start moving and believe God for the impossible.
Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.