Summary: This is a passage that really speaks for itself. It looks at how much the glass of water meant to David, the great lengths his men went to get it, and how David then gave it to God in worship. Would we be willing to do the same?
I want you all to turn with me to the book of 2 Samuel 23:13-17, but I’m not going to read it to you right now like we normally do. I want to tell this story and build on it because this is a story that almost preaches itself. It’s a powerful story that shows a lot about the heart of David and why I think God was able to say that David was a man after His own heart. Let’s turn to that passage and see what it means to give God our best.
2 Sam 23:13-14 says, “During harvest time, three of the thirty chief men came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem.” Now remember that David was from Bethlehem, that was where he grew up, that was his home town, and now not only is he not in Bethlehem, but his enemy, the Philistines, are there. They have come and camped out in the town, taking it over.
I can’t imagine how that would feel. I love my home town, and I couldn’t imagine if one of my enemies had come and taken it over. Imagine Starkville decked out in red and blue. That would hurt, and I’m sure it was upsetting David as well.
In 2 Sam 23:15 it continues, “David longed for water and said, "Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!" David was camped out in the desert region around Bethlehem, and it was hot and he had been drinking that old canteened water, and his mind started going back to the water from the well where he grew up. You know what it is like to remember something you want but you can’t have it. Some of you might remember what it was like sitting in the kitchen in your grandma’s house, you see baked cookies and fresh baked bread, and the whole place just smelt good, and you are there at the table with a piece of fresh baked apple pie with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top…oh you can almost taste it. And oh don’t you wish you could go back and get a slice. But there are things that stand in our way. Whether its time, or death, that thing we want so bad…we just can’t have it, and since you can’t have it, you want it that much more. And what makes it worse is when it is your enemy that is keeping you from what you want. So David was outside his hometown, thinking about his childhood days, he said, “Boy I would sure like to have a glass of water from that well!”
But as David was wishing out loud, some of David’s soldiers overheard him. 2 Sam 23:16, “So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David.” Now I have gone through some tough situations to get a gift for someone. When Denise and I were first married, she saw a perfume in a magazine that had one of those scratch and sniff ads, and she said that she like the smell of it. So it was close to Christmas so I thought I might try to get it for her. Now the perfume’s name was rapture, and the only place it was sold was a place that for all practical purposes is off limits to males. The only place to buy it was at Victoria Secret. I was nervous and I didn’t want to go in, but I donned my battle gear and braved the hostile environment and I waded through the aisles of bras and underwear, and I got the perfume. I had to re-man myself afterwards, so I ate some hot wings and watched a ball game, but that is how much I risked to get a gift for someone I love.
These men loved their leader so much, that they risked their life. They were willing to sacrifice themselves for someone other then themselves. That said a whole lot about those men. Not for the gift they gave, but what they were willing to go through to get that gift. They broke through the enemy lines and got some of that water. They risked everything for a glass of water. But the gift wasn’t just a glass of water. It was everything that went with it.
I remember my mom telling us kids about when she was growing up. My mom grew up in a family of 16 kids on a poor farm in White Mills, Ky. She was the 2nd youngest, with my Uncle Kenny who has Down Syndrome being the youngest. The didn’t have any money and just barely had enough to keep their farm going, but when my mom was 13, her Dad died of a unexpected heart attack. My Grandmother had to try to run a farm on her own, and raise the kids that were left in the home. Needless to say, they went from poor to poorer. My mom was used to not getting for her birthday, but my Uncle Coleman, who was just a few years older then my mom, did something that still makes my mom tear up today. He quit school and at the age of 16 took over the responsibilities of the farm, but not only that, he took on other jobs around town, and for about 5 months every spare moment of his life was spent working. He had saved up his money, but the reason why he was doing all this, the reason why he was working so hard and saving every penny was so that he could buy his little sister, my mom, a record player and some records for her birthday. My mom says that she can’t really remember what records she got, or where that record player is today, but she will always remember her older brother coming in at 11 pm at night and leaving the house before sunrise to go to work, all just to give her a birthday present.