Summary: David’s sigh brought out some noble actions of his three mightiest men.


TEXT: 2 Samuel 23:13-17 (Secondary Text: 1 Chronicles 11:12-19)

2 Samuel 23:13-17 KJV And three of the thirty chief went down, and came to David in the harvest time unto the cave of Adullam: and the troop of the Philistines pitched in the valley of Rephaim. [14] And David was then in an hold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. [15] And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate! [16] And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the LORD. [17] And he said, Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men.


-David finds himself not so much geographically but in his soul a lifetime’s journey away from Hebron, where he had been anointed as the king to the place he is now residing. Adullam is a place that marks him for conflict. One of the great spiritual laws of life is that we will endure far more Adullam’s than enjoy the high points of Hebron.

-David under great pressure and duress from the Philistines desired to have a drink from the waters of his youth. He literally longed to have a drink of water from the wells in Bethlehem.

-It is more than just a sentimental cry from David but rather it is a distant memory of yesteryear and the innocence of a time that has now left him. Hidden in his cave in Adullam, perhaps he looks out at the verdant, lush valley and it provokes a thirst in him for more than just water. . . but for now the water will suffice.

-Perhaps at a venture he thinks that this water will bring something else to his soul and mind.

Oh for our youth again.

Oh for a renewal again.

Oh for a revival in the heart again.

Oh for a passion for prayer again.

Oh for my life to experience just a bit of peace again.

Oh for just a drink of water from the wells of Bethlehem!

-Now they are at the cave of Adullam hearing the desires of a king’s heart. “Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” Perhaps uttered even more as a sigh than as a request. But to mighty men the sighs’ of the King are just as important as His commands.

-What the King desires ought to be the whole focus of our relationship with God. Let others dismiss David’s sigh as a distant memory from his childhood but it is different with a mighty man. He looks at things a little differently than the run-of-the-mill soldier. This small request is one of the price tags of greatness.

-The cave of Adullam was about 17 miles SW of Jerusalem and about 10 miles SE of Gath. So these men would have to travel north through all sorts of dangerous passes and stretches of land to get to the wells of Bethlehem. Add on to that challenge the heavy infestation of Philistines and you have a real adventure at hand.

-The mindset of these men was one of total devotion to their king. They remembered where they came from and what they once were before the king came along.


A. Desire Marks the Mighty Man

-These three mighty men hear the cry of their king and determine to do something about it. There will come a time in the life of most men that their greatest goal will be to furnish what the King desires.

-These men were of that mindset. Their prevailing desire was to get to the wells by the gate in Bethlehem. Not just any well in Bethlehem but the one that was by the gate.

-This water was going to cost these men something! This is the way that it is with the King. . . the things He values will cost you something. In fact later on in the text there is a word that marked what they paid for it. . . They put their lives in jeopardy. . . They put everything at risk because of their desire to fulfill the wishes of the king.

No matter what danger they had to face.

No matter what paths they had to take.

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Jimmy Lang

commented on May 17, 2013

good stuff.

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