Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Quest to get David some Bethlehem water

14 And David was then in an hold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Beth-lehem.
15 And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Beth-lehem, 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 Beth-lehem, 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. (2 Sam. 23:14-17)

Think how devoted to David these men were, who wanted to get him a little drink of water from the Bethlehem well just to make him happy.  And too, consider how brave they were that they would attempt this risky mission against a host of the enemy, to break through and then to hold them off while one of them drew water from the well.  Consider that they had to make their escape and defend themselves while one must hold the water pot. (Or maybe they concocted a way to carry it hands-free so all three could fight.)

David was right to refuse to drink the water, touching as his men’s devotion was.  He would not want to be responsible for starting a precedent of rulers demanding men to sacrifice their lives just to obtain some trivial thing for the ruler to consume on his lusts.

So, David poured out the water before the Lord, and this language suggests it was it was done as a sort of sacrifice, suggesting an important lesson.  Though it isn’t fit to embark on risky missions to gratify a mortal leader’s trivial desires, certainly it would be great if we were to risk everything to gratify our God’s will.  In that respect, the three brave men are well worth emulating.

I find this story helps me see my own struggles with clearer perspective.  I can tell myself, “Okay, Michaela, so you’re having troubles contacting people as part of your calling?  Are you in any physical danger as you’re doing this?  No?  Then don’t you think you could do a little more with a cheerful heart?” 

Okay, yes, I think I could.


Ramona Gordy said...

Hi Michaela
I remember reading this and thinking that King David must have been a person who had such charisma that his men would literally walk through "hell and back" to bring him a glass of "ice water". I always thought that it was a great teaching moment for David and his men.
My favorite lesson of service is outlined in the JST translation of Matt 4, after Jesus endures the weakness of not eating for 40 days and then the grueling sesion of Satans taunts, the scripture say that he is ministered to by angels. But I love the JST where it says "now Jesus knew that John was cast into prison and he sent angels to minister to John.
I was touched by this, when I heard it explained in a talk. And I thought to myself, how selfish it is for me to wallow in my own trials, how selfish it is of me not to think of others who are having just as hard of a time.
I also thought of the Mormon Message: Hope you know we had a hard time"
I believe that the key to overcoming our trails is to love and serve others even in the midst of it.

Michaela Stephens said...

Nice to hear from you, Ramona. I agree he must have had a lot of charisma. But I think he also was one of those leaders who is like a shepherd and does so much for the sheep that they want to do things for him back.

I like that section you mentioned from the JST too. I think Elder Bednar taught an excellent principle about that in his book "Act in Doctrine" when he said that it shows how Jesus used the times of his suffering to reach outside Himself and succor others.