Now three of the thirty chief men went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam, while the army of the Philistines was camping in the valley of Rephaim. David was then in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. David had a craving and said, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” So the three broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water from the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David; nevertheless David would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord; and he said, “Be it far from me before my God that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives? For at the risk of their lives they brought it.” Therefore he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did.
– 1 Chronicles 11:15-19 NASB
The Israelites are at war with the Philistines. David is in the field with his men while the Philistines are occupying David’s hometown of Bethlehem (where David’s descendant the Messiah would be born about a thousand years later). It’s easy to imagine David uttering aloud to no one imparticular a nostalgic longing for some refreshment from the hometown well. Three of his men overhear him and decide “If this is what our leader wants, this is what we will give him!” They go off lickety-split, incurring great danger in the process, and, next thing you know, David has his water.
At this point, David is overcome by this act of devotion. I don’t think it ever entered his mind that someone would act on his wistful statement as if he was issuing a military order to be obeyed no matter the cost. Therefore, he honored the men by showing them, and everyone else, that their devotion was more important to him than the water. In other words, they had misunderstood him, but rather than berate them, he honored them.
Since David is often portrayed as a type of Christ, this story tells me that if I act incorrectly on something Jesus says, He will honor me for acting rather than berate me for acting incorrectly.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, knowing You won’t be harsh with me if I misunderstand Your word, let me act on it today…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.