“Once when David was at the rock near the cave of Adullam, the Philistine army was camped in the valley of Rephaim. The Three (who were among the Thirty—an elite group among David’s fighting men) went down to meet him there.
David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But David refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord. “God forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these men who risked their lives to bring it to me.” So David did not drink it. These are examples of the exploits of the Three.” 1 Chronicles 11:15, 17-19 NLT
In my new book, “3D Relationships,” I talk about three primary relationships that you need in your life to fulfill your purpose. Jesus had has 12 disciples that he poured into to become his apostles, but he also had three that he did life with. Their names were Peter, James, and John. They went with Jesus on difficult missions.
King David, an ancestor to Jesus also had an army led by 30 mighty warriors, but he also had three outstanding men that would do anything for David. They were some of the most valiant and loyal warriors.
We are only as strong as the people we have in our inner circle.
David had three warriors that he could depend upon. The first one is Ishbaal. He is described as being the leader of the three and is said to have killed 800 men in a single encounter.
The second is Eleazar. He is described as standing his ground against the Philistines at Pas Dammim when the rest of the Hebrews ran away, and successfully defeating them.
The third one is Shammah. He is described as having stood his ground when the Philistines attacked a “field of ripe lentils” despite the rest of his associates dispersing, and as having defeated the attackers.
What these three have in common is that they stood their ground when everybody else ran away. Who do you have in your life that is not going to run away when you need them the most?
Jesus had Peter, James, and John. David had Ishbaal who was the son of Saul, but chose David over his own father. He had Eleazar and Shamaah. On one occasion David was in a stronghold hiding from the Philistines. The enemy had occupied his village and David was forced to hide in a cave. David longed for a drink of water from the well in the town that was occupied by the enemy. The three heard what their leader wanted. The three went alone and fought through the front line, went through the enemies camp, retrieved some water from the well, fought their way back and gave David some water!
Wow! How amazing is that? They risked their lives for their leader just to give him a drink of water.
On two occasions, the Bible records Jesus using the phrase “cup of cold water” (Matt. 10:42; Mk. 9:41).
The first time, Jesus is giving the apostles instructions before sending them out to preach. They had to go preach on the front lines in territory occupied by the enemy. Jesus instructed them:
“‘He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.'”
Giving a cup of water was a sign of service and honor. When the three fought through enemy lines just to give David some water they were showing their love and honor.
The character of the three:
- They have staying power. They don’t run away when times get tough or when the odds are against you. They fight to the very end. Who do you have in your life that will fight for you to the end? Who will you fight for to the very end?
- They honor you enough to risk their life to get you what your heart desires. It really wasn’t about the water. David wanted to be home but instead the enemy occupied his home. The three fought through enemy lines just to give David a taste of home. They wanted to give their leader a taste of what was to come. Who do you have in your life who can give you hope even when you are surrounded by despair? Who do you honor enough to put your life on the line?
- They give their lifeblood for you. These men always left it all on the floor for their leader. Who do you have in your life that leaves it all on the floor every time they go to battle with you and for you? Would you do the same for them?
When they brought David the water he poured it out. After all of that he poured it out?! Why?! Because he realized the sacrifice these men just made for him. He didn’t take for granted that they risked their lifeblood for him. Rather than enjoying water from the well from his hometown, David poured it out in front of his three to show them just how important they were to him.
We cannot take our three for granted! If you have three pour out something for them today. Let them know you appreciate them. We need friends whose love goes beyond the surface. How deep is your posse? Better yet how deep are the three that are in your inner circle? Quality is more important than quantity.