David’s conscience.

The mighty three had a love for David that was more than lip service, demonstrated by risking their lives merely to get a drink of water for their beloved leader. Yet, David’s reaction to their display of love was to pour the water out on the ground as a drink offering to the Lord. Some may be tempted to say, “Surely, if those men went to such effort to get the water, at least David could have drunk it!” But we have here something far deeper than mere human gratitude. David’s conscience would not allow him to indulge in self-gratification. He said, “Is this not the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?” How could he drink it? It was more than just a cup of water. It was an evident token, proof of their love and devotion to him. The cost was too great. His only course of action was to give it to God, to pour that precious water out as a drink offering to the Lord.

Then three of the thirty chief men went down at harvest time and came to David at the cave of Adullam. And the troop of Philistines encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. And David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem, which isby the gate!” So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord. And he said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this! Is this notthe blood of the men who went in jeopardy oftheir lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. (2 Samuel 23:13-17)

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