The book of 1 Chronicles records stories of the kings of Israel and Judah. Chapter 11 talks about David and his army of valiant men. There were three chiefs over David’s army who I would imagine killed thousands of Philistines. I’m sure they conquered other armies using their strength and military intelligence. There was a reason why they were set apart and named “The Three”, but this book doesn’t tell us about any of those things. The one story that we get here is about them getting a drink of water for their king.
1 Chronicles 11: 17-18 says:
“And David said longingly, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!” Then the three mighty men broke through the camp 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.”
At first I thought this seemed like a fairly insignificant event but then I really began to think about what these mighty men did to serve their king. The army was camped out in the cave of Adullam, which was about 16 miles southwest of Jerusalem. These men were willing to travel all that way into enemy occupied territory to get their king a drink from a well in his hometown.
These men were willing to go beyond what we would deem necessary or sane in service to their commander. I believe their heart of service is why they were elevated above all the other mighty men. Sure, they probably killed a lot of people and were skilled in military maneuvers, but everything they did was motivated out of a heart of love and service.
We should be the same way. We are commanded to love God above all else, and love people as we love ourselves. The love they had for their king motivated them to serve him radically. Is that what your heart looks like? If you say you love someone but aren’t willing to serve them, are you sure you really love them? If you say you love people, but aren’t willing to sacrifice something for them, you may have a heart problem on your hands.
These men weren’t remembered for how many people they killed or how many armies they rerouted, they are remembered for their service. What will you remembered for? What legacy will you leave? I hope to leave one of service motivated by heart of love for others. What about you?