Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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His Wish was their Command!


2 Samuel 23:14-17

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 is by 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 not the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. These things were done by the three mighty men.


The Waiting Time

David had been anointed King of Israel by Samuel.  He had gotten victory over the lion, the bear, and now over Goliath the uncircumcised Philistine.  But Saul was still the one occupying the throne and he was after David big time.  He wanted his dynasty to endure even though he had greatly offended God.  So David, the anointed King, was running from Saul and he and four hundred powerful but rather ragged men were hiding in the cave of Adullam.  Saul was hunting him, the Philistines were ready to fight him. Life might have seemed a little upside down.


Devotion and not Duty

David begins thinking about how good he had had it as a child playing around Bethlehem.  There was a well there.  Its water was refreshing and cold and now he couldn’t even get a drink of that water.  After all, the enemy was encamped there.  So David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!”  There was no command here, only the whisper of the desire of his heart.  But three mighty men heard him and decided to do something about it.  They broke through the camp of the Philistines and got that water for David.  David was so taken by their devotion that he would not drink the water, but poured it out on the ground.  I would have thought the mighty men might have been greatly offended, but I am sure that they realized that David valued them more than he valued the water.  But by their devotion, he knew that he had three mighty men who would do anything for Him.  They did it out of devotion and not out of duty.  He knew that in today’s way of talking that they had his back.  His wish was their command.


Would we do this for the Lord?

There are things that the Lord asks us to do today that we have relegated to the bin of tradition and legalism because some of us do not do things because we get to, we do them because we think we have to.  We know that salvation is by grace and not by works.  But we also know that it isn’t what we say but it is what we do that is the measure of our appreciation of our heavenly David.  So why is it so hard to let the epistles be our guide in understanding the Lord’s will and in just letting the plain sense of the epistles make sense to us?  Why do we struggle with the truths having to do with headship?  Why do we struggle with the fact that baptism is for the believer and not the infant?


If I had been One these Mighty Men—

If I had been one of these three mighty men, I might have been quite upset with David for pouring that water out on the ground.  “What a waste of time and effort,” I would have thought.  At least I would have thought that unless I really grasped the fact that pouring it out on the ground was an act of devotion by David. 


If I had been David, I would have been upset that three men that I needed badly put their lives in jeopardy needlessly.  They could have lost their lives.  That is I might have thought that until I began to think about why the men went and did this. 


A Life of Devotion sometimes appears to be a Wasted Life

Often the Christian life of devotion is not logical.  It doesn’t make sense to come every Sunday morning to a meeting of the Christians where we remember the Lord.  Surely, doing this once a month or once a quarter or once a year makes more sense since then we would have more time for things that we think really matter.  Why is it important to the Lord to have us undergo a watery burial after we are saved to identify with the Lord in his death, burial and resurrection?  Why not just be sprinkled or poured on or christened as an infant and be done with it?  Or why worry about this ceremony at all.   Of course, the reason why we do some of the things that we do is because we have heard the Lord ask us to do it with longing.  



I wonder how many of us today are struggling with something that we know would please the Lord but that we really don’t want to do.  I struggle with this and I am sure others do as well.  But His wish should be our command.


Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of December 7, 2014

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