Why didn't David drink the water?
We just read and discussed 1 Chronicles 11:17-19, and our kids were imagining (and imitating) David just carelessly pouring the water out on the ground.
We were challenged to look closer, to see if that was really David's attitude as he poured the water out. Verse 18 says that he "poured it out before the LORD." What does that mean?
David was obviously thirsty, as he had earlier remarked to his men how much he would love some water from the well in Bethlehem. David's Three mighty warriors had courageously broken through the Philistine lines to bring back to David some of the water that he desired to drink.
How did the Three feel when they presented the water to David, and he poured it out?
Our kids imagined them being angry with David for not drinking it.
Maybe they were angry, and felt that their efforts had been in vain.
Or maybe they were honored by how much value David placed on their lives.
He said, "God forbid that I should drink this! This water is as precious as the blood of these men who risked their lives to bring it to me." (v. 19)
I think David had an amazing respect for life that is very difficult for us to understand. It's the same kind of respect that kept him from killing Saul when he had two perfect opportunities (1 Samuel 24 and 26), and from killing Shimei when he threw rocks at and cursed King David (2 Samuel 16).
David valued the lives of his Three loyal warriors because they had performed such a sacrificial service for him. The water he refused to drink and poured out to the LORD represented the blood of these men. Because of how touched David was by what his men had done for him, he wanted to offer this precious sacrifice up to God more than he wanted to quench his own thirst.
I would have quenched my own thirst. I have a lot to learn from David about respect for life and about sacrifice.