During harvest time, three of the thirty chief men came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the LORD. “Far be it from me, O LORD, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it.
Such were the exploits of the three mighty men.
2 Samuel 23:13-17
“God unpacks [the significance of our name] to reveal the extent of our covenant identity and kingdom authority.” Jo Saxton
God unpacks the significance of David’s name - ‘beloved’ – in many different ways throughout his life, including loved by those he gathered around him, who were prepared to die for him. This is a part of his covenant identity (God’s beloved son) and kingdom authority (king, under the King) – both of which point to a greater fulfilment in Jesus. Our lives, too, are to display something of Jesus, to be what Alan Hirsch calls a ‘little Jesus’.
David gathers around him others who will fight for him, for one another, side-by-side. They have a safe place (a cave) where they can gather – my friend Mike Breen identifies this gathering-together in a safe place as ‘oikos’ or family, the New Testament term for churches – and from which they can go out. I note that this coming IN and going OUT is mirrored in the sheep pen Jesus talks about in John 15. All mission without safe gathering equals quick death...
This is the pattern of discipleship and the nature of missional leaders:
that they gather around themselves people who look at their lives and see – despite the struggles –
a person who is living in more secure identity and authority than they are
and want to learn from them
in order that they, too, might grow into their own identity and authority.
(1 Corinthians 4:16; Hebrews 6:12 and 13:7 – discipleship as imitation of others)
Whose life do you want to learn from? And who wants the life you have?