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. 2 Samuel 23:15-16
It was just a casual remark. Yet the moment David’s men heard their leader mutter the words, they immediately broke through enemy lines and braved Philistine swords and spears to retrieve a cup of the precious liquid.
Such astonishing loyalty doesn’t come from a mere job description. Loyalty like this comes only through modeling. David got this kind of “second-mile” effort because he had long modeled such loyalty for his men.
And it is that loyalty that drove him to do what he did next. David honored their sacrifice by presenting it to the Lord rather than drinking it. Who wouldn’t go the extra mile for a leader like that?
Portrait of a Godly Leader
Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart; He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the Lord; he who swears to his own hurt and does not change; he who does not put out his money at usury, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.
What qualities should every leader possess? Psalm 15 furnishes us with a list of many of the necessary traits. David pictures a godly leader as one who:
- Possesses integrity
- Does not participate in gossip
- Does not harm others
- Speaks out against wrong
- Honors others who walk in truth
- Keeps their word even at personal cost
- Isn’t greedy to gain at the expense of others
- Is strong and stable