In my opinion, the lowest point of David’s life is found in 2 Samuel 23:15. Here, David is hiding in the cave of Adullam, because the current King of Israel (King Saul) is hunting him and his family down in order to protect his kingship and position on the throne. This is David’s lowest and loneliest point, and in his lowliness, he sees Bethlehem from the mouth if this cave (8 miles away), sees the city gate there, and knows that a beloved well is by the gate. It is the well he would visit as a young shepherd boy, tending his father’s flock. This well was an incredibly nostalgic place for David, since it was the place he would find refreshment for both him and his sheep on a hot desert day. As he sees this well, a craving arose in him and he says to himself, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!” (verse 15) Little did the lonely King-to-be know that a few of his “mighty men” heard him. Without consulting David, these men left on their own volition to retrieve this precious water from behind Philistine lines, at the risk of their lives, so they may ease the longing in their leader’s heart.
Upon their valiant return, David sees what these men have done in the dark of night. He decides he is not worthy to drink the water, and proceeds to pour it onto the dirt (this is what is known as the “drink offering”). God saw both the sacrifice of David’s mighty men, and David himself, and blessed them by giving them hundreds (and eventually thousands) of followers to accompany David during a very challenging season.