This past week our precept class at Central completed our last week of study in the book of 1 Samuel. It has indeed been a rich study full of truth for the reality of situations that come with life on this earth. As we walk through the recorded history of the events of David’s life we are able to see that being a man or woman after God’s own heart does not exempt us from trouble and it does not exempt us from struggling with doubts and discouragements. However, being a man or woman after God’s own heart means that in the midst of our trouble, our doubts, our discouragements we have a Living God there with us to give us help, hope, encouragement… and wisdom.
As I studied in 1 Samuel 30 I saw where the Lord recorded a very wise call through the mouth of David. Wisdom in dealing with others is vital for those in leadership. When we compare David’s leadership with that of Saul’s through the book of 1 Samuel we see exactly how vital it is, not just for themselves, but for all those they are leading.
In 1 Samuel 30 David has returned to his current home at Ziklag with his 600 men as they were rejected by the commanders of the Philistines and not allowed to fight with them against Israel (that’s a whole other lesson in itself on how God uses what we may think is rejection as our character preservation). David and his men return to find that the Amalekites have raided their town and taken everything including their wives and children. The men are absolutely distraught and they are flat out exhausted.
The men turn on David and threaten his life, but David turns to the Lord and strengthens himself in the Lord… possibly for the first time in while. David inquires of the Lord and the Lord tells him to pursue the Amalekites and all will be restored. David and his 600 turn to pursue the raiders, but 200 of them are simply too weary to cross the waters that divided them and those they pursued. These 200 stay and camp while David the other 400 cross over and continue the pursuit.
The Lord gives them victory just as He said He would and not only do David and the 400 men gain their own people and possessions back but also all the other possessions that these raiders have taken from others. Then they turn to return home…
21 When David came to the two hundred men who were too exhausted to follow David, who had also been left at the brook Besor, and they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him, then David approached the people and greeted them. 22 Then all the wicked and worthless men among those who went with David said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away and depart.” 23 Then David said, “You must not do so, my brothers, with what the Lord has given us, who has kept us and delivered into our hand the band that came against us. 24 And who will listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down to the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike.”
1 Samuel 30:21-24
How does the word of God describe the men who did not want to share the spoil with those who had to stay behind? They are described as wicked and worthless.
What nugget of wisdom does the Lord deliver through the mouth of David? “For as his share is who goes down to the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike.”
Let this principle sink in beloved. Think on how it applies in our day and think of how many wicked and worthless we have spouting off the same reasoning today.
Dear stay-at-home wife and/or mom yes, when your husband goes to work and you remain to care for the home and children… his wages ARE equally yours.
Dear church member whose current place in life does not allow you to teach, go on mission trips, or freely serve as you so desire, but you faithfully live out the Word of God in your daily life, pray, tithe, and support those who can go… every soul that is saved IS a part of your fruits as well.
We are supposed to all be in this together. If we are indeed in Christ then we are all part of His body. Sometimes the feet rest while the hands work and the hands rest while the eyes work. Yet, they share in the spoil of the battle, in the fruit of the labor, because they are striving together for the same purpose with the same mind united in spirit.
Don’t confuse rest with laziness and those who lead undisciplined lives being busybodies that stir up strife (2 Thessalonians 3:6-13). No, we must also remember where those 200 men had been prior to their rest on the other side of the brook of Besor. They had been right there fighting and traveling and serving alongside all the others. They did not stop because they were lazy, but simply because their bodies could go no further.
This past Sunday our church celebrated its 125th Anniversary as a church body. At the beginning of this celebration service one of our pastors acknowledged everyone who had ever served on ministerial staff (pastor, financial secretary, admin assistant, etc), anyone who had every served as support staff (buildings and ground, library, director, etc), and anyone who was a direct descendent of a charter member. Our church acknowledged that no matter the service, no matter how long the service, they shared in the fruit of all that the Lord has done, is doing, and will do through our church.
Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation.
David made clear to his men that the spoil didn’t belong to any of them. It was in their hands only because the Lord gave them victory. David did not just command that these 400 share this victory with the 200 waiting on the other side of the brook, but he took these spoils and he shared them throughout Israel. What the enemy had taken away, the Lord restored, and David was not going to take credit for something that God alone accomplished.
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.