Renew me day by day, Lord, so that I may shine with your glory and bring honor to your name.
Read 1 SAMUEL 30:16-31
16 He led David down, and there they were, scattered over the countryside, eating, drinking and reveling because of the great amount of plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah. 17 David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. 18 David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back. 20 He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, “This is David’s plunder.”
21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him and who were left behind at the Besor Valley. They came out to meet David and the men with him. As David and his men approached, he asked them how they were. 22 But all the evil men and troublemakers among David’s followers said, “Because they did not go out with us, we will not share with them the plunder we recovered. However, each man may take his wife and children and go.”
23 David replied, “No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the Lord has given us. He has protected us and delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us. 24 Who will listen to what you say? The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.” 25 David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day to this.
26 When David reached Ziklag, he sent some of the plunder to the elders of Judah, who were his friends, saying, “Here is a gift for you from the plunder of the Lord’s enemies.”
27 David sent it to those who were in Bethel, Ramoth Negev and Jattir; 28 to those in Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa 29 and Rakal; to those in the towns of the Jerahmeelites and the Kenites; 30 to those in Hormah, Bor Ashan, Athak 31 and Hebron; and to those in all the other places where he and his men had roamed.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Be merciful … as your Father is merciful … Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed down … and running over.’1
The Amalekites, celebrating their success, are caught unaware by David’s attack and all but four hundred are struck down (vs 16,17). God is as good as his word and everyone and everything are restored to David and his men (vs 18,19). Some, however, insist that those who gave up the chase partway should only receive back their family but no spoil, since they did not take part in the fight (v 22). David, however, chooses to be generous and his decision becomes royal law, so that those left with the baggage in later wars share the booty with the fighters (vs 24,25). Already here, David is acting as king.
Further, he sends some of the spoil to cities in Judah, presumably from the stock that was designated as his portion (vs 20,26–31). Thus, he is generous from his own supply, not someone else’s. Admittedly, his act is a shrewd move as he builds up his backing in Judah. However, it is also a way of expressing gratitude for past help to people who supported David and his men (v 31).
What enables David to part with hard-earned wealth and be generous? The answer is summed up in verse 23. First, David recognizes that the spoil was given to them by God. It was the Lord’s battle and the Lord’s victory. That is why it makes no difference where people were or what they did in the fight. What they had was not their own, so it had to be shared by all. Second, David recognizes God’s amazing generosity in the way he delivered the troops, preserved precious families and restored them and their possessions to them. Such generosity calls for a generous response in return.
‘But who am I … that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You.’2 Teach us, Lord, to be generous.
I ask, Lord, for the gift of generosity. You have given me so much and I want to bless others. Thank you for your generosity with me.
1 Luke 6:36,38, NASB 2 1 Chr 29:14, NASB
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