Read 1 Samuel 30
Sharing God’s Blessings
While David and his men were away, their families were attacked and taken as captives in Ziklag. Upon David’s return to the city, they experienced great anguish over this situation. “Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep” (1 Samuel 30:4). Have you ever faced that level of grief?
When we suffer greatly, we are generally either motivated to go above and beyond to better our situation or our energy becomes so depleted we don’t feel like moving. We see both responses in David’s camp. After inquiring of the Lord and being told by God that David could indeed recover their losses, only two-thirds of the company was able to pursue with David. “But David pursued, he and four hundred men; for two hundred stayed behind, who were so weary that they could not ross the Brook Besor” (1 Samuel 30:10).
Not surprisingly, when the four hundred men with David came home with their spoils, some didn’t want to share with those who had stayed behind. In fact, “the wicked and worthless men of those who went with David answered and said, ‘Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except for every man’s wife and children, that they may lead them away and depart’” (1 Samuel 30:22).
This was in direct contradiction to God’s established practices, and David knew it. In Moses’ day, when Moses was commanded by God to “take vengeance on the Midianites” (Numbers 31:1), he was instructed to “divide the plunder into two parts, between those who took part in the war, who went out to battle, and all the congregation” (Numbers 31:27). Those who remained at home were not to be excluded.
David rejected the proposal of “the wicked and worthless men” and said, “But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike” (1 Samuel 30:24). They had all already suffered greatly at the hands of the Amalekites; they should not suffer at the hands of their own brethren.
When we suffer, are we motivated to do better? Or do we become so discouraged we don’t want to move? And when our suffering subsides, do we recognize God’s hand in our blessings and refuse to bless others?