Sharing the Spoil

I am often distressed by the attitudes I see in Christians. Attitudes that say if you aren’t involved in a certain ministry or at a certain level, you aren’t truly committed to Christ. Attitudes that consider some jobs better in God’s eyes than others. I realize this isn’t true of everyone, but I have seen this often enough in well-meaning people to be concerned.

I recently read I Samuel 30 where David and his men return from war to David’s town of Ziklag. They come home weary from battle only to discover the Amalekites have raided the town, stolen their herds, and taken captive their wives and children. David goes to the Lord and finds out he should go after them and will have victory with no loss of life or goods for his people. So, he and his six hundred men pursue their enemies.

The problem is the men are exhausted. When they arrive at the Brook Besor, two hundred of the men are too tired to even cross the stream. David leaves them behind with the supplies and continues on with the four hundred remaining men. They are victorious, retrieving their wives and children, plus all the herds that were taken. David recovered everything that was taken.

When they return to the brook where they left the two hundred, some of the men who went with David did not want to share the spoil with those who stayed behind. 

Then all 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 (NKJV) 

David’s response to this selfish claim was very clear. “But David said, “My brethren, you shall not do so with what the LORD has given us, who has preserved us and delivered into our hand the troop that came against us. For who will heed you in this matter? 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 30:23-24 (NKJV)

David clearly understood not only the need to acknowledge everyone equally, but also to be empathetic to those who were too tired to continue. He didn’t judge them by their brother’s stamina, but realized we are all unique. 

Isn’t it interesting that those who complained were listed as wicked and worthless men? They fought battles, they carried on when they were tired, they did the Lord’s work of bringing their families home, yet because of their attitude toward those who were exhausted, they were considered wicked and worthless. 

Ouch! What a lesson that is. When I want to grumble about not having help, about having to do all the work myself (which is never true), or asking myself what that person is doing to help out, I need to remember that I am to do the job God assigned me. I can let Him worry about everyone else. 

Not only that but I must learn to show empathy. Maybe I can learn a little about what that person is facing and understand why they aren’t as active in ministry. Perhaps they are very active in prayer—something that isn’t seen by me, but is crucial to the health of the church. Perhaps they just need down time to rest physically, emotionally, or spiritually. 

What I must remember is that I can’t see a person’s heart. Only God can do that. Some jobs are more visible but the ones that are less visible are just as important. And, we all deserve to share in the spoils—to bask in the mercy and grace of God. To serve without condemnation or criticism.

I pray that all of us will have David’s attitude and not be like the wicked and worthless men. 

Photo by Elaine Casap.

About Nancy J. Farrier

Nancy J Farrier is an award-winning author who lives in Southern Arizona in the Sonoran Desert. She loves the Southwest with its interesting historical past. When Nancy isn't writing, she loves to read, do needlecraft, play with her cats, and spend time with her family. Nancy is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Literary Agency. You can read more about Nancy and her books on her website:
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7 Responses to Sharing the Spoil

  1. What an encouraging word and reminder. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Perth Girl says:

    Loved the post. May we not be quick to judge just because we presume when we cannot see.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really loved this post and the way you gave us a biblical example. God calls us all to do different tasks in our lives. I pray we can keep this in mind as we extend love to our brothers and sisters. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  4. jrcoggins says:

    Back when I was editor of a Christian magazine, I published a memorable article by a pastor. The pastor went to a new church and noticed that one of the members didn’t seem to he helping with any of the church ministries. He didn’t volunteer for anything. Then the church heard about a family in need. When they reached out to the family, they found out this “inactive” church member had been helping the family for weeks. When the church decided to get involved with a community ministry, they found that the inactive church member had been volunteering there for years. And so it went. Wherever the church began to do ministry, they found that this inactive church member had preceded them. The Kingdom is much bigger than any one church or organization.
    Jim Coggins

    Liked by 3 people

    • Nancy J. Farrier says:

      Jim, I love this story. It’s so true that we just don’t know what ministries others are involved in doing. Thank you for sharing.


  5. Excellent point of view, Nancy!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. successbmine says:

    A beautiful application of that story, Nancy. I have often thought about those 200 left behind and how they must have felt when the 400 didn’t think they were worthy of any of the spoils because they didn’t have the strength to go any further. Thank the Lord for a man like David who understood and chose to go against 400 men to make sure the 200 were looked after. No wonder the Lord said he was a man after His own heart. A lot of people have not spent enough time with the Lord to understand what His heart is like, so it is impossible for them to live and work according to His heart.

    Liked by 1 person

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