Ungratefulness abounds today among adults and children. Fueled by an entitlement mentality. Many in America are never satisfied with what they have. Always wanting more. Refusing to share their treasures with others.
In the past this would have been considered rude and unacceptable. Sadly, today it is the norm, not an anomaly. Maybe this is why when I was reading 1 Samuel 30 this morning. My heart skipped a beat at King David’s generosity in the face of devastation.
When David and his men reached Ziklag three days later. They discovered that the Amalekites had raided the desert hill country. They had attacked Ziklag in David’s absence, burned it, and carried away the women and all the other inhabitants whom David had left behind. None of them were killed, but they were taken captive and carried back toward Amalek.
When they saw this. They cried out and wept aloud until they could weep no more.
After seeking God’s will and wisdom, David set out to recover all that had been taken. Leaving behind 200 men who were too exhausted to continue the pursuit.
In the open country beyond, some of his soldiers found an Egyptian. They took him to David, fed him, and gave him water. They gave him some fig cake and two clusters of raisins. After the man had eaten, he regained his strength. He had not had food or water for three days and nights.
David: Who are your people? Where are you from?
Egyptian: I am a young man of Egypt who served an Amalekite, but my master left me behind three days ago because I was sick. We had gone raiding in the desert country. Against the Cherethites and the territories of Judah and of Caleb, and we burned down the town of Ziklag.
David: Can you lead me to this raiding party?
Egyptian: I will take you to them, if you will swear to me by the True God that you won’t kill me or give me back to my master.
The Egyptian led David to where the Amalekites’ camp. In the ensuing battle the Amalekites were defeated. David recovered everything that had been taken, including his two wives. Nothing was missing— from the smallest thing to the greatest treasure, none of the sons or daughters, no property of any kind. David brought everything home. David also captured their flocks and herds. Which they were driving ahead of other livestock, and the people agreed this would be David’s share of the Amalekites’ property.
David and his people returned to the wadi Besor, where the 200 had remained behind, and those men went out to meet David and all those with him.
As David approached, he greeted them. But some of the wicked and greedy ones who had fought alongside David spoke out.
Wicked Men: Because these men didn’t go with us. Why should we give them back the things we recovered for them? Sure, let them take back their wives and their children. But that’s all. We’ll keep the rest, and they must leave.
David: My brothers, this is not how we’re going to treat what the Eternal One has returned to us. He saved us and gave us success over the raiding party that sacked our city.
Why would anyone agree with you about this matter? The share of the one who fights is the same as the share of the one who looks after the supplies. We all share equally.
In fact, he made this a law and an ordinance, and it remains so in Israel today.
And after David returned to Ziklag, he gave part of the spoil he had taken to his friends who ruled over Judah, with the message. “This is a present for you taken from the enemies of the Eternal.”
These gifts were sent to Bethel, to Ramoth in the desert south, to Jattir, to Aroer, to Siphmoth, to Eshtemoa, to Racal, to the towns of the Jerahmeelites, to the towns of the Kenites, to Hormah, to Bor-ashan, to Athach, and to Hebron. All places where David and his men had lived and traveled.
What can we learn about generosity from King David ?
- We are instruments of God’s mercy when we are generous.
- Generosity should be unbiased. Not determined by what you have received in the past or could receive in the future from the individual.
- In the prosperous times, never forget those who helped you in the wilderness— the lean times. When you had little or nothing to offer in return.
David was anointed by God to be King of Israel because David desired above all else to have a heart like God’s. A generous heart that comes to the rescue of both the deserving AND undeserving.
By being repentant. Refusing to turn a blind eye to those in need. We too can be people who have a heart like God’s.
Be a VOICE in the deafening sound of sameness!