David has been compassionate to a helpless man. He revived him when he was as good as dead. In turn, the man led him and his army to the enemy’s camp. Now, they come unsuspectingly upon those who have robbed them of their goods and their families.
And when he had taken him down, behold, they were spread abroad over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17 And David struck them down from twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled. 18 David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives.19 Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. David brought back all. 20 David also captured all the flocks and herds, and the people drove the livestock before him, and said, “This is David’s spoil.” ~1 Samuel 30:16-20
When David sneaks up, these guys are all-out partying with their stolen goods. I guess they felt pretty safe. Big mistake.
And David struck them down from twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled. ~1 Samuel 30:17
When they least expected it, judgment came. David struck down the enemies of God. David rescued his family. He recovered all that had been taken, and then some. David won. Then, David does something even more amazing. He shares the spoil of his victory with whose who had not contributed to the fight (1 Samuel 30:21-31.)
Note, it’s only the “wicked and worthless fellows” who oppose David’s generosity (1 Samuel 30:22.)
Because David rightly recognizes all good things as gifts from God alone, he corrects these foolish men and he sets a new standard from that day forward.
But why would scripture describe these men as wicked and worthless? I mean, weren’t they the ones who had just persevered through a sixty-mile road march? Weren’t they the ones defending David’s cause? Weren’t they the dudes who just won the battle on Israel’s behalf and recovered all their people? Wicked, maybe. But worthless? I’d say they were doing some pretty worthy things.
The problem lies not in what they were doing, but why they were doing it. These guys thought that they had just earned the right to be greedy and selfish with the things of God. They thought they deserved the benefits and blessings of God’s favor because of their own deeds. Not only that, they thought they alone deserved those things and weren’t ashamed to say so or to exclude others. It was their pride that made them wicked and worthless in God’s eyes.
Nevertheless, David set them straight. He changed the rules in favor of the weak and tired. He gave of the spoil to all who belonged to Israel (1 Samuel 30:26-31.) David typified Christ beautifully.
Let us remember that all earthly things belong to God. We cannot steal what belongs to him, pretend it belongs to us, party like it’s 1999, and think we’re safe from his righteous judgment. Furthermore, we become the enemies of God when we do right things for wrong reasons. We cannot earn blessings. We deserve nothing. We have not contributed. He has simply commanded our obedience. He has won on our behalf. He gave us the spoil. We basically just showed up on earth wondering what to do. So, when God blesses us, the weak and tired ought to be our first priority, not seen as undeserving inferiors – for we are they.
God keep us from being wicked and worthless followers. For this, friends, makes victory vain.