But David said, “The share of the one who goes into battle is to be the same as the share of the one who remains with the supplies. They will share equally.” (1 Samuel 30:24)
David was in serious trouble again, but this time it was with his own men. These men trusted David’s leadership, but after they were denied the chance to fight with the Philistines, they returned home to Ziklag in horror. The Amalekites had raided and kidnapped all the women and children (30:1). So David’s men were furious at the loss of their families and were seconds away from killing him (30:6). But God intervened. And through a series of events that could only be explained by God’s direct involvement, David persuaded his men to search for the raiders, and with the help of an Egyptian slave who pointed them right to the Amalekite’s camp, David and his men defeated the Amalekite raiders.
Everything that was once lost, David and his men recovered. God had powerfully intervened, and they got their families back, but also hit the jackpot! (30:19). All the Amalekites possessions were now theirs. God saved the day, and also blessed them with more than they had before.
And yet, what happens next? In verse 22, some of David’s men who directly fought in the battle, complained about the two hundred men who were too exhausted to fight and stayed back at Wadi Besor (30:21-22). These proud and greedy men didn’t want to give any of the share. These men thought they were the ones who “saved the day,” not the LORD.
These men didn’t understand grace. Grace removes pride and greed and increases generosity. But these men were ungrateful and stingy. David understood grace (30:23). He knew that the LORD gave them the victory and the opportunity to recover everything they had lost. David believed that God had saved them, so he was more than willing to share with others (30:21-25).
If you look close enough, you can see glimpses of gospel-characteristics in this account. David and his men found themselves in trouble (some argue they got themselves into this trouble by living in a Philistine territory). They had lost everything. But God in his grace intervened. God recovered everything, and then gave them even more than they first had. And this gracious act by God worked deeply in David’s heart, so much so that it led him to share these blessing (30:24, 26-30). Likewise, Jesus has saved us from eternal trouble and he is “recovering” (redeeming) what has been lost, due to our sin and the sin of the world. He has also given each of us more than we initially possessed (Jn. 1:12; Rev. 21-22). And this leads us to a gospel-lifestyle of generosity (2 Cor. 8-9).