Scripture Reading: I Samuel 30:21-31

“When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to his friends, the elders of Judah, saying, ‘Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the Lord.'” (I Samuel 30:26)

The gospel demands generosity. At the heart of the gospel’s message is the generosity of God — “For God so loved the world, that He GAVE His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Consider the generosity of Jesus — “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich” (II Corinthians 8:9). Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

In chapter 30, we see two examples of gospel generosity displayed by David. The first is when David shared the spoils of war with the men who did not go to battle with him. The men who did go did not want those who remained behind to receive anything — “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except hat each man may lead his wife and children and depart” (v. 32).

David did not agree. Notice what he said — “You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the Lord has given us. He preserved us and given into our hand the band that came against us. Who would listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down into battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike” (vs. 23,24). Though the men who stayed behind deserved nothing, David was generous and allowed them to share in the spoils of the battle.

The second example is when David sent part of the spoil to his friends, the elders of Judah — “Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemy of the Lord” (v. 26). In both cases it could be argued that those who received David’s gifts were undeserving to do so. But David understood that the Lord had given him the victory and that everything he received had come from the hand of the Lord. In fact, he knew that ultimately everything belongs to the Lord. He alone is the rightful Owner — “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1).

Gospel generosity is possible when we acknowledge who the rightful Owner of all is. We are motivated to be generous by the generosity of God. His generosity to us demands that we become generous people as well.

Lord God, I acknowledge that You alone are the rightful Owner of all. I am but a manager of what You entrust to me. You are the giver of every good and perfect gift. Enable me to be generous with the material blessings You have provided to me. I know how generous You have been to me by giving Your only Son so that I could have eternal life. Indeed, it is more blessed to give than to receive.


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