August 10, 2011 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Joyce Lai, Gracepoint Hsin Chu

What is the worldview of “the evil men and troublemakers among David’s followers” who did not want to share the plunder with those who were “too exhausted to cross the ravine?” The worldview that “the evil men and troublemakers among David’s followers” had when they did not want to share the plunder… It’s not fair. People are not pulling their weight. They don’t deserve to share in this plunder. The worldview of the evil men is that you need to work your way to the top. It is merciless, not taking into consideration the weak, and totally greedy and selfish. The worldview is that those who are weak should be left behind, since you couldn’t make it, forget-you mentality.

Contrast their response to David’s response in vv. 23-24.  What different view of God and themselves is behind their different responses?

David’s response is so different. He understood that it was the Lord who had delivered the plunder. They were weeping for two entire days until exhaustion. They met this Egyptian slave who led them to the enemy. David had inquired of the Lord whether to go out to battle, whether they would be delivered. It was clear to David all along, that God was with them. And then after all of that, he saw these 200 men, men who were “too exhausted to cross the ravine” and he identified with them. He did not see them as people who betrayed them, but just as precious, still God’s people, still his men. They were exhausted because they had been following all this time. I am so thankful to have my wives and children back, that I can share this bountiful plunder with others. It is all from the Lord and because I am richly blessed by him, I can share this blessing with others. We were all in it together – whether the keeper of supplies or those who went to battle.

The evil men and troublemakers on the other hand, they just saw themselves, boasted in themselves. They probably thought they were something… they were strong and probably looked down at these 200. Too weak. Laggers. Betrayers. You didn’t put in the work. Why should you share in the plunder? Just take your wives and children. This plunder, really shouldn’t have mattered to them that much. They were just exhausted from weeping 2 days for their wives and children, they were just delivered from that very devastating situation. They should be full of joy and thanksgiving, not clutching onto selfishly to some plunder. There was more than enough to go around. God had led them all this way, but they chose to be ruthless, unforgiving, bitter and outright selfish.

Which attitude can I relate more to?

I think this is still a lesson that God’s been teaching me and ingraining in me over the years as I have a chance to serve Him and partake in ministry. That attitude and worldview of the evil men and troublemakers, there is such a natural tendency to think like that. There is that tendency to have that sideward glance, be calculative of others, and pride myself in competence, in what I can do, in what I put in. There is that selfishness, of wanting to hoard all good things for myself whether it be my time, my energy, resources. But there is another perspective that God’s been showing me, it’s like David’s perspective. It’s not about me, not about what I can do, not about sizing myself up next to others, but it’s all about what He is doing.

Like David, I have to zoom out. God has already delivered me and saved me – that itself should fill me with such joy and thanksgiving, that I don’t have to focus on the lesser often pettier things. I have to have the understanding that God is the one at work, God is orchestrating, and He just invites me to partake in His work. And this is a privilege. This is so amazing. So much is going on if I can open my eyes and see it. He sends the Egyptians, he protects, he leads all of us, and fills my life with plunder. We are in it together, regardless of what role we have. That together, we ought to be “contending as one man for the faith of the gospel.” And together, and only with this understanding, can I experience the greatest joy and rejoice in how God collectively works through us as the church.

 

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