Call to Worship November 28 2021

Expository Thoughts 1 Samuel 30:21-31

After the reckoning with the Amalekites, the reclaiming of goods, and reconnection with their families, much joy returned to the people. David was no longer under scrutiny and they praised him as their king once again. While traveling home many said the spoil taken from the Amalekites was David’s, but some “wicked men” were plotting amongst themselves to have their way with the valuables. So David was confronted with trouble from within his regiment (17-22). 

Some of the men tried to take advantage of those who were completely exhausted from the first return to Ziklag (30:10). They plotted to only give those men back their wives and children (22). During WWII, certainly the frontline soldiers were putting their lives on the line, but many others made their work successful. Thousands of men, women, and young people back home worked in factories and other services to provide goods and necessary materials for the war effort, especially to meet the needs of frontline soldiers. It took both trained military and the workers stateside to accomplish the task of defeating the enemies of the U.S. and European allies.[1] These wicked men in David’s camp were self-serving and only valued their personal work and not the work of others. They did not value the work it took to keep and protect the goods and camp which they left behind. 

Furthermore, they did not recognize the mercy of God to them, that they were able to march forward and conquer the enemy. These men shunned all thanksgiving to the LORD for His kind providence and sustaining mercy of them. God did not owe them anything, but He had mercy on them in their difficulty. God restrained the raiding Amalekites from murdering their families. He provided the Egyptian slave as a guide. He sustained the 400 Israelites in the march and during the battle. God granted them mercy and grace, and they returned evil upon their brothers. In one sense this is not shocking news, as David’s band was filled with the most distressed and lowly of people (22:2). So David had to shepherd them – to remind them of the LORD’s provision and their responsibility to aid their fellow brothers and sisters (30:23). He also rendered a statute, “David, with magisterial authority, immediately established the principle that all – combatants and non-combatants – would share alike.”[2] 

David further sent gifts to the elders of Judah and his friends (26). After providing the locations of the tribes of these elders and friends, the writer indicated some of the reasoning for the gifts (27-31). These were places where David and his band had traveled throughout the land of Judah. This was not merely throwing money away. David was giving thanks for generosity shown to them. He repaid those people for some of their losses due to the years of Amalekite troubles.[3] In addition, he was keenly thinking ahead on how to keep good alliances in Judah for the future. “Nothing illegal about it,” wrote D.R. Davis, “One can be sharp without being sinful.”[4] 

David showed a heart of thanksgiving to God for His goodness and was given grace to lead in that manner. The Lord continued to work on David as he continued to struggle through the difficulties of life. This chapter further revealed God’s goodness and covenant lovingkindness. God brought David back to some sanctified thinking. David was enabled by the Spirit to lead the people in the midst of their difficulties from without and within. May we remember how much we have to be thankful for today. Most of all may we remember who provided for us all that we have in this life. May we never forget how proper thanksgiving enables us to be thoughtful and gracious to others. God has been gracious to us – may we not try to hoard His good gifts, but give thoughtfully and generously in thanksgiving to our covenant God. None of us has ever given with the generosity that God the Father gave to us. He gave His one and only Son to be the substitute on the cross for the sins of His people. We may not be able to outgive Him, but we are able to give in honor of Him. Soli Deo Gloria!


[2] Gordon Keddie, Dawn of a Kingdom: The Message of I Samuel, Welwyn Commentary Series, (England, Evangelical Press, 1988.), pg. 262.

[3] Dale Ralph Davis, I Samuel: Looking on the Heart, (Christian Focus Pub., 2014.), pg. 319.

[4] Ibid.