Thursday, February 8th, 2024
Recently I was reading the account of David’s battle with the Amalekites in 1 Samuel 30. I want to look at a few scriptures from that chapter. Here is 1 Samuel 30:22-24:
22 Then all the wicked and worthless men of those who went with David answered and said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except for every man’s wife and children, that they may lead them away and depart.”
23 But David said, “My brethren, you shall not do so with what the Lord has given us, who has preserved us and delivered into our hand the troop that came against us. 24 For who will heed you in this matter? But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike.”
I am sure I have read this quite a few times in my life, but this is the first time it struck me as being significant for all of us in the body of Christ. To start with, I like how it says, “all the wicked and worthless men”. This is one of those times where we can see straight into the heart of the men who were speaking. We know these men were not righteous and that these are words we probably don’t want to find ourselves speaking or thinking. They proceeded to give David their opinion that the 200 men who did not go on to battle with the 400 men should not get spoil from their victory.
David’s response is the key. He doesn’t say, “Yea, those of us that did the hard work of fighting should get more of the goods than those that stayed behind.” Instead, he told them that those that stayed behind and guarded the supplies were just as worthy as those that fought the battle. And to be clear, earlier in the chapter it specifically says that the 200 that stayed behind were too weary to cross the brook and carry on with David. But David doesn’t call this out. He gave them a role in their weariness. And this role was just as important as the one carried out by those with the strength and energy to carry on.
There are plenty of other scriptures in the Bible that talk about all the different roles necessary for the body of Christ to function. The body needs a head just as much as a heart and a set of eyes and a pinky toe. In God’s kingdom they are all equally important. The role that everyone sees the results of is truly no more important than the behind-the-scenes role that no one sees carried out. Think of the person that cleans the bathroom after church service. We don’t see them cleaning the bathroom during service, but if they didn’t keep the bathroom clean, we would all experience the unpleasant result.
I get the sense too, that these scriptures give us grace for all the different roles we find ourselves in throughout our lives. Sometimes God brings us into a season of rest. We may not do much external ministry, but God is asking us to rest in Him and build up our souls in the quiet places of our houses and our minds. Then, we have other seasons where we are doing the work and out fighting for the harvest. The latter role may feel more productive because we have outward evidence of its effects. But the time of rest really is just as important because it is here that we prepare ourselves for the battles ahead. It’s hard to prepare for a battle when you are in the midst of it.
It’s not the size or visibility of the role that God calls us to that is important. It’s our willingness to obey and our diligence within the role that makes all the difference. The body of Christ is about every part fulfilling its role so that we can be the light that others so desperately need. Whether we find ourselves in a season of the right arm or a season of the pinky toe, it doesn’t change how much God loves us or the thoughts He thinks towards us. All of us and all of our roles are equally precious in His sight.