1 Samuel 29: What is the root of God's generosity?
The roots of God’s love are in God!
Although David is willing to fight with Achish and the Philistines against Israel, the Philistine commanders do not trust him. They convince Achish to send David and his men back to Ziklag. They arrive to find the Amalekites have burned Ziklag and taken their wives and children captive. In their deep pain, David’s men complain against him and even consider stoning him to death. David, however, puts his trust in God to save. He asks the priest to inquire of the Lord, and the Lord says to pursue the Amalekites. During the pursuit they find an Egyptian slave abandoned by his Amalekite masters. He leads them to the enemy camp where David and his men rout the Amalekites and recover all their families and property.
David’s heart is shown by his generous attitude toward two hundred of his men who had been too exhausted to pursue the enemy and so had stayed back with the supplies. Those who did fight are willing to give those men back their families but do not think they deserve a share of the plunder. David knows the victory is from the Lord, not from the tactics or strength of David’s forces.
If God has graciously given victory, then his grace must be extended to all alike—to fighters and those who stayed with the supplies. Later David even shares his plunder with several cities of Judah that had done nothing in the battle.
The root of God’s generosity is God. God’s covenant of love is everlasting and God loves because God loves. I know that sounds circular, but the source of God’s love is God. It is not conditional on our actions, but God’s love is made complete in our faithfulness in return, our covenant keeping.
Generous God, give us your Spirit of generosity.
DR. GARY HOLLOWAY
Gary Holloway is Executive Director of the World Convention. Holding degrees from Freed-Hardeman, Harding, The University of Texas, and Emory University, he has written or edited thirty books, including (with Douglas Foster) Renewing God’s World: A Concise Global History of the Stone-Campbell Movement from ACU Press. He is married to Deb Rogers Holloway.