I believe David’s generous heart was one more reason why he was called a man after God’s own heart.
Prevented from going into battle with the Philistines, David and his men returned to Ziklag. Here they were met with the most devastating sight. Ziklag was completely plundered by the Amalekites. It was burned to the ground and their families were driven away like a herd of cattle. David and his men were completely overwhelmed and in their despair they cried until they could cry no more.
Because of their surpassing loss, some of David’s men started doubting his capabilities as a leader, blaming him for their tragedy. They started talking among themselves about getting rid of David by stoning him.
David became distressed as heard this, but in the face of this combined with his own loss, David did the right thing. Instead of figuring out a way of saving himself or sweet talking his men into staying loyal to him, David found strength in the LORD his God. He turned to God for counsel. “Should I chase after this band of raiders? Will I catch them?” And the Lord answered him, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!”
With that, David and his 600 men set out to pursue the Amalekites. They arrived at the Brook of Besor and here 200 of the men had become too exhausted to cross over the brook. David left them there to watch the supplies and continued the pursuit with the remaining 400 men.
It is clear that God was with them because, as they were continuing on their way, David’s men came across an Egyptian man in a field. They took him to David and he was given some bread to eat, water to drink, some fig cakes and raisin clusters. As his strength returned, David questioned him. He said he was a slave to an Amalekite master and he participated in the raid on Ziklag. However, when he got ill his master dumped him. And so, with the arrival of this Egyptian man David and his men was saved further haphazard searching. The rescued man took them straight to the enemy. The cruelty of his master was precisely the thing that made David’s kindness stand out more and because of David’s benevolence towards this man, they were taken straight to the camp of the raiding band.
David and his men rushed in while the Amalekites were still gorging themselves on their plunder. No one escaped except 400 young men who fled on camels and David recovered everything they had lost.
“Nothing was missing: small or great, son or daughter, nor anything else that had been taken. David brought everything back. He also recovered all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock.”
Successful, they returned to Ziklag. They came again to the Brook of Besor where they met with the 200 men who stayed behind and guarded their equipment. David greeted them with great joy. But not everyone was happy to see the guys who stayed behind. Not everyone had generous hearts.
The selfish men among them said that the men who stayed behind shouldn’t be sharing in any of the spoils. But David wasted no time and nipped these evil thoughts in the bud.
“No, my brothers! Don’t be selfish with what the LORD has given us. He has kept us safe and helped us defeat the band of raiders that attacked us. Who will listen when you talk like this? We share and share alike—those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment.”
This is evidently one more reason why David was a man after God’s own heart. He recognized that nothing that they have gained was through their own strength, but because God has given them victory. He also recognized that those who guarded the equipment played an equally essential part in the big picture of the victory as did the men who fought in the battle. He went further and sent gifts to the friends he had in Judah who remained loyal to him.
Being stingy with God has given him was the furthest thing from David’s mind. He understood the folly of being tight-fisted with what he had freely received from God’s generous hand. He understood that in God there is an endless supply and he need not fear running out of anything. David shows that the more we give, the more we will receive.Scripture Quotes from 1 Samuel 30