In 2 Samuel 8:11 we get a little insight into the character of David, an ordinary shepherd boy who became known as a “man after God’s own heart.”
At this point in life, he had been made king over all of Israel. He ruled the largest unified kingdom in the known world at that time, defeating all his surrounding enemies, and bringing peace to his nation. God had blessed him in every battle, every war, every endeavor.
David could look back at his life and literally see the hand of God that had sheltered him, guided him, and propelled him to being the most powerful man around. He had the battle scars to prove it!
One of the benefits of being a victorious warrior was the spoils that came with the battle. Defeating the enemy brought silver, gold, bronze, chariots, horses, shields, swords, and anything the enemy possessed. The spoils always went to the victor.
David had defeated quite a few enemies in his lifetime and had gained much for Israel.
So what did he do with all the spoils?
King David also dedicated these to the Lord, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all the nations which he had subdued. (2 Samuel 8:11)
David never forgot that everything he had was because God had been with him and had blessed him. He recognized that God was the true Victor, and that the spoils belonged to Him.
How about you and me?
What do we do with our spoils?
You might be saying, “What spoils? Trust me … look at our bank account and you’ll know I’m not “spoiled!”
But I’m speaking of the spiritual spoils of the life of faith.
Perhaps, like me, you’ve been married for more than thirty years. You’ve endured from the “love at first sight” to the “I really don’t want to look at you” stage! You’ve weathered the lean, hard years when you struggle to remember why you wanted to get married in the first place. God has allowed you to remain faithful and true to your covenant, and now He has brought you to a good place – where you really know what it means to be married to your best friend.
Or maybe you’ve been through a physical illness, whether your own or walking alongside someone you love. God has brought you through the roller coaster of emotions – good news, bad news, final news. He has sustained you in ways that would take pages to describe, things that only you know in your heart. Maybe He has healed you. Maybe He healed by taking someone you love to be with Him. You’ve been angry, disappointed, afraid. You’ve grieved. But you came through it.
Possibly you’ve walked through failure. Failure of a business. Failures in parenting. Failures in relationships. Maybe you didn’t get to the “good place” of marriage and it ended in divorce.
Conceivably you lost things along the way – a home, a child, a job you loved. But here you are, with God still giving you hope and joy and a reason to live again.
These are just a few of the “spoils” of our faith walk.
We all face battles, whether physical, spiritual, mental or emotional. And as believers, we walk through them by the power of the indwelling Spirit of God, standing firm in His word, and growing in love for our Savior and our God.
The question is, “what do we do with the spoils?”
What do we do with the lessons we learned?
What do we do with the spiritual maturity that has come as a result?
What do we do with the material possessions God restored?
What do we do with the passion He ignited?
I think David taught us…we dedicate them to the Lord.
What benefit is it when God brings us through a hard place to return to the same stage of life, the same focus, the same attitudes that brought us to the hard place?
What actually happened to all those spoils that David brought into Jerusalem and dedicated to God?
1 Chronicles 22 gives us an idea.
David had desired to build a temple for God, a place for the ark of the covenant to rest. He wanted to create a center of worship that would bring honor and attention and glory to the majesty and holiness of God. He wanted to invite God to dwell among them, right there in the center of Jerusalem. But because he was a man of war, and had shed so much blood throughout his life, God did not allow him to build the ark, but gave this task to David’s son, Solomon.
Before his death, David decided to do something in preparation for the temple Solomon would build.
1 Chronicles 22:5 – David said, “My son, Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the Lord shall be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all lands. Therefore now I will make preparation for it.” So David made ample preparations before his death.
Verses 14-16 give us an idea of those “ample preparations”!
“Now behold, with great pains I have prepared for the house of the Lord 100,000 talents of gold and 1,000,000 talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond weight, for they are in great quantity; also timber and stone I have prepared, and you may add to them. Moreover, there are many workmen with you, stonecutters, and masons of stone and carpenters and all men who are skillful in every kind of work. Of the gold, and the silver, and the bronze and the iron there is no limit. Arise and work, and may the Lord be with you.”
Everything that David had gained as a result of the battles he had faced was handed down to his son, to build a place of worship.
David’s scars led to the spoils that became his sacrifice.
How about you?
What has God done in your life? What has He brought you through? And how has He blessed you as a result?
What will you do with your spoils?