Get Back What Is Yours

7 Then he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring me the ephod!” So Abiathar brought it.
8 Then David asked the Lord, “Should I chase after this band of raiders? Will I catch them?” And the Lord told him, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!”
1 Samuel 30:7-8 (NLT)

Yesterday, I took a break from 1 Samuel to answer a challenge from a religious person. I don’t really expect this person to repent and turn to Jesus after reading my articles. I wrote it because it is a good opportunity to expose another lie of theology. Here is the summary of it. Religious people like to use Jesus words on asking the rich man to give away his assets to prove that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is false. However, they themselves do not obey it. This is another proof of religious hypocrisy.

Let move on to the story of David in the book of 1 Samuel. After David was expelled from the Philistine expedition to attack Israel, he settled in a town called Ziklag. David had 600 men with him at that time but they were not alone. They brought their families and possessions along. One day, when David and his men were out of the town, the Amalekites raided the town. They took all the properties, women and children with them. Even David’s 2 wives were taken.

When David and his men returned. They were devastated. They had lost everything they held dear. The men responded like typical men when they were in trouble, they looked for someone to blame. David was the obvious target. As their leader, he became the source of bitterness among his men. They even wanted to kill David. How did David deal with this?

3 When David and his men saw the ruins and realized what had happened to their families,
4 they wept until they could weep no more.
5 David’s two wives, Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel, were among those captured.
6 David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God.
1 Samuel 30:3-6 (NLT)

David had a secret weapon that can handle every crisis. He had the Lord. I like the last part that says “But David found strength in the Lord his God.” God has the answer to all our problems. The wisest thing you can do in every crisis is to seek him. Do not waste time in indulging in pity parties, thinking and talking negative. Seek the Lord.

This is what David did. He took out the ephod and asked the Lord. What did the Lord say?

7 Then he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring me the ephod!” So Abiathar brought it.
8 Then David asked the Lord, “Should I chase after this band of raiders? Will I catch them?” And the Lord told him, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!”
1 Samuel 30:7 (NLT)

God’s answer is clear, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!”

What do you think will happen if David were to ask a theologian instead? The following will be the answer he would get:

“God has allowed this robbery to take place. It must be His will for you and your men to be robbed. Surely this robbery is caused by God for his glory. God is glorified when you get robbed.”

Thank God, David did not have theologians there. Whenever David was in trouble, he asked the Lord. He never allowed himself to be deceived by the lies of theology. The Lord’s answer to every trouble is always the same: Go and get back what is yours. I am with you all the way.

This is God’s answer to all our troubles right now.

 Are you poor? God wants you to go and get rich.

 Are you sick? God wants you to go and get well.

 Have you failed? God wants you to go and achieve victory.

It is never the will of God for us to be robbed, killed or become victim in any kind of disaster. As I have mentioned before, the idea that God is the pervert who wants us to be poor and sick is nothing more than theology, a lie from the pit of hell.

Let us move on with David. David took all his men to chase after his enemies. Halfway through the journey, 200 of them were too tired to move on. So, David continued to pursue with the remaining 400 men. They met an Egyptian who had been enslaved by the Amalelites. This slave was abandoned when he was sick. David fed him and asked him to lead him to the Amalekites’ camp.

When he reached his enemies’ camp, David launch a surprise attack on them. The Amalelites were totally defeated.

16 So he led David to them, and they found the Amalekites spread out across the fields, eating and drinking and dancing with joy because of the vast amount of plunder they had taken from the Philistines and the land of Judah.
17 David and his men rushed in among them and slaughtered them throughout that night and the entire next day until evening. None of the Amalekites escaped except 400 young men who fled on camels.
18 David got back everything the Amalekites had taken, and he rescued his two wives.
19 Nothing was missing: small or great, son or daughter, nor anything else that had been taken. David brought everything back.
20 He also recovered all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock. “This plunder belongs to David!” they said.
1 Samuel 30:16-20 (NLT)

David had managed to get back everything those Amalekites had stolen from him plus much more. In other words, he made a profit out of this. However, another problem rose when the 200 men who stopped half way wanted to get back their possession. Some men among the 400 who fought with David thought it was not fair for those “quitters” to have their share.

21 Then David returned to the brook Besor and met up with the 200 men who had been left behind because they were too exhausted to go with him. They went out to meet David and his men, and David greeted them joyfully.
22 But some evil troublemakers among David’s men said, “They didn’t go with us, so they can’t have any of the plunder we recovered. Give them their wives and children, and tell them to be gone.”
23 But David said, “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.
24 Who will listen when you talk like this? We share and share alike—those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment.”
25 From then on David made this a decree and regulation for Israel, and it is still followed today.
1 Samuel 30:21-25 (NLT)

David had wisely diffused the situation. After all, it was the Lord who gave them the victory. It was only right that those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment to share equally the plunder from the battle. That became a decree for Israel from that day onward. What do you think will happen to those 200 who stayed behind? Do you think they would continue to behave the same? I don’t. I think they were going to work harder and be more courageous in the next battle to redeem themselves. David had a more powerful fighting force.

After the battle, David made a very strategic political move.

26 When he arrived at Ziklag, David sent part of the plunder to the elders of Judah, who were his friends. “Here is a present for you, taken from the Lord’s enemies,” he said.
27 The gifts were sent to the people of the following towns David had visited: Bethel, Ramoth-negev, Jattir,
28 Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa,
29 Racal, the towns of the Jerahmeelites, the towns of the Kenites,
30 Hormah, Bor-ashan, Athach,
31 Hebron, and all the other places David and his men had visited.
1 Samuel 30:26-31 (NLT)

David sent some of his profits from the battle to the elders of Judah. Why Judah? Judah was his own tribe. He was enlarging his power base. His indirect message to them was: This is David. I am still alive and well. If King Saul cannot make it, I am available to take over the throne. By the way, I am one of you.

This move marks the beginning of David’s ascend to the throne of Israel.

Let us stop here to revise the lessons from this story.

The first lesson is, there is always setbacks in life. David himself faced many of them in his life. The existence of setbacks does not mean God has abandoned us. Religious people like to use setbacks to prove that God has become a pervert and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is false. You can see a lot of them in their comments in this blog. It does not matter to them what the Bible says. As long as they can see a single Christian who is sick or poor, they concluded that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is false. Jesus did not die poor for us to live rich. Jesus did not take away all our sicknesses and diseases.

If you are to behave like them, I can tell you for sure that your setback will not change. We need to use our faith to overcome our setbacks. When you are facing some setbacks right now, it is time to use your faith. The dumbest thing you can do is to give up your faith when you are facing setbacks.

David faced a serious setback. He lost his family and property. All his men put the blame on him and wanted to kill him. However, instead of indulging in pity party, he sought the Lord. We need to do the same. If you happen to face a setback that is so bad that you cannot think straight, you must seek the Lord. God has the answers to all our problems.

How did God answer David?

“Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!”

Go and take back what is yours. If you have been robbed, it is not the will of God for you to be robbed. It is the will of God for you to take back what is yours. The most important engineering truth in the Bible which theologians can never understand is this: God is not a pervert.

If you are poor, God wants you to get rich.

If you are sick, God wants you to be healthy.

If you have failed, God wants you to be successful.

Why is that so? It is the will of God for every Christian to be rich, healthy and successful because God himself is rich, healthy and successful. Godliness is to be like God. It is the will of God for Christians to be godly.

When David’s expedition met the 200 men who had earlier stopped, he had graciously let them have their property back. He knew that it was the Lord who gave them victory and not his men. He did not behave like a theologian in condemning those men. This is grace in action. In doing so, I suspect David had improve his men loyalty toward him.

Finally, he knew his politics well. He knew that his 600 men could never establish his kingdom no matter how good they were in fighting. He needed a strong political base. The best place to start was his own tribe, Judah. He was already famous in winning battles. The only thing he needed to do was to send some gifts to say hello to the elders. He used the plunder from the battle as gifts. The modern term for this is reinvestments. He reinvested the returns from his war to finance the establishment of his kingdom.

So, don’t spend all the money God has given to you. Seek the Lord and asked him on how to invest them for higher returns. David got a kingdom. How about you?

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