Share and Share Alike

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. Who will listen when you talk like this? We share and share alike —those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment.” From then on David made this a decree and regulation for Israel, and it is still followed today. 1 Samuel 30:23-25

Did you grow up like me hearing share and share alike over and over and then hearing yourself say it over and over to your own children?  Well, here it is in the Bible.  In my grandparents’ days, and definitely in my great grandparents’ day, the Bible was often one of only a few books in the home.  It shows in many dearly held truths they passed on to me. It is really interesting to me when I find one of Mom’s little gems has been around since the time of David. I wonder if these gems would have been more powerful if they had said,  “Remember what David in the Bible said, share and share alike.”  I want to say “the Bible says”  more often to my family.

On the way into battle with 600 men, David was faced with 200 exhausted men who could not go on and had to stay behind. The first time I read chapter 30 of 1 Samuel, I completely missed the word exhausted. I finished reading it and thought that’s not right. And where does it say they were guarding the equipment?  It doesn’t. Ok, deep breath. Every word of the Bible is true. It’s not God’s word that isn’t right; it’s my reading of it that isn’t right.

In my second reading I noticed that twice the Bible says they are too exhausted to go on. “So David and his 600 men set out, and they came to the brook Besor. But 200 of the men were too exhausted to cross the brook, so David continued the pursuit with 400 men.” 1 Samuel 30:9-10 They are not only exhausted, they are too exhausted to even cross the brook. Then in verse 21, it says “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.” I have no idea why this exhaustion didn’t stand out to me when I first read it.  Perhaps, because there wasn’t a reason why 400 could go on and 200 could not.  I thought, “Huh, what’s wrong with those guys!”  A good reason not to jump to conclusions and really read the Bible as the truth of God which is what it is.

I also love the beginning of the verses here. When David says, “No, my brothers! Don’t be selfish with what the LORD has given us.  How often do we forget that we are always sharing what God has given us? We may have worked for it, paid installments on it for years, attended years of school to have the education to get the kind of job that allows us to make the payment, but it is still ours by the grace of God. Psalm 24:1 written by David says : “A psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” When we share it is God’s gift to us that we are sharing.

Look at the ending words, “From then on David made this a decree and regulation for Israel, and it is still followed today.” Amazing. And now thousands of years later, it is still being followed. So, tell your children and grandchildren David in the Bible said share and share alike. Give them a firm foundation.

Pray that God will sprinkle your speech with God said, Jesus said, David said, the Bible said. Do not be ashamed of Jesus’ name, but exalt it in all you say and do.

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