"When Toi king of Hamath heard about David's defeat of all the forces of Hadadezer, he sent Joram his son to King David to salute and congratulate him about his battle and defeat of Hadadezer. For Hadadezer had had wars with Toi. Joram brought vessels of silver, gold and bronze. These King David dedicated to the Lord, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all the nations he subdued."
II Samuel 8: 9-11, Amplified Bible
"The hand that gives, gathers."
How is generosity to God best expressed?
What message did King David send to the heathen rulers who brought him gifts when he gave these same gifts to God?
"You do not have to be rich to be generous. If (anyone) has the spirit of true generosity, a pauper can give like a prince."
Connie V. Wells
"Whatever we part with for God's sake shall be made up to us in kind or kindness"
I never cease to be inspired at the way God's Word comes alive by infusing my personal life with practical advice for every day living.
And here's how I'm frequently surprised - it is in those parts of the Bible we overlook and rarely read where we find some of the most profound words of encouragement, along with basic instruction and guidance as we strive to walk on our heavenly Father's pathway.
Hopefully, you'll take a few minutes to read all of II Samuel 8. Trust me, as recently as a few months ago, this isn't a portion of Scripture I'd be singling out to recommend as vital reading material. But my viewpoint has changed dramatically as I've studied this under-read chapter in the Bible.
As we've already learned, David was a man who was exceptionally blessed. In many ways, God showered blessings on his life. We found out though, that with exceptional blessings come exceptional expectations. Not only did David's family look up to him, so did all the people of Israel. But it wasn't just earthly beings who admired David. God held David close to His heart, as well! And our Father holds you and me close - even going so far as writing our names on the palms of His hands.
Knowing that David had the ability to tap into heaven's unlimited supply of resources is evident as we recognize the exceptional strength displayed by David and his army as they subdued the Philistines along with a list of six other groups of people who had defied the God of Israel.
As these Canaanite; nations watched with amazement as David "subdued" the land, one ruler, King Toi, decided that rather than take a hostile stance against David, he would try and play nice. So he sent his son, loaded with gifts, to "salute and congratulate David. This act was designed to cultivate favor with David, and it appears on the surface that David was appreciative of the attempt.
But here's a very important lesson from this experience. David could have taken these gifts, given by a heathen king, to increase his own personal wealth. I doubt anyone would have complained, for in hard, cold business terms, David had paid his dues. He had fought hard, protected his subjects, cleaned the land of marauding thieves and increased the land-wealth of Israel. The gifts of silver, gold and bronze vessels from King Toi could easily be viewed as an appropriate bonus for a job well done.
But David didn't take the loot and gloat over his success. We need to underline II Samuel 8: 11 and never forget how David acted in this experience for it is truly "exceptional." In fact, David showed exceptional generosity toward his heavenly Father. If you read the entire text, II Samuel 8: 11, you'll see that all the gifts from the Canaanites along with all the wealth garnered from his military success went to God. All of it! Why did David make this grand gesture? Because he understood that all of his success came not from his power and prowess, but from his heavenly Father. David didn't want anyone, those he led and those whom he defeated, to think he held the power when he knew he didn't. There's something powerful in this experience for David's exceptional generosity reflected his trust in an exceptional God. His generosity, rather than hoarding, let everyone know who was in charge…who was responsible…who was God.
"Labour hard, consume little, give much - and all to Christ."
Anthony Norris Groves
God's Unending Generosity
"When all thy mercies, O my God,
My rising soul surveys;
Transported with the view, I'm lost
In wonder, love and praise.
O how shall words with equal warmth
Thy gratitude declare,
That glows within my ravished heart!
But thou canst read it there.
Thy providence my life sustained
And all my wants redressed.
When in the silent womb I lay,
And hung upon the breast.
To all my weak complaints and cries,
Thy mercy lent an ear,
Ere yet my feeble thoughts had learnt
To form themselves in prayer.
Unnumbered comforts to my soul
Thy tender care bestowed,
Before my infant heart conceived
From whom these comforts flowed.
When in the slippery path of youth
With heedless steps I ran.
Thine arm unseen conveyed me safe
And led me up to man.
Through every period of my life
Thy goodness I'll pursue,
And after death, in distant worlds,
The glorious theme renew.
Through all eternity to thee
A joyful song I'll raise;
But oh! eternity's too short
To utter all thy praise."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.