Credit Where it's Due

King David and the Spoils of War

By Anthony Barbato

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The thing I found really cool also is the story is eerily similar to a parable Christ told in Matthew 20, and I'm sure it wasn't just coincidence!
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place; and to those he said, 'You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.' And so they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, 'Why have you been standing here idle all day long?' They said to him, 'Because no one hired us.' He said to them, 'You go into the vineyard too.' When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.' When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, saying, 'These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.' But he answered and said to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous? So the last shall be first, and the first last.'" Matthew 20:1-16
Interesting huh? The point is that like the recovery of Israel's women, children and the spoil (enemies' belongings), the glory belongs to God. The 400 claimed they deserved more than those who stayed at the brook, but David rightly gave glory to God alone. He points out that it was only through His guiding hand that they were given victory. Much like Christ's parable in Matthew 20. The workers who labored the longest believe they deserve more, even though they were paid exactly what they agreed upon. Aside from that, if it wasn't for the landowner they would have nothing, but yet they complain that His kindness is not enough. Whether they crossed the brook or not, and whether they worked the full day or not, nothing would have been gained in either situation apart from the Lord's mercy. It's the same with our salvation. One might be saved as a youth, and one might be just like the thief on the cross, saved moments before death. But regardless of how much time we spend "working," we are all saved by grace (Acts 15:1). We can't make the argument that we deserve it more than others because the truth is that no one deserves it at all (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:23; 1 Corinthians 1:29; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:3; Titus 3:3-7).

The last thing this passage brought to mind is just how deep God's word is. It's really amazing that in one small chapter we could get so much! David was certainly a man after God's own heart, and we can see it here. We do well to remember how honest he was about his sinful state (Psalm 51:1-5), and how he set his heart on glorifying the Lord for His forgiveness and mercy (Psalm 103).

Image Credit: meitzey; untitled; Creative Commons

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Christian-Life  | God-Father  | Jesus-Christ

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Published 12-12-16