Sermon 2017. 'David's Spoil'
BY C. H. SPURGEON, INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S DAY, APRIL 15, 1888.
"This is David's spoil." 1 Samuel 30:20.
We have earlier gathered spoil for ourselves out of David's behavior in the hour of his sorrow at Ziklag and we will now turnto the other side of this leaf in his history and receive instruction from the time of his victory. But we must not do thistill we have refreshed our memories with the story of his conduct under distress. When he came to the city he found it burnedwith fire, the property of himself and his comrades carried away and what was worse, all their wives and their sons and theirdaughters gone into captivity. In the madness of their grief the people turned upon their leader, as if he had led them intothis calamity. He was the only calm person among them, for he "encouraged himself in the Lord his God."
With due deliberation he waited upon the Lord and consulted the oracle through the appointed priest and then, under Divineguidance he pursued the bandits, took them by surprise, recovered all of his people's goods and captured a large booty whichthe Amalekites had collected elsewhere. David, who had been the chief object of the people's mutiny and the leader of thesuccessful pursuit of the robbers, most properly received a special portion of the spoil and concerning it the words of ourtext were spoken, "This is David's spoil."
We shall now look into this victorious act on the part of David with the view of finding spiritual teaching in it. David maybe regarded as a very special type of our Lord Jesus Christ. Among the personal types David holds a leading place-for in somany points he is the Prophetic foreshadowing of the great and glorious Son of David. Whenever David acts as the man afterGod's own heart, he is the picture and emblem of the One who is still more after God's own heart- even the Christ of God.
David, under Divine guidance, pursued the Amalekites who had come as thieves to smite and to burn and carry away captives.The marauders were overtaken and slaughtered and a great spoil was the result. David recovered all that the Amalekites hadtaken. "And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor anythingthat they had taken to them: David recovered all." We are told several times over in the chapter that nothing was lacking-"Davidrecovered all." When our Lord Jesus worked out our redemption, He recovered all and left nothing in the enemy's hand. Allglory to His name!
But over and above, David took great store of cattle and jewels and gold and silver and so forth, which belonged to the Amalekites,and out of this a bountiful portion was taken which was set apart as David's spoil. David's men, in the moment of their despair,had spoken of stoning him. But now, in the morning of their victory, with general acclamations, they determine that Davidshall have, as his portion of the spoil, all the cattle which belong to the Amalekites themselves. And so, driving these infront, as they return to Ziklag, they say, "This is David's spoil." I think I hear them, as they drive the bullocks and thesheep before them, shouting right lustily, "This is David's spoil."
Now, using David as the type of Christ, I want, if I can, to set all David's men-all Christ's men-shouting with all theirhearts, "This is Jesus' spoil!" He it is of whom Jehovah says, "I will divide Him a portion with the great and He shall dividethe spoil with the strong." He has a grand reward as the result of the great battle of His life and death. We will even nowaward to Him the spoil and cry, "This is David's spoil," feeling, all the while, as the Psalmist did when he said, "You aremore glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey."
I. We begin with the first observation that practically all the spoil of that day was David's spoil and in truth all the goodthat we enjoy comes to us through our Lord Jesus. He has been given as a Leader and a Commander to the people and every victorythey win is due to Him and to Him alone. Without Him we can do nothing and without Him we can obtain nothing. All that weonce possessed by nature and under the Law, the Spoiler has taken away. By our own efforts
we can never regain what we have lost-only through our great Leader can we be restored and made happy. We ascribe unto Jesusall our gains-even as David's men honored their captain.
For, first, David's men defeated the Amalekites and took their spoil-but it was for David's sake that God gave success tothe band. God's eyes rested upon His chosen servant, the Lord's anointed, and it was not for the warrior's own sakes but forDavid's sake that God guided them to the hosts of Amalek and gave them like driven stubble to their sword. How much more trueit is to us that every blessing, every pardoning mercy, every delivering mercy, is given to us through Him who is our Shieldand God's Anointed! It is for the sake of Jesus that we are pardoned, justified, accepted, preserved, sanctified. Only throughthis channel does the mercy of God come to us.
The Lord God says, "Not for your sakes do I this, O house of Israel! Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways." And we,in response to that, can answer, "Not unto us, not unto us but unto the name of the well-Beloved be praise and honor and gloryforever and ever!" Since everything comes to us because of Christ Jesus, we may say of every Covenant mercy, "This is David'sspoil." On this blessing and on that favor, yes, on them all, we see the mark of the Cross. These are all fruits of our Redeemer'spassion, the purchase of His blood. Again we say with gratitude, "This is David's spoil."
Moreover, David's men gained the victory over Amalek because of David's leadership. If he had not been there to lead themto the fight-in the moment of their despair they would have lost all heart and would have remained amidst the burning wallsof Ziklag a discomfited company. But David encouraged himself in the Lord and so encouraged all his desponding followers.Drawing his sword and marching in front, he put spirit into them-they all followed with eager step because their gallant leaderso courageously led the way.
This is exactly our case, Beloved, only we are even more indebted to our Lord Jesus than these men were to David. The LordJesus Christ has been among us and has fought our battle for us and recovered all that we had lost by Adam's Fall and by ourown sin. It is written of Him, "He shall not fail nor be discouraged." You know how He sets His face like a flint, how stout-heartedHe was to accomplish the work of our redemption and how He ceased not till He could cry victoriously, "It is finished"-
"Our glorious Leader claims our praise For His own pattern given."
Following at His feet, we, too, fight with sin. Treading in His footsteps, we, too, overcome the world, the flesh, and thedevil. Have you ever heard Him say, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world"?
And you, dear Brothers and Sisters-whatever victories you win, whatever spoils you divide-will acknowledge that it is throughJesus that you have conquered. They said of Waterloo that it was a soldier's battle and the victory was due to the men. Butours is our Commander's battle and every victory won by us is due to the great Captain of our salvation. Let the crown beset upon His head, even on the battlefield and let us say of every sin that we have overcome, every evil habit that we havedestroyed, "This is David's spoil."
We had never won this victory if Jesus had not led us-we have it for His sake. We have it under His leadership. Without exception,all the saints on earth and in Heaven confess this to be true-
"I ask them from where their victory came?
They, with united breath,
Ascribe their conquest to the Lamb,
Their triumph to His death.
They marked the footsteps that He trod,
His zeal inspired their breast,
And, following their incarnate God,
Possess the promised rest."
I will not say more upon this point but only ask you to remember that by nature we had all lost everything. We lost the gardenwith all its Paradisiacal joys. Lost this world, the very earth bringing forth thorns and thistles to us. Lost life, losthope, lost peace, lost the favor of God. But Jesus has recovered all. All that the first Adam lost the second Adam has restored.David recovered all and Jesus has recovered all. We ourselves were lost. But Jesus has brought us back from the hand of theenemy. He has given us ourselves, if I may use such an expression-and now we who were dead are alive again-the lost are
found. Once, every faculty of ours was being used for our own destruction but now, sanctified by the Grace of God, all isbeing used for God's glory and for our own ripening and perfecting.
Jesus has recovered us for ourselves and for our God-the prey has been taken from the mighty and the lawful captive has beendelivered. Yes, and our Lord Jesus has recovered for us the future as well as the past. Our outlook was grim and dark, indeed,till Jesus came. But oh, how bright it is now that He has completed His glorious work! Death is no more the dreaded graveof all our hopes. Hell exists no longer for Believers. Heaven, whose gates were closed, is now set wide open to every soulthat believes. We have recovered life and immortal bliss. We are snatched like brands from the burning and made to shine likelamps of the palace of the great King.
We are set up to be forever trophies of the conquering power of Jesus, our glorious David. Look at all the saints in Heavenin their serried ranks and say of them all, "This is David's spoil." Look at the blood-bought Church of God on earth-the tenthousands that are already washed in His blood and following at His feet-we may say of all this ransomed flock, "This is David'sspoil." Each one of us, looking at himself and all his past and all his future, may say, "This, too, is David's spoil."
Christ has done it, done it all and unto His name let the whole host shout the victory. I feel as if I could stop the sermonand ask you to sing but it will be better if I content myself with repeating the hymn-
"Rejoice, you shining worlds on high,
Behold the King of Glory near!
He comes adorned with victory,
He made our foes before Him flee.
You hea venly gates, your lea ves display,
To make the Lord the Sa vior's way!
Laden with spoils from earth and Hell,
The Conqueror comes with God to dwell.
Raised from the dead, He goes before;
He opens Heaven's eternal door-
To give His saints a blessed abode,
Near their Redeemer and their God." II. But the most interesting part of our subject is this-all the booty was practicallyDavid's spoil but there was a part of it which was not recovered but was a clear gain. They recovered all they had lost andover and above there was a surplus of spoil from the defeated foe. Now, in the great battle of Christ on our behalf He hasnot only given us back what we lost but He has given us what Adam in his perfection never had. And I want you to dwell uponthat-because this part of it is peculiarly our Lord's spoil. Those good things which we now possess over and above what welost by sin come to us by the Lord Jesus. Now that the Son of God has come into the field He is not content with restoration-Heturns the loss into a gain-the Fall into a greater rising.
And first, dear Friends, think-in Christ Jesus human nature is lifted up where it never could have been before. Man was madein his innocence to occupy a very lofty place. "You made him to have dominion over all the works of Your hands. You have putall things under his feet." Man would have enjoyed that dominion had he never fallen but he never could have obtained whathe has now gained, for, "we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned withglory and honor."
And we see in Jesus human nature joined in mysterious union with the Godhead. I never know how to speak about this miracleof the Divine incarnation. We are men and women, poor creatures at our very best. Yet in Christ Jesus our dignity is perfectlyamazing. Angels excel in strength and beauty but no angel was ever joined to the Godhead as manhood is now united to God.The nearest being to God is a man. The most noble existence-how shall I word it?-the most noble of all beings is God. Andthe God-Man Christ Jesus, in whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily is with Him upon His Throne.
It is a wondrous honor, this-that manhood should be taken into intimate connection, yes, absolute union with God! For listen-throughJesus Christ we are this day made the sons of God which angels never were. "Unto which of the angels said He at any time,You are My Son"? But He has said this to us. Christ took not up angels but He took up the seed of Abraham and He has madethe believing seed of Abraham to be the sons of God. Listen again-"And if children, then heirs. Heirs of God." God's heirs!What a word is this! How simple but how sublime! I know how to say it but not how to expound it!
It does not want explanation and yet its depths are fathomless. Every Believer is God's heir-the heir of God. Could this havebeen and there been no Fall and no redemption? Children and heirs are more than was ever spoken of in Eden. Yes, listen yetagain. Now we are one with God in Christ Jesus. For it is written concerning our Lord, "We are members of His body, of Hisflesh and of His bones." Close as the marriage union is, yet Paul declared, when he spoke of it, "This is a great mystery-but I speak concerning Christ and the Church." Unfallen manhood was never declared to be one with the Son of God and yet throughthe Covenant of Grace this is our position.
We are joined by vital, real, conjugal union to Jesus Christ the Son of the Highest, very God of very God. And this is anelevation so transcendent that I feel bowed down beneath the weight of glory which is revealed in us. The most glorious beingnext to God is man. A sinner most shameful, once, but now in Christ a child accepted and honored! What can I say of this but,"This is David's spoil"? This is what Jesus brought us. It came to us by no other way or method. Neither do we know in whatway or method it could have been given to us but by the will of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. It is given to us throughJesus Christ, our elder Brother and our covenant Head and unto Him let the glory of it be ascribed world without end.
Another blessing which was not ours before the Fall and therefore never was lost but comes to us as a surplus, is the factthat we are redeemed. You sang just now that verse-
"Never did angels taste above Redeeming grace and dying love."
It is clear that you could never have known free grace and dying love if Jesus had not come to redeem you. Unfallen intelligentspirits will say in eternity, "Do you see those beings bowing nearest to the eternal Throne? Do you see those well-belovedcreatures? Who are they?" Spirits that have lived in other worlds will come crowding up to the great metropolis and will sayone to another, "Who are those courtiers-those that dwell nearest to God? Who are they?"
And one spirit will say to another, "They are beings whom God not only made as He made us but whom the eternal Son of Godredeemed by blood." And one shining one will say to his fellow, "What is that? Tell me that strange story." Then will hiscompanion delight to say, "They were saved because the Son of God took their nature and in that nature died." "Wonderful!Wonderful," his friend will answer, "How could it be? Was there suffering for them and pain for them and bloody sweat forthem and death for them on the part of the ever-blessed Son of God?" The answer, "It was even so," will be news full of astonishmenteven to the best instructed celestial mind.
Spirits will look at us with wonder and say, "What strange beings are these? Others are the work of God's hands but theseare the fruit of the travail of His soul. On others we see the marks of Divine skill and power but here we see the tokensof a Divine sacrifice-a Divine blood-shedding." Truly, we may say of our redemption, "This is David's spoil." That you andI should be such wonders as we must be in being redeemed beings is, indeed, something given to us by Jesus over and abovewhat Adam lost. And throughout eternity all the sacred brotherhood of the redeemed by blood will be princes in the courtsof God-the aristocracy of Heaven-for "He has made us kings and priests unto God."
We shall be creatures who have known sin and have been recovered from its pollution. There will be no fear of our being exaltedwith pride, or drawn away by ambition as the now-apostate angels were. For we shall constantly remember what sin did for usand how grievous was our fault. We shall forever remember the price at which we were redeemed. And we shall have ties uponus that will bind us to an undeviating loyalty to Him who exalted us to so glorious a condition. It seems to me wonderfulbeyond expression-the more I consider it, the more I am astonished. A spirit that has never fallen cannot be trusted in thesame way as one that has fallen and has been delivered and has been newly-created and blood-washed and has been gifted withan abiding and eternal character!
Such a being shall never fall because it is forever held by cords of love eternal and bonds of gratitude infinitely strong.Cords of love which will never let it waver in holy service. It is a work worthy of a God to create such beings as we shallbe- since we shall be securely bound to voluntary holiness. And our wills, though always free, shall be immutably loyal toour Lord. As the twice-born we shall be the most noble of God's works. We shall be the first fruits of His creatures. We shallbe accounted as the royal treasure of Jehovah. Then shall we sit with Christ upon His Throne and reign with Him forever. "Thisis David's spoil."
We receive blessings unknown to beings who have never fallen. I sometimes murmur to myself-and sweet music it has been asI have quietly murmured it-we are the elect of God. Election is a privilege most high and precious-what can exceed it in delight?This also is David's spoil. We are also redeemed from among men-the redemption of the soul is precious. "This is David's spoil."We are covenanted ones, with whom God has entered into bonds of promise, swearing by an oath to keep
His Word-this, too, is David's spoil. Where had you ever heard of redemption, election, covenant and such-like words if ithad not been for the blessed Christ of God who has redeemed us by His blood?
Sing, then, you who have received back your lost inheritance-and sing more sweetly, still, you who have been blessed withall spiritual blessings in the heavenlies according as the Father has chosen you in Christ Jesus. Sing aloud unto His holyname-and say of your special privileges-"This is David's spoil."
Again-to my mind it is a very blessed fact that you and I will partake of a privilege which would have been certainly unnecessaryto Adam and could not by Adam have been known and that is, the privilege of resurrection. We shall die unless the Lord shouldsuddenly appear. I would not have you, Brothers and Sisters, look upon the prospect of death with any sort of dread. I knowthat death is associated with pain. But nothing can be more absurd. There is no pain in death-pain belongs to life. Death,even naturally, puts an end to pain. But death to the Believer is undressing as His Lord undressed-putting off garments ofwhich, I think, we need not be so very fond, for they do fit us ill.
And oftentimes, when our spirit is willing, it is hampered by these garments of clay-for the flesh is weak. Some look withintense delight to the prospect of the Savior's coming-as a means of escape from death. I confess I have but slender sympathywith them. If I might have my choice, I would prefer, of the two, to die. Let it be as the Lord wills. But there is a pointof fellowship with Christ in death which they will miss who shall not sleep. And it seems to me to have some sweetness init to follow the Lamb wherever He goes, even though He descend into the sepulcher. "Where should the dying members rest butwith their dying Head?" That grave of our blessed Lord, if He had not meant us to enter it, would have been left an emptytenement when He came away. But when He came out of it, He left it furnished for those that should come after Him. See therethe grave clothes folded up for us to use!
The bed is prepared for our slumber. The napkin is laid by itself because it is not for the sleeper but for those who havelost His company. Those who remain behind may dry their eyes with the napkin but the grave clothes are reserved for otherswho will occupy the royal bedchamber. When great men died in olden times their servants took away the tapestry or hangingsof their chambers. But if those hangings remained it was for the convenience of guests who were invited to occupy my lord'srooms. See, then, our Lord expects us to lie in His royal bedchamber for He has left the hangings behind Him! To the retiringroom of the tomb we shall go in due time. And why should we be grieved to go? For we shall come forth again-we shall risefrom the dead.
"Your brother shall rise again," was Mary's consolation from the Master's lips. It is yours. We are not going to a prisonbut to a bath wherein the body, like Esther, shall be purified to behold the King. It is our joy to be sure that, "as theLord our Savior rose, so all His followers must." We do not know much about the resurrection of the body and therefore wewill not attempt to describe it. But surely it will be a delightful thing to be able to dwell forever in a body that has beenin the grave and has had fulfilled in it the sentence, "Dust you are and unto dust shall you return," but which has been raisedagain by that same power which raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead.
We shall inhabit a body which shall no more see corruption, or be subject to weakness, or pain, or decay but shall be likethe glorified person of our Lord. Oh, there is sweetness in the thought that we shall in this forever have fellowship withour risen Lord! Children of the resurrection, dread not death! Your faces are turned to the sun. Press forward to the lighteternal and fear not to pass through the death-shadow-it is no more than a shadow. If you cannot leap over the grave you canpass through it. It shall be your joy to rise when the morning breaks and to be satisfied. For you shall wake up in His likeness.As for the resurrection, "this is David's spoil," this is Christ's gift and benefit. The resurrection from the dead is thepeculiar glory of Christianity. The immortality of the soul had been taught and known before, for it is a Truth of God whicheven reason itself teaches.
But the resurrection of the body comes in as the last and crowning effort of our spirits-and "this is David's spoil." Letme not weary you. The topic might well interest us on several occasions. It is too large to be confined to one discourse.Our singular relation to God and yet to materialism is another rare gift of Jesus. God intended, by the salvation of man andthe lifting up of man into union with Himself, to link together in one the lowest and the highest-His creation and Himself.Shall I make it very plain? These poor substances-earth, water and the like-they seem far down in the scale. God makes a beingthat shall be, as an old Puritan used to say, half soul and half soil-even man who is both spirit and dust of the earth.
We find in him water, salts, acids, all sorts of substances combined to make up a body and married to this is a soul, whichis brother to the angels and akin to Deity. Materialism is somewhat exalted in being connected with spirit at all. When spiritbecomes connected with God and refined materialism becomes connected with a purified spirit by the resurrection from the dead,then shall be brought to pass the uplifting of clay and its junction with the celestial. Do you not see how God, in the
perfecting of His gracious purpose through the resurrection of the dead, causes His glory to be reflected even upon what weregard as poor material substances, gross and mean?
Try and get at my meaning again. Quakers, whom I greatly respect, get rid of the two ordinances by denying that they are ofperpetual obligation. They banish Baptism-they put away the Lord's Supper. I have sometimes wished that I were able to agreewith them because my whole spirit and tendency are towards the spiritual rather than the ritual. But if anything is plainto me in Scripture, it is that Jesus Christ did command us to be baptized in water in the Triune name and that He bade Hisdisciples remember Him in the breaking of bread and in the drinking of the cup. The danger of men's making too much of outwardforms was encountered for some wise purpose. It was, I think, because God would have us know that even the material, thoughit can only enter the outer court, is still to be sanctified unto Himself.
Therefore, water, bread and wine-all material substances-are used not only as symbols but as tokens that all created thingsshall be ennobled and sanctified. Look, Sirs, "Creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly but by reason of Him whohas subjected the same in hope." Through man's sin this outward world became blackened, darkened and degraded. But God intends,through man, to lift up the nethermost extremities of His creation into a greater nearness to Himself than they ever couldhave reached by any other means. And this is how it comes about. We are taking up with us, as it were, the earth which makesa part of ourselves.
We are drawing up with ourselves the earth in those simple symbols with which we worship God. We are ourselves lifted up asspirits and we are soon to be lifted up as spirits enshrined in purified bodies and thus we bring the whole creation of Godinto nearer contact with Himself. Hence it is that we are called "kings and priests." What can the dead earth do in worshiptill there comes one who worships God as the world's priest? What can the fields and woods and hills say in the worship ofGod? They are dumb till a tongue attempts the holy task of uttering their praise. You and I are made of such stuff as theworld around us and yet we are the compeers of angels.
We are brothers to the worm. And this body of ours is but a child of mother earth on which it lives. See, then, how motherearth worships God through us and dull, dead matter, finds life and song. Behold the mists and the clouds become a steamingincense of praise to God through men like ourselves, who, because Christ was slain, have been made kings and priests untoGod.
I wish you would, rather than listen to me, try and muse upon the wonderful position which redeemed men do now occupy andwill occupy forever and ever. For my own part, I would not change places with the angel Gabriel-not if he gave me his swiftwing to boot-for I believe that an infinitely greater honor belongs to the least of God's children than to the very highestof God's servants. To be a child of God-oh, bliss!-there is no glory that can excel it. But all this is a special gift toour humanity through our Lord Jesus. "This is David's spoil."
Our manifestation of the full glory of God is another of the choice gifts which the pierced hands of Jesus, alone, bestow.Principalities and powers shall see in the mystical body of Christ more of God than in all the universe besides. They willstudy in the saints the eternal purposes of God and see therein His love, His wisdom, His power, His justice, His mercy blendedin an amazing way. They will admire forever those whom God loves and delights in, those whom He keeps as the apple of Hiseye. Those whom He rejoices over and of whom He has said that He will rest in His love and He will rejoice over them withsinging. Truly it has not entered into the heart of man to guess at the glory of God in the saints-the exceeding glory whichshall be revealed in us through Jesus Christ our Lord. "This is David's spoil." Oh, come, let us sing unto the Lord, let usmagnify the name of Jesus Christ!
III. I close with the most practical part of my sermon-that which we willingly give to Jesus may be called His spoil. Thereis a spoil for Christ which every true-hearted follower of His votes to Him enthusiastically. We have already seen that allthings which we have are of Christ and that there are certain special gifts which are peculiarly of Christ. And now, whatshall be David's spoil from you and from me?-
"First, our hearts are His, alone, forever.
Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it,
Seal it for Your courts above."
Of every believing heart it may be said, "This is David's spoil." You and I must give ourselves tomorrow to earning our dailybread and our thoughts must go, to a large extent, after earthly things in the common pursuits of everyday life. But our hearts,our hearts, are as fountains sealed for our Well-Beloved.
O mammon, you shall not have them! O pleasure, you shall not have them! These are David's spoil. Our hearts belong to Jesus,only. "My son, give Me your heart," is an Old Testament command but under the New Testament manifestation of love
we fulfill it-"for the love of Christ constrains us. Because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead-andthat He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves but unto Him which died for them androse again." Let it be so that our whole heart is the sole possession of Jesus! We will neither rend it, nor cast lots whoseit shall be, for "this is David's spoil."
Now there is another property I should like King Jesus to have and that is our special gifts. I know one who, before his conversion,was likely to sing and he often charmed the ears of men with the sweet music which he poured forth. But when he was convertedhe said, "Henceforth my tongue shall sing nothing but the praises of God." He devoted himself to proclaiming the Gospel byhis song, for he said, "This is David's spoil."
Have you not some gift or other, dear Friend, of which you could say, "Henceforth this shall be sacred to my bleeding Lord?"Some peculiar faculty? Some choice piece of acquirement not generally possessed? Something in which you excel? I would thatyou had at least some little garden of flowers or herbs which you could so reserve that therein only Jesus should pluck thefruits. Say of the best gift you possess, "This is David's spoil." Is it not well to consecrate some part of the day and say,"This hour is Christ's"?
"I have my work to do, my business must be seen to-all is Christ's. But, still I will reserve a special season and wall itin, like a private garden, in which, with prayer and praise and meditation, I will commune with my Lord, or else in actualservice I will honor His name." Say, "This is David's spoil." Come dear Heart, what do you mean to give Him? Surely you havesome natural faculty or acquired skill which you can lay at His feet.
Moreover, while our whole selves must be yielded to the Lord Jesus there is one thing that must always be Christ's-and thatis our religious homage as a Church. Somebody says that the Queen is head of the Church. God bless her. But she is not headof the Church of Christ! The idea is blasphemous-headship "is David's spoil." Jesus Christ is Head over all things to HisChurch and nobody else can take that position. No one may dare to take the title of "head of the Church" without an usurpationof our Lord's royal right.
Certain teachers of the Church claim authority over conscience and assert that they are infallible. I have heard it said thatthey are supreme guides but I do not believe it, because, "This is David's spoil." We have one infallible Teacher and thatis Jesus Christ our Savior. We yield obedience to His every word and demand that others should do the same. Whatsoever Hesays to us by His Spirit in the Word of God is to us infallible Truth and we cease to dispute when Jesus speaks. But no manelse shall dictate doctrine to us, for "This is David's spoil."
Jesus Christ must be sole Rabbi in the midst of His Church. We call Him Master and Lord for so He is. I would have you keepyour conscience for Christ alone. Take care that no book ever overlaps the Bible, that no creed ever contradicts the formof sound words contained in God's own Word-that no influence of minister or writer supplants the guidance of the Holy Spirit.Your soul's obedience and faith belong to Jesus only-"This is David's spoil."
Lastly, have you not something of your own proper substance that shall be David's spoil just now? That was a blessed act whenthe woman broke the most precious thing she had-her box of alabaster and let the perfumed nard stream down the Savior, anointingHim for His burial. She felt that the precious perfume was "David's spoil." There was no waste. In fact, no other gift everwent so completely to its purpose without being taxed on the road, for Jesus had it all. Kindly did He observe the lovinghonor which she paid Him. What if the ointment were sold and given to the poor? Yet it could never be so economically usedas when it was all devoted to Him.
I do think it so pleasant sometimes to give Jesus Christ distinctly a gift from yourself of somewhat that you will miss. Itis good to give to the poor but it has a daintier sweetness in it to do somewhat distinctly for Him, for the spread of Hisown glory and the making known of His own fame. "The poor you have always with you"-abound towards them in your charity wheneveryou will-but to your Lord at special seasons dedicate a choice gift and say, "This is David's spoil."
There was a poor woman once, whose little fortune could be carried between her finger and her thumb-her fortune I said, forit was all she had. Two mites, I am told, was all it came to. She took it-it was her all and she put it in the treasury. Forthis was "David's spoil." It belonged to the Lord her God and she gave it cheerfully. I do not know whether since the daysof the Apostles anybody has ever given so much as that woman. I have not. Have you? She gave all her living. Not all her savingsbut all her living. She had nothing left when she gave her farthing-she loved so much that she consecrated all her living.
We sometimes sing-
"Yet if I might make some reserve,
And duty did not call,
I love my God with zeal so great
That I would give Him all."
But do we mean it? If not, why do we sing falsehoods? There was a man who, in the Providence of God, had been enabled to layby many thousands. He was a very rich and respected man. I have heard it said that he owned at least half-a-million. And atone collection, when he felt especially grateful and generous, he found a well-worn sixpence for the plate, for that was David'sspoil! That was David's spoil! Out of all that he possessed, that sixpence was David's spoil! This was the measure of hisgratitude!
Judge by this how much he owed, or at least how much he desired to pay. Are there not many persons who, on that despicablescale, reward the Savior for the travail of His soul? I shall not upbraid them. I shall not urge them to do more, lest I spoilthe generosity of the large gifts they mean to bring. Let a hint suffice. For us, who are deep in the Redeemer's debt, whohave had much forgiven, who every day are bankrupt debtors to the measureless mercy of infinite love-for us no paltrinesswill suffice. We must give something which, if it is not worthy of Him, shall, at least, express the truth and warmth of thegratitude we feel.
God help us to be often setting aside this and that and the other choice thing and saying, "This is David's spoil and it shallbe a joy to my heart to give it!" We shall find much sweetness in buying our sweet-cane with money and filling our Lord withthe fat of our sacrifices. It is Heaven for a true heart to give largely to Jesus. God bless you, dear Friends. May we cometo the table of communion and meet with our glorious David there and feel His praises making music in our hearts! Amen.