Sermon 2208. The Statute of David for the Sharing of the Spoil
A SERMON DELIVERED ON LORD'S-DAY MORNING, JUNE 7, 1891,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"And David came to the two hundred men, which were so faint that they could not follow David, whom they had made also to abideat the brook Besor: and they went forth to meet David, and to meet the people that were with him: and when David came nearto the people, he saluted them. Then answered all the wicked men and men of Belial, of those that went with David, and said,Because they went not with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife andhis children, that they may lead them away, and depart. Then said David, You shall not do so, my Brethren, with that whichthe Lord has given us, who has preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hands. For who will hearkenunto you in this matter? But as his part is that goes down to the battle so shall his part be that tarries by the stuff: theyshall part alike. And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day."1 Samuel 30:21-26.
THOSE who associate themselves with a leader must share his fortunes. Six hundred men had left their abodes in Judea. Unableto endure the tyranny of Saul, they had linked themselves with David and made him to be a captain over them. They were, someof them, the best of men, and some of them were the worst-in this, resembling our congregations. Some of them were choicespirits whom David would have sought, but others were undesirable persons from whom he might gladly have been free. However,be they who they may, they must rise or fall with their leader and commander. If he had the city Ziklag given to him, theyhad a house and a home in it. And if Ziklag was burned with fire, their houses did not escape. When David stood amid the smokingruins, a penniless and a wifeless man, they stood in the same condition. This rule holds good with all of us who have joinedourselves to Christ and His cause-we must be partakers with Him. I hope we are prepared to stand to this rule today. If thereis ridicule and reproach for the Gospel of Christ, let us be willing to be ridiculed and reproached for His sake. Let us gladlyshare with Him in His humiliation and never dream of shrinking. This involves a great privilege, since they that are withHim in His humiliation shall be with Him in His Glory. If we share His rebuke in the midst of an evil generation, we shallalso sit upon His Throne and share His Glory in the day of His appearing. Brothers and Sisters, I hope the most of us cansay we are in for it-to sink or swim with Jesus. In life or death, where He is, there will we, His servants, be. We joyfullyaccept both the Cross and the Crown which go with our Lord Jesus Christ-we are eager to bear our full share of the blame,that we may partake in His joy.
It frequently happens that when a great disaster occurs to a band of men, a mutiny follows. However little it may be the leader'sfault, the defeated cast the blame of the defeat upon him. If the fight is won, "it was a soldiers' battle"- every man atarms claims his share of praise. But if the battle is lost, blame the commander! It was entirely his fault-if he had beena better general, he might have won the day. This is how people talk-fairness is out of the question. So in the great disasterat Ziklag, when the town was burned with fire, and wives and children were carried away captive- then we read that they spokeof stoning David. Why David? Why David more than anybody else, it is hard to see, for he was not there, nor any one of them.They felt so vexed, that it would be a relief to stone somebody-and why not David? Brethren, it sometimes happens, even tothe servants of Christ, that when they fall into persecution and loss for Christ's sake, the tempter whispers to them to throwup their profession. "Since you have been a Christian, you have had nothing but trouble. It seems as if the dogs of Hell weresnapping at your heels more than ever since you took upon you the name of Christ. Therefore, throw it up and leave the waysof godliness." Vile suggestion! Mutiny against the Lord Jesus? Dare you do so? Some of us cannot do so, for when He asks us,"Will you, also, go away?" we can only answer, "Lord, to whom should we go? You have the Words of eternal life." No otherleader is worth following! We must follow the Son of David. Mutiny against Him is out of the question-
"Through floods or flames, if Jesus leads, We'll follow where He goes."
When a dog follows a man, we may discover whether the man is his master by seeing what happens when they come to a turn inthe road. If the creature keeps close to its master at all turnings, it belongs to him. Every now and then you and I cometo turns in the road and many of us are ready, through Divine Grace, to prove our loyalty by following Jesus even when theway is hardest. Though the tears stand in His eyes and in ours. Though we weep together till we have no more power to weep,we will cling to Him, when the many turn aside, and witness that He has the Living Word and none upon earth beside. God grantus Grace to be faithful unto death!
If we thus follow our Leader and bear His reproach, the end and issue will be glorious victory. It was a piteous sight tosee David leaving 200 men behind him and marching with his much diminished forces after an enemy who had gone, he scarcelyknew where, who might be 10 times stronger than his little band, and might slay those who pursued them. It was a melancholyspectacle for those left behind to see their leader a broken man, worn and weary like themselves, hastening after the cruelAmalekite. How very different was the scene when he came back to the brook Besor more than a conqueror! Do you not hear thesong of them that make merry? A host of men in the front are driving vast herds of cattle and flocks of sheep-and singingas they march, "This is David's spoil!" Then you see armed men with David in the midst of them, all laden with spoil, andyou hear them singing yet another song! Those that bring up the rear are shouting exultingly, "David recovered all! Davidrecovered all!" They, the worn-out ones that stayed at the brook Besor, hear the mingled song and join first in the one shout,and then in the other, singing, "This is David's spoil! David recovered
Yes, we have no doubt about the result of our warfare. He that is faithful to Christ shall be glorified with Him. That Hewill divide the spoil with the strong is never a matter of question. "The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hands."The old Truth of God by which we stand shall never be blotted out-
"Engraved as in eternal brass
The mighty promise shines!
Nor shall the powers of darkness erase
Those everlasting lines."
We are certain as we live that the exiled Truth shall celebrate its joyful return. The faith once for all delivered to thesaints may be downtrodden for a season-but rejoice not over us, O our adversaries-though we fall, we shall rise again! Thereforewe patiently hope, quietly wait and calmly believe. We drink of the brook Besor by the way and lift up our heads.
This morning I want to utter God-given words of comfort to those who are faint and weary in the Lord's army. May the DivineComforter make them so!
I. I shall begin by saying, first, that FAINT ONES OCCUR EVEN IN THE ARMY OF OUR KING. Among the very elect of David's army-heroeswho were men of war from their youth up-there were hands that hung down and feeble knees that needed to be confirmed. Thereare such in Christ's army at most seasons. We have among us soldiers whose faith is real and whose love is burning and yet,for all that, just now their strength is weakened in the way and they are so depressed in spirit, that they are obliged tostay behind with the baggage.
Possibly some of these weary ones had grown faint because they had been a good deal perplexed. David had so wrongfully entangledhimself with the Philistine king, that he felt bound to go with Achish to fight against Israel. I dare say these men saidto themselves, "How will this end? Will David really lead us to battle against Saul? When he could have killed him in thecave, he would not, but declared that he would not lift up his hand against the Lord's anointed! Will he now take us to fightagainst the anointed of God? This David, who was so great an enemy of Philistia and slew their champion, will he war on theirbehalf?"
They were perplexed with their leader's movements. I do not know whether you agree with me, but I find that half-an-hour'sperplexity takes more out of a man than a month's labor. When you cannot see your bearings and know not what to do, it ismost trying. When, to be true to God, it seems that you must break faith with man-and when, to fulfill
your unhappy covenant with evil would make you false to your Christian profession, things are perplexing! If you do not walkcarefully, you can easily get into a snarl. If Christians walk in a straight line, it is comparatively easy going, for itis easy to find your way along a straight road. But when good men take to the new cut, that by-path across the meadow, thenthey often get into ditches that are not on the map and fall into thickets and sloughs that they never reckoned upon. Thenis the time for heart-sickness to come on. These warriors may very well have been perplexed and, perhaps, they feared thatGod was against them-and that now their cause would be put to shame. And when they came to Ziklag and found it burned withfire, the perplexity of their minds added intense bitterness to their sorrow and they felt bowed into the dust. They did notpretend to be faint, but they were really so, for the mind can soon act upon the body and the body fails sadly when the spiritsare worried with questions and fears. This is one reason why certain of our Lord's loyal-hearted ones are on the sick listand must stay in the barracks for a while.
Perhaps, also, the pace was killing to these men. They made forced marches for three days from the city of Achish to Ziklag.These men could do a good day's march with anybody, but they could not foot it at the double quick march all day long. Thereare a great many Christians of that sort-good, staying men who can keep on under ordinary pressure, doing daily duty welland resisting ordinary temptations bravely. But at a push they fare badly-who among us does not? To us there may come multipliedlabors and we faint because our strength is small.
Worst of all, their grief came in just then. Their wives were gone. Although, as it turned out, they were neither killed norotherwise harmed, yet they could not know this-and they feared the worse. For a man to know that his wife is in the handsof robbers and that he may never see her again is no small trouble. Their sons and daughters were also gone- no prattlersclimbed their father's knee, no gentle daughters came forth to bid them, "Welcome home." Their homes were still burning, theirgoods were consumed and they lifted up their voices and wept-is it at all amazing that some of them were faint after performingthat doleful miserere? Where would you be if you went home this morning and found your home burned and your family gone, youknew not where?
I know many Christians who get very faint under extraordinary troubles. They should not, but they do. We have reason to thankGod that no temptation has happened to us but such as is common to men and yet, it may not seem so. But we may feel as ifwe were especially tried, like Job. Messenger after messenger has brought us evil tidings and our hearts are not fixed onthe Lord as they ought to be. To those who are faint through grief I speak just now. You may be this and yet you may be atrue follower of the Lamb-and as God has promised to bring you out of your troubles, He will surely keep His word. Remember,He has never promised that you shall have no sorrows, but that He will deliver you out of them all. Ask yon saints in Heaven!Ask those to step out of the shining ranks who came there without trial. Will one of the leaders of the shining host givethe word of command that he shall step forward who has washed his robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, butwho never knew what affliction meant while here below? No one stirs in all that white-robed host! Not one comes forward? Mustwe wait here forever without response? Look! Instead of anyone stirring from their ranks, I hear a voice that says, "Theseare they which came out of great tribulation." All of them have known not only tribulation, but great tribulation! One promiseof the New Testament is surely fulfilled before our eyes- "In the world you shall have tribulation." When trouble came sopressingly on David's men, they felt their weakness and needed to stop at the bank of the brook.
Perhaps, also, the force of the torrent was too much for them. As I have told you, in all probability the brook Besor wasonly a hollow place which, in ordinary times, was almost dry. But in a season of great rain it filled suddenly with a rushingmuddy stream, against which only strong men could stand. These men might have kept on upon dry land, but the current was toofierce for them and they feared that it would carry them off their feet and drown them. Therefore, David gave them leave tostay there and guard the stuff. Many there are of our Lord's servants who stop short of certain onerous service-they are notcalled to do what their stronger comrades undertake with joy. They can do something, but they fail to do more-they can alsobear certain trials, but they are unable to bear more-they faint because they have not yet come to fullness of growth in DivineGrace. Their hearts are right in the sight of God, but they are not in condition to surmount some peculiar difficulty.
You must not overdrive them, for they are the feeble of the flock. Many are too faint for necessary controversy. I have founda great many of that sort about lately-the Truth of God is very important, but they love peace. It is quite necessary thatcertain of us should stand up for the faith once delivered to the saints, but they are not up to the mark for it.
They cannot bear to differ from their fellows and they hold their tongues rather than contend for the Truth of God. Thereare true hearts that, nevertheless, cannot defend the Gospel! They wish well to the champions, but they seek the rear rankfor themselves. And some cannot advance any further with regard to knowledge-they know the fundamentals and feel as if theycould master nothing more. It is a great blessing that they know the Gospel and feel that it will save them, but the gloriousmysteries of the Everlasting Covenant, of the Sovereignty of God, of His eternal love and distinguishing Grace, they cannotcompass-these are a brook Besor which, as yet, they cannot swim. It would do them a world of good if they could venture inbut, still, they are not to be tempted into these blessed deeps. To hear of these things rather wearies them than instructsthem. They have not strength enough of mind for the deep things of God. I would have every Christian wish to know all thathe can know of the revealed Truths of God. Somebody whispers that the secret things belong not to us. You may be sure youwill never know them if they are secret, but all that is revealed you ought to know, for these things belong to you and toyour children! Take care you know what the Holy Spirit teaches. Do not give way to a fainthearted ignorance, lest you be greatlosers thereby. That which is fit food for babes should not be enough for young men and fathers-we should eat strong meat-andleave milk to the little ones.
Yet these fainting ones were, after all, in David's army. Their names were in their Captain's Register as much as the namesof the strong. And they did not desert the colors. They had the same captain as the stoutest-hearted men in the whole regiment.They could call David, "Master," and, "Lord," as truly as the most lion-like man among them! They were in for the same dangers,for if the men in front had been beaten and had retreated, the enemy would have fallen on those who guarded the stuff. Ifthe Amalekites had slain the 400, they would have made short work of the two hundred. They had work to do as necessary asthat of the others. Though they had not to fight, they had to take care of the stuff- and this eased the minds of the fightingmen. I will be bound to say it was a great trial to them not to be allowed to march into the fight. For a brave man to seethe troops go past him and hear the last footfall of his comrades, must have been sickening. Who could pleasantly say, "Iam left out of it. There is a glorious day coming and I shall be away. I shall, until I die, think myself accursed I was notthere, and hold my manhood cheap that I fought not with them on that glorious day." It is hard for brave men to be confinedto a hospital and have no drive at the foe. The weary one wishes he could be in the front where his Captain's eyes would beupon him. He pants to smite down the enemies and win back the spoil for his comrades.
Enough of this. I will only repeat my first point-fainting ones do occur, even in the army of our King.
II. Secondly, THESE FAINTING ONES REJOICE TO SEE THEIR LEADER RETURN. Do you see, that when David came back, they went tomeet him and the people who were with him. I feel very much like this myself. That was one reason why I took this text. Ifelt, after my illness, most happy to come forth and meet my Lord in public. I hoped He would be here and so He is! I am alsoglad to meet with you, my Friends. We are still spared for the war. Though laid aside a while, we are again among our Brothersand Sisters. Thank God! It is a great joy to meet you. I am sorry to miss so many of our Church members who are laid asideby this sickness, [influenza-see postscript of Sermon #2207] but it is a choice blessing to meet so many of our kindred inChrist. We are never happier than when we are in fellowship with one another and with our Lord.
David saluted the stay-at-homes. Oh, that He might salute each one of us this morning, especially those who have been laidaside! Our King's salutations are wonderful for their heartiness. He uses no empty compliments nor vain words. Every syllablefrom His lips is a benediction. Every glance of His eyes is an inspiration. When the King, Himself, comes near, it is alwaysa feast day to us! It is a high day and a holiday, even with the faintest of us, when we hear His voice! So they went to meetDavid and he came to meet them and there was great joy. Yes, I venture to mend that, and say there is great joy among us now!Glory be to His holy name, the Lord is here! We see Him and rejoice with unspeakable joy!
David's courtesy was as free as it was true. Possibly those who remained behind were half afraid that their leader might say,"See here, you idle fellows, what we have been doing for you!" No. He saluted them, but did not scold them. Perhaps they thought,"He will upbraid us that we did not manage to creep into the fray." But no. "He gives liberally, and upbraids not." He speaksnot a word of upbraiding, for his heart pities them and, therefore, he salutes them-"My Brethren, God has been gracious tous. All hail!" David would have them rejoice together and give praise unto the Most High. He will not dash their cup witha drop of bitter.
Oh, for a salutation from our Lord at this good hour! When Christ comes into a company, His Presence makes a heavenly difference.Have you ever seen an assembly listening to an orator, all unmoved and stolid? Suddenly the Holy Spirit has fallen on thespeaker and the King, Himself, has been visibly set forth among them in the midst of the assembly! And all have felt as ifthey could leap to their feet and cry, "Hallelujah, hallelujah!" Then hearts beat fast and souls leap high, for where Jesusis found, His Presence fills the place with delight. Now, then, you weary ones, if you are here, any of you, may you rejoiceas you now meet your Leader and your Leader reveals Himself to you! If no one else has a sonnet, I have mine. He must, Heshall be praised! "You are the King of Glory, O Christ! All Heaven and earth adore You. You shall reign forever and ever."
III. Thirdly, FAINT ONES HAVE THEIR LEADER FOR THEIR ADVOCATE. Listen to those foul-mouthed men
of Belial, these wicked men, how they rail against those whom God has afflicted! They came up to David and began blus-tering-"Theseweaklings who were not in the fight, they shall not share the spoil. Let them take their wives and children and be gone."These fellows spoke with loud, harsh voices and greatly grieved the feebler ones. Who was to speak up for them? Their leaderbecame their advocate!
First, do you notice, He pleads their unity? The followers of the son of Jesse are one and inseparable. David said, "You shallnot do so, my Brethren, with that which the Lord has given us, who has preserved us." "We are all one," says David. "God hasgiven the spoil, not to you, alone, but to us all. We are all one company of brothers." The unity of saints is the consolationof the feeble. Brothers and Sisters, our Lord Jesus Christ would refresh His wearied ones by the reflection that we are allone in Him. I may be the foot, all dusty and travel-stained, and you may be the hand, holding forth some precious gem, butwe are still one body. Yonder friend is the brow of holy thought and another is the lip of persuasion and a third is the eyeof watchfulness, but still, we are one body in Christ. We cannot do, any one of us, without his fellow-each one ministersto the benefit of all. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you." We are all one in Christ Jesus. Surely thisought to comfort those of you who, by reason of feebleness, are made to feel as if you were very inferior members of the body-youare still living members of the mystical body of Jesus Christ your Lord- and let this suffice you. One life is ours, one loveis ours, one Heaven shall be ours in our one Savior!
David further pleaded Free Grace, for he said to them, "You shall not do so, my Brethren, with that which the Lord has givenus." He did not say, "With that which you have conquered and fairly earned in battle," but, "that which the Lord has givenus." Look upon every blessing as a gift and you will not think any shut out from it, not even yourself! The gift of God iseternal life-why should you not have it? Deny not to anyone of your Brothers and Sisters any comfort of the Covenant of Grace.Think not of any man, "He ought not to have so much joy." It is all of Free Grace and if Free Grace rules the hour, the leastmay have it as well as the greatest! If it is all of Free Grace, then, my poor struggling Brother, who can hardly feel assuredthat you are saved, yet if you are a Believer, you may claim every blessing of the Lord's gracious Covenant! God freely givesto you as well as to me the provisions of His love-therefore let us be glad and not judge ourselves after the manner of thelaw of condemnation!
Then he pleaded their needfulness. He said, "These men abided by the stuff." No army fights well when its camp is unguarded.It is a great thing for a Church to know that its stores are well guarded by a praying band. While some of us are teachingin the school or preaching in the street, we have great comfort in knowing that a certain number of our friends are prayingfor us. To me it is a boundless solace that I live in the prayers of thousands! I will not say which does the better service-theman that preaches, or the man that prays-but I know this, that we can do better without the voice that preaches than withoutthe heart that prays. The petitions of our bed-ridden Sisters are the wealth of the Church! The kind of service which seemsmost commonplace among men is often the most precious unto God. Therefore, as for those who cannot come into the front placesof warfare, deny them not seats of honor, since, after all, they may be doing the greater good. Remember the statute, "Theyshall part alike."
Notice that David adds to his pleading a statute. I like to think of our great Commander, the Lord Jesus, making statutes.For whom does He legislate? For the first three? For the captains of thousands? No. He makes a statute for those who are forcedto stay at home because they are faint. Blessed be the name of our Lord Jesus! He is always looking to the interests of thosewho have nobody else to care for them! If you can look after your own cause, you may do so, but if you are so happy as tobe weak in yourself, you shall be strong in Christ. Those who have Christ to care for them are
better off than if they took care of themselves. He that can leave his concerns with Christ has left them in good hands. Vainis the help of self, but all-sufficient is the aid of Jesus!
To sum up what I mean-I believe the Lord will give to the sick and the suffering an equal reward with the active and energeticif they are equally concerned for His Glory. The Lord will also make a fair division to the obscure and unknown as well asto the renowned and honored if they are equally earnest. Oh, tell me not that she who rears her boy for Christ shall missher reward from Him by whom an Apostle is recompensed! Tell me not that the woman who so conducts her household that her servantscome to fear God, shall be forgotten in the day when the "Well dones" are distributed to the faithful! Homely and unnoticedservice shall have honor as surely as that with which the world is ringing!
Some of God's people are illiterate and they have but little native talent. But if they serve the Lord as best they can, withall their heart, they shall take their part with those that are the most learned and accomplished! He that is faithful overa little shall have his full reward of Divine Grace. It is accepted according to what a man has. We may possess no more thantwo mites, but if we cast them into the treasury, our Lord will think much of them.
Some dear servants of God seem always to be defeated. They seem sent to a people whose hearts are made gross and their earsdull of hearing. Still, if they have truthfully proclaimed the Word of the Lord, their reward will not be according to theirapparent success, but according to their fidelity.
Some saints are constitutionally depressed and sad. They are like certain lovely ferns which grow best under a constant drip.Well, well, the Lord will gather these beautiful ferns of the shade as well as the roses of the sun! They shall share Hisnotice as much as the blazing sunflowers and the saddest shall rejoice with the gladdest. You Little-Faiths, you Despondencies,you Much-Afraids, you Feeble-Minds, you that sigh more than you sing, you that would but cannot, you that have a great heartfor holiness but feel beaten back in your struggles, the Lord shall give you His love, His Grace, His favor, as surely asHe gives it to those who can do great things in His name! Certain of you have but a scant experience of the higher joys anddeeper insights of the Kingdom, and it may be that you are, in part, at fault because you are so backward. And yet, if trueto your Lord, your infirmities shall not be reckoned as iniquities! If lawfully detained from the field of active labor, thisstatute stands fast forever, for you as well as for others-"As his part is that goes down to the battle, so shall his partbe that tarries by the stuff: they shall part alike."
IV. Now, fourthly, FAINT ONES FIND JESUS TO BE THEIR GOOD LORD IN EVERY WAY. Was He not a
good Lord when He first took us into His army of salvation? What a curious crew they were that enlisted under David! "Everyonethat was in debt, and everyone that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him, and he became a captain over them." Hewas a captain of ragamuffins! But our Lord had not a better following. I was a poor wretch when I came to Christ. And I shouldnot wonder if that word is near enough to the truth to describe you. I was a good-for-nothing, over head and ears in debtand without a penny to pay. I came to Jesus so utterly down at the heel, that no one else would have acknowledged me.
He might well have said-"No, I have not come to this-to march at the head of such vagrant beggars as these!" Yet He receivedus graciously, according to His promise, "Him that comes to Me, I will in no wise cast out." Since then, how graciously hasHe borne with us! We are not among those self-praising ones who have worked such wonders of holiness. We mourn our shortcomingsand transgressions and yet He has not cast away the people whom He did foreknow. When we look back upon our character as soldiersof Christ, we feel ashamed of ourselves and amazed at His Grace. If anybody had told us that we would have been such poorsoldiers as we have been, we would not have believed them. We do not excuse ourselves-we are greatly grieved to have beensuch failures. Yet our gracious Lord has never turned us out of the ranks. He might have drummed us out of the regiment longago, but here we are, still enrolled, upheld and smiled upon. What a captain we have! None can compare with Him for gentleness.He still acknowledges us and He declares, "They shall be Mine in that day when I make up My jewels."
Brothers and Sisters, let us exalt the name of our Captain! There is none like He. We have been in distress-and He has beenin distress with us. Ziklag smoked for Him as well as for us. In all their affliction, He was afflicted. Have you not foundit so? When we have come to a great difficulty like the brook Besor, He has gently eased His commands and has not requiredof us what we were unable to yield. He has not made some of you pastors and teachers, for you could not have borne the burden.He has abounded towards us in all wisdom and prudence. He has suited the march to the foot, or the
foot to the march. How sweetly He has smiled on what we have done! Have you not wondered to see how He has accepted your worksand your prayers? You have been startled to find that He answered your feeble petitions.
When you have spoken a word for Jesus and God has blessed it, why, you have thought, "Surely there is a mistake about this!How could my feeble words have a blessing on them?" Beloved, we follow a noble Prince. Jesus is the chief among 10,000 fortenderness as well as for everything else. How tenderly considerate He is! How gentle and generous! He has never said a stingingword to us ever since we knew Him. He is that riches which has no sorrow added to it. He has rebuked us, but His rebukes havebeen like an excellent oil which has never broken our heads. When we have left Him, He has turned and looked upon us, andso He has cut us to the quick, but He has never wounded us with any sword except that which comes out of His mouth, whoseedge is love. When He goes away from us, as David did from those 200 who could not keep up with him, yet He always comes backin mercy and salutes us with favor. We wonder to ourselves that we did not hold Him-and vow that we will never let Him go-butwe wonder still more that He should come back so speedily, so heartily, leaping over the mountains, hastening like a roe ora young hart over the hills of division! Lo, He has come to us! He has come to us and He makes our hearts glad at His coming.Let us indulge our hearts, this morning, as we take our share in the precious spoil of His immeasurable love! He loves thegreat and the small with the same love- let us be joyful all round!
There is one choice thing which He will do, that should make us love Him beyond measure. David, after a while, went up toHebron to be made king over Judah. Shall I read to you in the Second Book of Samuel, the second chapter and the 3rd verse?"And his men that were with him" (and among the rest, these weak ones who could not pass over the brook Besor), "and his menthat were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron." Yes, He willbring me up, even me! He will bring you up, you faintest and weakest of the band! There is a Hebron wherein Jesus reigns asanointed King and He will not be there and leave one of us behind! There is no Kingdom for Jesus without His brethren, noHeaven for Jesus without His disciples! His poor people who have been with Him in faintness and weariness shall be with Himin Glory, and their households. Hold on to that additional blessing! I pray you, hold on to it! Do not let slip those words-"andtheir households." I fear we often lose a blessing on our households through clipping the promise. When the jailer asked whathe must do to be saved, what was the answer? "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved." You have heard thatanswer hundreds of times, have you not? Did you ever hear the rest of it? Why do preachers and quoters snip off corners fromGospel promises? It runs thus-"You shall be saved, and your house."
Lay hold of that blessed enlargement of Grace, "and your house." Why leave out the wives and the children? Will you let theAmalekites have them? Do not be satisfied without household salvation. Let us plead this Word of the Lord this morning-O Youblessed David, whom we have desired to follow, who has helped us so graciously even unto this day, when You are in Your Kingdom,graciously remember us, and let it be said of us, "and David went up there, and his men that were with him David brought up(they did not go up of themselves) every man with his household; and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron;" "Every man withhis household." I commend those words to your careful notice. Fathers, have you yet seen your children saved? Mothers, areall those daughters brought in yet? Never cease to pray until it is so, for this is the crown of it all, "Every man with hishousehold."
What I have to say lastly is this-how greatly I desire that you who are not yet enlisted in my Lord's band would come to Himbecause you see what a kind and gracious Lord He is! Young men, if you could see our Captain, you would get down on your kneesand beg Him to let you enter the ranks of those who follow Him! It is Heaven to serve Jesus. I am a recruiting sergeant andI would gladly find a few recruits at this moment. Every man must serve somebody-we have no choice as to that fact. Thosewho have no master are slaves to themselves. Depend upon it, you will either serve Satan or Christ, either self or the Savior!You will find sin, self, Satan and the world to be hard masters-but if you wear the livery of Christ, you will find Him someek and lowly of heart that you will find rest unto your souls! He is the most magnanimous of captains! There never was Hislike among the choicest of princes!
He is always to be found in the thickest part of the battle. When the wind blows cold, He always takes the bleak side of thehill. The heaviest end of the Cross always lies on His shoulders. If He bids us carry a burden, He also carries it. If thereis anything that is gracious, generous, kind and tender-yes lavish and super abundant in love-you always find it in Him! These40 years and more have I served Him, blessed be His name! And I have had nothing but love from Him. I
8 The Statute of David for the Sharing of the Spoil would be glad to continue yet another 40 years in the same dear servicehere below if it so pleased Him. His service is life, peace, joy! Oh, that you would enter in it at once! God help you toenlist under the banner of Jesus even this day! Amen.
PORTION OFSCRIPTURE READ BEFORE SERMON-1 Samuel 30.