Spotlights and Supply Watchers
The other day I read 1 Samuel 30 and God rocked my world with it. If you get a chance, check it out, but here’s some quick background so you know where I’m coming from.
The Amalekites invade Ziklag, the city where David’s family lived along with the families of David’s 600 mighty men, while David and his men are away from home. When David gets back to Ziklag, he discovers that his city has been sacked and every woman and child has been taken, including his own wives. Overtaken with vengeance, David and his men quickly begin tracking the assailants through the desert. Through a series of providential events, David’s men locate their enemy, make a thorough annihilation of them, and safely recover every woman and child.
Early on though, 200 of David’s men decide that they need to stay back and guard the supplies while the other 400 take on the Amalekites. As you can imagine, the 400 who defeated the enemy begin feeling like the other 200 don’t deserve to partake in the spoils of their victory, because they weren’t on the front lines. “To the victor go the spoils” becomes the mentality of David’s men, and the 200 were undeserving—so they presumed. But I love David’s response in verses 23-24:
“My brothers, you must not do this with what the LORD has given us. He protected us and handed over to us the raiders who came against us. Who can agree to your proposal? The share of the one who goes into battle is to be the same as the share of the one who remains with the supplies. They will share equally.”
The point is not who was on the front lines, the point is what team they were on. The job of the 200 men to guard the supplies was just as important as the 400 who advanced against their enemy. The mentality of much of 21st century Christianity is exactly this—the front line mentality. The problem is, God hasn’t gifted all of us to be in the spotlight. God didn’t design his body to all perform the same function. The job of the powerpoint clicker in the back of a dark sanctuary is just as important as the job of the worship leader who gets the colored lights and the glaring eyes. The job of the parking lot attendant is just as important as the one who stands to deliver the Word of God. The job of the poop-wiper in the nursery is just as important as those who lead the people of God from a stage or spotlight. I love how Paul put it in Romans 10:4-6.
“Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts.”
It’s all about the grace of God given to us—undeserving sinners who have been redeemed by a God who loves to give gifts to His children. And He gives them liberally, but not identically. So, let us not presume that any of us have any greater gifts or more important gifts than anyone else in the body of Christ. It’s true, some of us are called to the front lines, but others of us are called to guard the supplies.