As his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike. And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day (I Samuel 30:2425).
During the years prior to Sauls death, David had become something of a renegade, exiled from Israel, facing certain death should he return. Other Jewish outcasts joined him in exile, and together they kept peace in the countryside. Once, upon returning from a foray, they found their homes had been ransacked and their wives and children captured. During the pursuit, one third of his men, already weary from prolonged travel and fighting, could go no farther. The rest continued and God gave a marvelous victory, complete with rescue of their families and the taking of great spoil.
This sudden wealth gave occasion for the wicked men who had participated in the fighting to greedily hoard their spoil and not share with their comrades who had stayed behind. But David ruled that the spoils were to be shared. Similar distributions had taken place under Moses (Numbers 31:1127) and Joshua (22:18), but here David established an ongoing principle.
This incident is not just of historical significance. In times of war, those who keep the home front strong are no less important than those who carry the battle to the front lines. A loss is a loss for both, and likewise a victory.
The same is true for missions work, or any work of the church. Those who go must be sent; without the senders, no one could go (Romans 10:14,15). As a result, we all share in the victories. And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor . . . but God hath tempered the body together that the members should have the same care one for another (I Corinthians 12:2325). JDM