Now his men found an Egyptian in the field and brought him to David. They gave the man water to drink and food to eat--
1 Samuel 30:11-20. (SOUTH OF THE BROOK BESOR.)
I. ABANDONED BY HIS MASTER with -
1. Indifference and contempt. His worth as a man created in the image of God was disregarded (as is generally the case in the odious institution of slavery). He was treated as the absolute property of his master, "an animated tool" (Aristotle), and when deemed no longer useful, thrown away.
2. Injustice. Every claim in return for his services was ignored. He was entirely at the mercy of his master, and unprotected by any law (such as existed among the Hebrews).
3. Inhumanity. "My master left me three days agone because I fell sick" (ver. 13). He might have been easily carried forward on one of the camels (ver. 17), but the Amalekites were hard and cruel, and he was left to perish with hunger or to be devoured by wild beasts. "He that is higher than the highest regardeth" (Ecclesiastes 5:8), and the meanest slave cannot be despised and neglected with impunity.
II. BEFRIENDED BY STRANGERS (vers. 11, 12).
1. Out of compassion and desire to save his life by every means in their power.
2. In fulfilment of the law of God, which required that kindness should be shown to the poor, the stranger, and the slave. "Love ye therefore the stranger, for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt" (Deuteronomy 10:19; Deuteronomy 23:7, 15, 16).
3. With appreciation of the service he might render (ver. 15). The more helpless any one is, the more urgent his claim to assistance; yet no one is so helpless but that he may be capable of requiting the kindness shown to him. Slavery among the Hebrews differed widely from slavery among other ancient and modern peoples (1 Samuel 25:10; Ewald, Ginsburg, 'Ecclesiastes,' p. 283; 'Ecce Homo'). "By Christianising the master the gospel enfranchised the slave. It did not legislate about mere names and forms, but it went to the root of the evil, it spoke to the heart of man. When the heart of the master was filled with Divine grace and was warmed with the love of Christ the rest would soon follow. The lips would speak kind words, the hands would do liberal things" (Wordsworth, 'Com. on Philemon').
III. SERVICEABLE TO HIS BENEFACTORS.
1. From gratitude for the benefit received. No human heart is wholly insensible to the power of kindness.
2. Under a solemn assurance of protection. After his abandonment by his master he could have no scruple concerning his right to his continued service, if any such right ever existed; but experience had made him fearful and suspicious of men, and therefore he said, "Swear unto me by God," etc. (ver. 15). He had a sense of religion, and believed that Divine justice would avenge the violation of an oath, though it should be taken to a slave.
3. With efficient and faithful performance of his engagements. He not only gave David the information he sought, but guided him to the camp of the enemy, and contributed to a result which repaid him a hundredfold (ver. 18).
IV. PRESERVED AND EMPLOYED BY DIVINE PROVIDENCE, which -
2. Often makes use of the feeblest instrumentality for the chastisement of the "wicked in great power."
3. And for the promotion of the welfare of the people of God, and the establishment of his kingdom. What a rich harvest may spring from a single act of kindness toward even the most despised!
"He prayeth well who loveth well
1 Thessalonians 5:3), when they feel most secure, and in an hour when they think not. So was it with these miserable revellers. Oh! when David's Lord comes upon His enemies like a mighty man — when He comes to recover all the spoil, when He brings the solemn charge, "Ye have robbed God" — when all is restored to its rightful owner, then shall judgment return to righteousness, and all the upright in heart shall follow it (Psalm 94:15). Do you think David could forget his two hundred faint soldiers? Not if David had any of the mind which is in Christ. No, the first act is to return to them, and salute them, or ask them how they did. But all who follow David are not like David: they would "thrust the weak with side and shoulder," and fain have all themselves. Oh! when you feel this greedy, covetous spirit, this rising fear, and jealous eye, lest another, whom you do not think so deserving, should get as much as you, remember it is the mark of an unclean animal, it is the feature of the children of Belial. Very different is the language of David and his true followers. "Then said David, Ye shall not do so," etc. Lovely law! worthy of King David, and of David's Lord! Yea, blessed be the God of all grace, "it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day." She that tarrieth at home still divides the spoil — her God reckons it her act, if it is only in her heart; yea, he graciously says, "The desire of a man is his kindness" (Proverbs 19:22). They shall part alike! the same Christ, the same Comforter, the same free gift, the same heaven. Neither did David forget any of his former friends. All who had ministered be him in his straits and difficulties shall find that he is not forgetful, nor ungrateful. To all places whither he and his men ware wont to haunt, is a present sent. "For God is not unrighteous go forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister" (Hebrews 6:10).
And they found an Egyptian in the field.
1. The first and most obvious consideration that calls us to the exercise of humanity and mercy, is our own liability to those very ills which claim our sympathy and relief. Poverty and sickness are not exclusively incident to any particular individuals, among the children of men. They imply the absence of the frailest and most perishable blessings of our lot.
2. In the next place, you are aware that compassion to the afflicted poor is enjoined by the authority of the Gospel. The Divine author of Christianity was anointed to proclaim glad tidings to the poor, and the poor and the sorrowful were his constant care His whole life was one grand act of benevolence; and whether we think of the purity of His motives, or the extent of His designs of good, or His indefatigable labours or His painful sufferings in the cause of humanity, we have before us a pattern of charity and mercy, the most affecting and instructive. And with His conduct, His doctrine most beautifully coincides. It breathes peace and good. will to man; and it enforces on all His followers the same love which He Himself manifested to the sons of men.
3. I entreat you to remember, that our neglect of exercises of mercy to the afflicted will be the ground of that sentence which in the day of our last account will be pronounced upon us all. In terms which the simplest understanding may comprehend, but which no heart can hear without the deepest awe, the Judge of all has assured us that in that hour when we shall stand before Him, the most searching inquiries will be made concerning our conduct to the child of want.
Links1 Samuel 30:11 NIV
1 Samuel 30:11 NLT
1 Samuel 30:11 ESV
1 Samuel 30:11 NASB
1 Samuel 30:11 KJV
1 Samuel 30:11 Bible Apps
1 Samuel 30:11 Parallel
1 Samuel 30:11 Biblia Paralela
1 Samuel 30:11 Chinese Bible
1 Samuel 30:11 French Bible
1 Samuel 30:11 German Bible
1 Samuel 30:11 Commentaries