“Then all the corrupt and worthless fellows among the men who had gone with David said, ‘Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we recovered, except that each man may take his wife and children, and leave.’ But David said, ‘You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the LORD has given us; he has preserved us and handed over to us the raiding party that attacked us. Who would listen to you in this matter? For the share of the one who goes down into battle shall be the same as the share of the one who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike.’” 1 Samuel 30:22-24)
Grace is available to all. The rear guard receives the same portion of the spoils of war as those who attacked to gain the spoils. David learned a lesson from his mistake of not leaving a rear guard in Ziklag, which was attacked, and burned after all and everyone was carried off. He remembers the pain of coming home to find his family gone, and his home destroyed so he generously provides for those who remained behind protecting the baggage. Commanders have a responsibility to provide security and protection for the entirety of the battlefield. This is a lesson for us, the church. Are we leaving some behind without a rear guard? Do we lead some to Christ then leave them without a teacher, effectively stopping the disciple making progress? As some grow old and fall away do we all them to give up by not caring for them, by not reaching out to keep them involved, to protect them from attackers – spiritual as well as mortal? As the church we have responsibility to protect all from the Attacker, to help keep all connected and in relationship with God. O Lord that I do my part each and every day, forgive me when I haven’t.