David replied, “…The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.” 1 Samuel 30:23-24
The Amalekites had attacked David’s camp while he and his men were absent. On their return, they pursued the Amalekites and restored all they lost. “David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back” (verses 18-19).
However, it seems they also gained additional plunder which David shared not only with his men but with the elders in Judah, saying, “Here is a gift for you from the plunder of the Lord’s enemies” (verse 26).
David sent it to Bethel, Ramoth Negev, Jattir, Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, Rakal, Hormah, Bor Ashan, Athak and Hebron, also to the Jerahmeelites and Kenites—to all the places where he and his men had roamed (verses 27-31). This is quite a list which suggests a lot of plunder.
David realised that his success wasn’t something he achieved by his own strength or military expertise (verse 6). Therefore the fruit of the victory was to be shared with all. The men who fought, the men who stayed behind with the supplies (verses 9-10) as well as the elders. David was generous because he viewed everything as coming from the Lord’s hand.
The other interesting thing in this story is David and his men gained more than they lost if they hadn’t been attacked. God’s plan of redemption is about restoring more than we lost. We lost the Garden through Adam but we are gaining a celestial city where God will dwell with his people always, without the threat of separation.1 Samuel