From 1 Samuel 30 we learn that we should appeal to the wicked and worthless as brothers.
Background of 1 Samuel 30:22-25
David and his 600 men returned from the Philistines. Their city is burned. Their wives and children are captives. All their goods are spoil in the enemy’s hand. 200 of David’s men are tired and stay to protect the baggage. The 400 others go and bring everything back and more. Some of those 400 were wicked and worthless. They did not want to share the spoil with those who stayed to protect the baggage.
Application from 1 Samuel 30:22-25
When David appeals to these wicked and worthless he calls them “brothers”. And so should we.
The wicked and worthless
Appeal to as brothers
Think about it. Calling someone wicked, worthless, lazy, good for nothing, stupid, whacked, or some other negative thing is not good. It will not encourage them to improve. It may harden them. Speaking to them in a friendly way will encourage them to improve and do what is right.
These passages talk about dealing with an enemy. Are not the wicked and worthless in our groups really an enemy? If we are to treat outside enemies this way can we not call those in our own groups “brothers”?
- 2 Kings 6:20-23 Elisha on how to deal with an enemy
- Proverbs 25:21-22 Direct command to care for an enemy
- Matthew 5:43-48 Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount
- Luke 6:27-38 Sermon on the Mount in Luke
- Romans 12:17-21 Part of Paul’s application statement for the book of Romans
Years ago I assisted in a popular public speaking course. One of the textbooks had a helpful slogan. “Give a dog a bad name and you might as well hang him. But give him a good name and he will strive to live up to it.”
The NET Bible translation of 1 Samuel 30:21-25 is easy to read.
30:23 But David said, “No! You shouldn’t do this, my brothers. Look at what the LORD has given us! He has protected us and has delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us. 30:24 Who will listen to you in this matter? The portion of the one who went down into the battle will be the same as the portion of the one who remained with the equipment! Let their portions be the same!”
30:25 From that time onward it was a binding ordinance for Israel, right up to the present time.
Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2005), 1 Sa 30:23–25.