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Give Credit Where Credit is Due...

“Joram brought articles of gold, silver, and bronze with him. King David dedicated these articles to the Lord, along with the silver and gold he had dedicated from all the nations he conquered—“ 2 Samuel 8:10b-11

I’ve been very slow in finishing the books of Samuel. I love the heart of King David. It is his heart for God that kept him going from victory to victory. As I say, “It’s all about the condition of the heart.”

God showed me several important things in this chapter, but I will use this particular Bible verse above. God had defeated King David’s enemies, and then there was this particular enemy. I find this particular enemy interesting.

Let me explain. David was at war with Joram’s father, King Toi, an ongoing war. But, at this time David wasn’t at war with him. However, when King Toi saw that King David was victorious over all the nations, he sent his son to congratulate him. How can I better explain this in today’s terms? It would be like the Iranian leader sending his son to America with gifts for the president. Fat chance, right?

However, this is exactly what took place here. Joram came with lots of expensive gifts for King David. Watch what King David does. He dedicates ALL of it to the Lord. People, this was thousands and thousands of dollars' worth of gifts. THOUSANDS! Yet, King David went and gave it all to God. He brought all of it to the temple. He didn't just bring it, but he also dedicated them. He gave it all away.

So why would he do that? He recognized what God just did, that’s why. When God does something so great in our lives, we must understand that it came from His mighty hand. It’s humbling to give back what we received. The nations around him knew that only God could have given the victory. King David was a worshipper from the start. No wonder he would worship God even with the gifts that he had received by dedicating them back to God. In doing so, he was showing Israel, the surrounding nations, friends, and enemies that he honored God and would not take the glory and praises for himself. Rather, he would point by action and deeds that the glory and honor belonged to God. It was God who gave him the victories in all of the battles to begin with. What a heart!

Friends, we all have had our own battles. Please don’t say that you haven’t because that would be untrue. Therefore, what have we done with the battles that the Lord has won on our behalf? Have we taken the credit? Do we praise ourselves? Do we take what has been given and turn it into self-praise, self-honor, self-serving?

Please look at the last part of this verse, “Along with the silver and gold he had dedicated from all the nations he conquered.” King David had a habit, a great habit that brought him victory after victory. He gave every single thing back to God. Because this was his practice, God honored him with victories after victories and God blessed the work of his hands. King David was a very rich king, but his riches didn’t come from taking anyone else’s possessions. Please hear me clearly. God blesses the hands of the people who honor Him and who give Him everything. By all rights, King David could have kept the spoils of war and the gifts given to him. He didn’t do that. He gave every single thing back to God. God took good notice and gave it back to him in success after success.

Listen, how do we apply this to our lives? First, let’s look at ourselves. The talents, gifts, abilities, and creativity that we have belongs to God. We give Him the honor and the praise in all we accomplish for Him.

How we do it says a lot about us. God isn’t interested in making you poor. He wants us to have the best. Sometimes, I laugh to myself when I hear the “poor mentality” nonsense conversations.

Secondly, there are things that totally belong to God. The biggest thing is our very lives. He gives us breath moment by moment. What are you doing for the Kingdom of God with your life? Our possessions can’t come with us when we die. Naked we came, naked we leave.

Finally, not every person is our enemy. Even the enemies themselves serve a purpose in our lives. Please catch this, King David was feared by King Toi. Yet, King David wasn’t rude, disrespectful, or mean. He accepted the gifts and then showed the great respect that he had for God and the giver. “Here we go, King Toi. I accept your gifts for God and only God. I thank Him for His victorious battles that He gave me in my hands. I thank God that you recognize that there’s a God in Israel. And I thank you for your trust in my leadership to protect Israel and our surrounding nations, including your nation; that is if you don’t fight me.”

Listen, be grateful for everyone around you. Friend or foe. God has you, and He causes your enemies to shower you with blessings of peace or whatever. The question is, what will you do with it? Be a King David and let us learn from a man whose heart was after God and His ways. You can’t out-give a God that owns the entire world anyway. Live with an attitude to be a giver, not a taker. Watch where and how God meets all your needs and blesses the work of your hands.

Rev. Dr. Teresa Allissa Citro

Founder and President Thread of Hope

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