1 Samuel 30:1-31 (Part 3) – Thanking Those Who Work Behind the Front Lines

Posted: April 22, 2018 in 09-1 Samuel

1 Samuel 30:1-31 (Part 3 of 3)
David Destroys the Amalekites

There are faces of our church that the public sees. First and foremost, there is our founding and senior pastor, Tim Bowman. He is the preaching pastor. He is the first person people think of when it comes to Calvary Church of The Quad Cities. He is an amazing preacher and public speaker. He’s been preaching now for 23 years and before that he was a member of a traveling Christian musical group for many years so he has been “on stage” for a long time. Although he says he still gets nervous (and if you don’t something’s wrong with you), he handles the public stage with an outward grace and ease that I admire. Another face of our church is Jeff Duncan, our worship pastor. He is a great musician and band leader and seems to handle the complex task of leading a band, playing an instrument, singing, all at the same time with great ease. Mariah Logan, our worship coordinator, and lead female singer is young but oh so talented as if she grew up on stage (and probably did considering her Bowman family heritage). Our youth pastor, Jordan Johnson, is effortless on stage and uses impromptu, spur of the moment humor on stage with ease to engage our audiences. Milton Mazariegos, the family pastor, the most senior and experienced of those of us who are staff pastor, is so warm and engaging on stage and can get the crowd stirred up with his passion. He makes it look effortless. Occasionally, in my position as a staff pastor (and director of business), I get the opportunity to be on stage. With me though since I don’t do it much, I am in awe of these guys and gals on staff who do it regularly. All of us though as stage personas and/or as pastors are the face of the church. That’s what people see and remember.

However, without the behind the scenes staff at Calvary, none of it would happen. And each of these people are essential to the functioning of the church. Sunday mornings or any event held at our church would fall flat on its face. Just this weekend (Friday and Saturday), we hosted an apologetics conference at the church. Though the touring conference provided much of its own support, there were just services that we, as the host church HAD to provide. There were two guys that knocked it out of the park in their leadership roles for this conference where we had about 1,100 people on our campus each day and with multiple breakout sessions on Saturday. Our whole building was in use for this conference. Logistical and operational support was led by Chad Vallejo. Common area set up and support, Room set up and support, and the breakdown of the same. He and Nate Hughes had a plan and executed it flawlessly. Without them, man what a mess that conference would have been. They made sure that the temperature in the building was properly regulated too. Made sure the trash was cleaned up and removed (and man how much trash 1,200 people can generate). Our entire staff chipped in last night to help Chad and his team to get the church whipped back into shape this morning. As well, for the conference, Ben Engle our media & communications manager, handled the unique video and audio needs for this conference with ease as if the one-time need of this conference were what we does daily, and working with people from the conference that he may never work with again. Making sure the audio visual needs in every room were set up was a big undertaking and it went off effortlessly.

That got me to thinking too about the daily operations of our church including our Sunday services. There are many people you do not see that work tirelessly each week to keep our church working so that it fulfills its purpose – reaching the world around us with the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is Kit Vargas, who has a job title but she really just does whatever is needed. She has worked tirelessly for the church for years. There is Nehemiah Mazariegos, the children’s church coordinator. He is a fun young guy who makes the children’s worship experience amazing. There is Sheila Zehr who is our church bookkeeper who makes sure the bills get paid on time and the contributions get posted to donor accounts. There is Jordan Bos who is our senior pastor’s administrative assistant and the church office receptionist. She is such a sweet young girl who just like Kit does whatever is necessary to make our church work. Ben and Chad I have already mentioned. They work tirelessly week in and week out not just for the conference I mentioned. Bev Hart makes our outreach ministries work. Our Spanish speaking members pastor, Manuel Morales – man what a heart he has for making our Spanish speaking members feel a part of the church and not isolated and provides them with discipleship tailored to their Hispanic background. Reece Bowman, the senior pastor’s son, works weekly to keep the church cleaned and sparkly. And then there are several volunteers who work at the church weekly to ensure the church operates well. And then…and then…there are our hundreds of Sunday morning volunteers who work from the parking team to greeters team to guest services to ushers to the security team and teams I cannot even think of right now. All of these people are unseen and work tirelessly to make our church able to shout the name of Jesus in the world around us. Without these people who do not care about being in the spotlight, these people who just love serving Jesus Christ, our church would not be who it is – a light in our community.

In my personal life, I think of my wife, Elena. Without her being the stay at home wife who handles almost every detail of our lives with ease and grace and humility, I would not be able to do what I do. She does not get thanked by me enough for all the little things that she does for me that make my life so much easier. I could not function without her. She takes care of the details of my life with grace and ease.

That’s what I thought of this morning – how we must celebrate those who act in support roles for those in the front lines. Let’s read 1 Samuel 30 together now with a specific eye toward vv. 24-25:

30 Three days later, when David and his men arrived home at their town of Ziklag, they found that the Amalekites had made a raid into the Negev and Ziklag; they had crushed Ziklag and burned it to the ground. 2 They had carried off the women and children and everyone else but without killing anyone.

3 When David and his men saw the ruins and realized what had happened to their families, 4 they wept until they could weep no more. 5 David’s two wives, Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel, were among those captured. 6 David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God.

7 Then he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring me the ephod!” So Abiathar brought it. 8 Then David asked the Lord, “Should I chase after this band of raiders? Will I catch them?”

And the Lord told him, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!”

9 So David and his 600 men set out, and they came to the brook Besor. 10 But 200 of the men were too exhausted to cross the brook, so David continued the pursuit with 400 men.

11 Along the way they found an Egyptian man in a field and brought him to David. They gave him some bread to eat and water to drink. 12 They also gave him part of a fig cake and two clusters of raisins, for he hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for three days and nights. Before long his strength returned.

13 “To whom do you belong, and where do you come from?” David asked him.

“I am an Egyptian—the slave of an Amalekite,” he replied. “My master abandoned me three days ago because I was sick. 14 We were on our way back from raiding the Kerethites in the Negev, the territory of Judah, and the land of Caleb, and we had just burned Ziklag.”

15 “Will you lead me to this band of raiders?” David asked.

The young man replied, “If you take an oath in God’s name that you will not kill me or give me back to my master, then I will guide you to them.”

16 So he led David to them, and they found the Amalekites spread out across the fields, eating and drinking and dancing with joy because of the vast amount of plunder they had taken from the Philistines and the land of Judah. 17 David and his men rushed in among them and slaughtered them throughout that night and the entire next day until evening. None of the Amalekites escaped except 400 young men who fled on camels. 18 David got back everything the Amalekites had taken, and he rescued his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing: small or great, son or daughter, nor anything else that had been taken. David brought everything back. 20 He also recovered all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock. “This plunder belongs to David!” they said.

21 Then David returned to the brook Besor and met up with the 200 men who had been left behind because they were too exhausted to go with him. They went out to meet David and his men, and David greeted them joyfully. 22 But some evil troublemakers among David’s men said, “They didn’t go with us, so they can’t have any of the plunder we recovered. Give them their wives and children, and tell them to be gone.”

23 But David said, “No, my brothers! Don’t be selfish with what the Lord has given us. He has kept us safe and helped us defeat the band of raiders that attacked us. 24 Who will listen when you talk like this? We share and share alike—those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment.” 25 From then on David made this a decree and regulation for Israel, and it is still followed today.

26 When he arrived at Ziklag, David sent part of the plunder to the elders of Judah, who were his friends. “Here is a present for you, taken from the Lord’s enemies,” he said.

27 The gifts were sent to the people of the following towns David had visited: Bethel, Ramoth-negev, Jattir, 28 Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, 29 Racal,[a] the towns of the Jerahmeelites, the towns of the Kenites, 30 Hormah, Bor-ashan, Athach, 31 Hebron, and all the other places David and his men had visited.

In this passage today, we see an example of what became a law in the Israelite nation under David later when he become king. David made it a law that those who guarded the army’s camp and all its equipment were to be treated equally with those who fought in battle. Today, it in modern warfare, it takes several people to provide the support services needed for every soldier on the front lines of battle. In the church, we need to treat those who provide support services equally with those who are seen on stage at church events. Without those who provide logistical support, mechanical support, audio visual support, people management support, and other services, our Sunday services will not happen.

So, let’s take a hint from David and appreciate those who support us. Thank those who make your life easier and simpler. Value them. Appreciate them. Celebrate them. Jesus was the star of his earthly ministry and rightfully so. But while He was on earth, He was not above thanking those who supported Him. He knelt down and washed the feet of His disciples as much as a thank you as it was to teach them a visible lesson about being a servant. So, if you are not on the front lines of your church, my church, any church, I thank you for what you do. If you are a wife who supports her husband I thank you. If you are a mother who supports her children, I thank you. Let us remember to thank those who support us.

Amen and Amen.

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