YOU ARE VERY VALUABLE
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 shall share alike. (1 SAMUEL 30: 24)
One of the “d’s” of the devil is his seeking to “devalue” you – to make you believe that you are “not good enough”. The devil knows that if he can get you to believe this lie then you will become less effective in your life.
Well…I don’t want to focus on the negatives of what the devil wants! No! I want to focus on the positives of God!
This talk is to reassure you that you are very precious to God. He values you highly and that therefore you are able to take risks with confidence – knowing that He will be very pleased with you as you step-out in faith to live for Him and to serve Him with all of your heart.
You see, the problem is that I sometimes don’t feel that I have much value – especially when I look at others…they seem to be such mighty “warriors” for Christ…I feel a kinda nothing! Maybe a look at what the Bible says about this might help…
GOD SPEAKS ABOUT VALUE THROUGH DAVID
Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, 2 and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way.
3 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 5 David’s two wives had been captured – Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.
7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, ‘Bring me the ephod.’ Abiathar brought it to him, 8 and David enquired of the Lord, ‘Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?’
‘Pursue them,’ he answered. ‘You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.’
9 David and the six hundred men with him came to the Besor Valley, where some stayed behind. 10 Two hundred of them were too exhausted to cross the valley, but David and the other four hundred continued the pursuit.
11 They found an Egyptian in a field and brought him to David. They gave him water to drink and food to eat – 12 part of a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of raisins. He ate and was revived, for he had not eaten any food or drunk any water for three days and three nights.
13 David asked him, ‘Who do you belong to? Where do you come from?’
He said, ‘I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite. My master abandoned me when I became ill three days ago. 14 We raided the Negev of the Kerethites, some territory belonging to Judah and the Negev of Caleb. And we burned Ziklag.’
15 David asked him, ‘Can you lead me down to this raiding party?’
He answered, ‘Swear to me before God that you will not kill me or hand me over to my master, and I will take you down to them.’
16 He led David down, and there they were, scattered over the countryside, eating, drinking and revelling because of the great amount of plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah. 17 David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. 18 David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back. 20 He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, ‘This is David’s plunder.’
21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him and who were left behind at the Besor Valley. They came out to meet David and the men with him. As David and his men approached, he asked them how they were. 22 But all the evil men and troublemakers among David’s followers said, ‘Because they did not go out with us, we will not share with them the plunder we recovered. However, each man may take his wife and children and go.’
23 David replied, ‘No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the Lord has given us. He has protected us and delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us. 24 Who will listen to what you say? 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 shall share alike.’ 25 David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day to this.
David took 600 men to fight the battle but 200 were exhausted and so were left to wait for the return of the others. A great victory was won, and David insisted that the ones who waited with the baggage were given an equal share of the spoils.
All were of equal value – no matter their job or role.
Am I, the pastor, or more value than you? NO!
“Is a rich man worth more than a poor man?” asks Graham Kendrick. NO!
We all have equal value before God – whatever we do.
WHAT MAKES A DIAMOND VALUABLE?
the “evil men and troublemakers” (v. 22) declared that those who remained behind with the baggage should not receive the plunder because their value was less than those who fought in the battle. The world will tell you that you are of no value because you are old or young or tired or worn out or not clever or not brave or not this or that. It is a lie! David – who is a type of Christ here – said “all shall share alike” (v. 34) – all are of equal value and worth.
The Matabele, who mined diamonds at Kimberley for the white man, didn’t know what they saw in it – there were much prettier stones to be found. the value lies in how much some one thinks it is worth and how much they are willing to pay.
Look at a picture of modern art – worth millions! But I would not be willing to pay anything for it – to me it is worthless. Yet pictures that my daughters drew for me when they were toddlers are priceless for me. And you are priceless to god.
I wonder how those exhausted men felt? I wonder whether they felt failures when they were left behind with the baggage? I bet they did! I bet that they expected to be spurned when the warriors returned. I bet they felt useless and worthless! But David told them (and again we say it) “all shall share alike” (v. 34) – all are of equal value and worth.
God loves you – you are worth more than many sparrows (Matthew 10: 31)
But you say that you have no value -that you are no good and have no worth.
But god saw the potential in you – you are valuable in his sight – and he takes you like a rough diamond and hones you into something glorious.
And you are a blank canvas – But God turns you into a Mona Lisa. that is why he says that you are his “masterpiece” (Ephesians 2: 10)
Actress Ethel Waters, who used to sing at the Billy Graham crusades, said, ‘I am somebody, ’cause My God don’t make no junk!’
VALUE IS NOT DEPENDENT ON WHAT YOU DO
A good parent loves their baby even when their screaming means no sleep – yet again. A good parent loves their teenage boy even when their bedroom smells like the armpit of the world, looks as if it has been hit by a nuclear bomb, and contains a snoring youth in bed at midday.
And god loves you even when you mess up, when you are the son that goes away from his home to savour the high life of the world, when you by your sin throw all his love back in his face.
To understand how God sees you, try to think of this: A five-pound note. What makes it more valuable than any other piece of paper of equal size? The wealth and stability of the government whose signature is on it. You can crumple that five-pound note up, step on it, even tear it in two and tape it back together again, and it’s worth is still the same.
You have God’s Name written on you. He is your Father. And there is nothing you can do that can take away the value that He has in you.
The value of the men with the baggage was not dependent on whether they fought or whether they looked after the supplies. Their value was that they were “David’s men”. your value is not in what you do or don’t do, it is in the fact that you are Jesus’ men – you are “men of faith”.
SO HOW SHOULD THIS CHANGE THE WAY THAT I LIVE?
Know your value and stop listening to the lies – the deceptions – of the devil who will constantly tell you that you are worthless, that you are no good, that there is nothing that god can love in you. He is a liar and has been a liar from the beginning.
Instead, hold on to the truth of your value to God.
And then live like you believe it! Because of your great value He has plans for you. Seek to find His plans, live out his plans in the strength and power of the Holy Spirit. Become the “risk taker” that He wants you to be.
THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER – HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK YOU ARE WORTH?
In 1974 Graham Kendrick released “Paid on the Nail” – the words of which continue to inspire me and give me hope to this very day. May they give you hope too. Through these words may you see, and accept, your true value to Him:
Is a rich man worth more than a poor man?
A stranger worth less than a friend?
Is a baby worth more than an old man?
Your beginning worth more than your end?
Is a president worth more than his assassin?
Does your value decrease with your crime?
Like when Christ took the place of Barabbas
Would you say he was wasting his time?
Well, how much do you think you are worth, boy?
Will anyone stand up and say?
Would you say that a man is worth nothing
Until someone is willing to pay?
I suppose that you think you matter
Well, how much do you matter to whom?
It’s much easier at night when with friends and bright lights
Than much later alone in your room
Do you think they’ll miss one in a billion
When you finish this old human race?
Does it really make much of a difference
When your friends have forgotten your face?
If you heard that your life had been valued
That a price had been paid on the nail
Would you ask what was traded,
How much and who paid it
Who was He and what was His name?
If you heard that His name was called Jesus
Would you say that the price was too dear?
Held to the cross not by nails but by love
It was you broke His heart, not the spear!
Would you say you are worth what it cost Him?
You say ‘no’, but the price stays the same.
If it don’t make you cry, laugh it off, pass Him by,
But just remember the day when you throw it away
That He paid what He thought you were worth.
How much do you think He is worth, boy?
Will anyone stand up and say?
Tell me, what are you willing to give Him
In return for the price that He paid?