Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 17

Some useful lessons about gifts

2 Samuel 17:28-29

Three rich men from the east side of the Jordan river came with gifts to help David and the people with him. We think here that there are, perhaps, some useful lessons about our own gifts:

(1) They gave generously. It seems that there were about 3000 soldiers with David (18:1-2), and also their wives and families (15:22). It was expensive to provide for so many people, but these men gave gladly.

(2) In an urgent situation, they did not delay. They knew that the people would be hungry and tired after their journey through the desert. They wanted their gifts to be ready as soon as the people arrived. To achieve that, they had to act very quickly.

(3) They thought about what the people needed. Other gifts may have been more impressive or valuable – but these men wanted their gifts to be truly useful. So, they gave essential foods. They saw that the people would need bowls and pots. They provided mats for the people to sleep on. They gave some foods for the people to eat at once, and other foods to store. They chose all these things carefully.

(4) They gave with an attitude of love. We think that, because some very special things appear in this list. In particular, honey was difficult to obtain and so people considered it precious. It was among the special gifts that Jacob sent in Genesis 43:11. They also gave the kind of milk products and meat that a person would prepare for a special guest (Genesis 18:8). They acted as if David and the people with him were their special guests to their homes on the east side of the Jordan. It was therefore their honour to provide for them. That was the opinion of those three generous men.

Next part: David organises his soldiers for the battle (2 Samuel 18:1-2)


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