David proclaimed a Civil Rights principle to forestall a dispute among his followers regarding the distribution of battle proceeds. His proclamation leads to the principle of Equality of Access to the facilities of society—that every person has a basic right of lawful participation in every aspect of living: right of lawful participation in commercial exchange of goods and services; non-commercial services provided by society; and the use of facilities such as roads, streets, parks, and others. Further, every person owes individual contributions toward the advancement and protection of these rights. Understand the principle and biblical basis to guide individual participation in society.
In this second of two bible study sessions on the individual responsibility regarding civil rights, we discuss the principle of Equality of Access to facilities of society, based on a proclamation by David regarding the distribution of battle proceeds among his followers. In the first study (Individual Responsibility Regarding Civil Rights: Equality Under the Law), we discussed the principle of Equality Under the Law based on the punishment of King Saul following his discriminatory execution of judgment against the Amalekites.
David proclaimed the principle to settle a developing dispute among his followers regarding the distribution of proceeds from a battle against Amalekite raiders. He and his men had captured great wealth from Amalekite raiders that came against his base at Ziklag in Philistine territory. He described the battle proceeds as “what the Lord has given us” [1 Samuel 30:23] and proclaimed that “all will share alike” [1 Samuel 30:24], irrespective of whether they stayed back to guard the base or joined in the pursuit and battle against the raiders.
His proclamation defines a guiding principle for interactions and relationships between individuals and society, regarding divided roles and the basic right of lawful participation in every aspect of living. We discuss the interactions among David and his men regarding their unscheduled battle against Amalekite raiders, potential dispute regarding the battle proceeds, and David’s ruling to forestall the dispute.
David proclaims basic civil rights principle by recognizing battle proceeds as an example of “what the Lord has given us” and guided us to actualize through combined effort of all. He declared that “all will share alike” irrespective of their roles or contributions. His ruling establishes the principle of equality of access to facilities of society as a fundamental human right. The principle follows from equality under the law, which Saul violated through discriminatory execution of judgment against Amalekites. God terminated Saul as king of Israel for the violation. These events establish civil rights as God’s mandate and any civil rights violation as a departure from Godliness.
David proclaimed a basic principle of civil rights to diffuse a developing dispute among his followers regarding the sharing of battle proceeds. He had led his followers in a successful battle against Amalekites that raided his base in Ziklag: burned and plundered the base and took his and followers’ families captive. David pursued and caught up with the raiders, defeated them in a fierce battle, recovered all they had taken including the human captives, and took additional plunder.
When they returned to their base, some of the followers that joined in the battle claimed those that did not join were not entitled to share in the plunder. David rebuked them and explained the battle proceeds were an example of “what the Lord has given us” and must be shared by all irrespective of their roles or contributions [1 Samuel 30:24]: “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 will share alike.”
David’s ruling of all will share alike defines a basic principle of civil rights that has far-reaching applications in understanding relationships between individuals and society. To understand the applications, we discuss the expanded meaning of battles and battle proceeds in modern-day societies and the roles and contributions of individuals in such battles. Further, recognizing that the principle of all will share alike derives from the more general principle of equality under the law, we recall a previous study to understand that both principles describe God’s civil rights mandate for governing relationships between individuals and society.