Summary: This section of scripture deals with the confiscated spoils from the war and it is truly amazing
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
This section of scripture deals with the confiscated spoils from the war and it is truly amazing (vv. 25-59). All captives and goods were to be divided according to a strict formula. Moses told the soldiers not to keep for themselves all the booty they had taken but to give a portion of it to God and another portion was to go to the people who had not gone to war (vv. 26-27). This included over eight hundred thousand animals and approximately 16,750 shekels (v. 52) in gold, worth several million dollars in the current United States economy. Some four centuries later David would establish this as a permanent rule of war (I Sam. 30:24-25).
From this example we should be reminded that the money we earn is not ours alone. Everything we possess comes directly or indirectly from God and ultimately belongs to Him. We should return a portion to Him and a portion to those in need. In addition to the above the soldiers took 16,000 virgin women out of 32,000 and gave 32 over to the Lord (vv. 35, 40). These 32 women must have functioned somehow as slaves to the priests (I Sam. 2:22).
When the officers counted their men after the battle, they discovered that not one soldier had been lost. Only the Lord could have done such a miracle. The commanders of the troops were so grateful for this miraculous deliverance that they brought a freewill offering of Gold to the Lord. They brought this special gift for the sanctuary of God out of the spoils they themselves had received. It is one thing to bring offerings to God because we have to or it is our duty, but quite another because we love Him and appreciate what He’s done for us.
David Livingstone once said, “I place no value on anything I have or my possess, except in relation to the kingdom of God. If anything will advance the interests of the kingdom, it shall be given away or kept, only as by giving or keeping it I shall most promote the glory of Him to whom I owe all my hopes in time or eternity.” I pray that this might also be a testimony in my life also.