Many Christians think that once they’re saved, their struggles are over, that life will be smooth sailing. Nothing could be further from the truth. God not only allows our battles, but he has a glorious purpose for them in our lives.
What are “spoils of warfare”? Spoils are plunder or goods taken in battle by the victors. David had a reverent attitude toward spoils taken in warfare. We see it in a decree he set forth toward the end of his life. He gathered the nation’s leaders together to set up a divine order for sustaining God’s house. What resources would they use for this holy work? “Some of the spoils won in battles they dedicated to maintain the house of the Lord” (1 Chronicles 26:27, ESV).
After every military victory, David took back spoils of gold, silver, brass, timber, money too vast to count, and he stockpiled them with one purpose in mind: to use these spoils as resources for building the temple.
When scripture speaks of maintaining the temple, the original Hebrew means “to repair the house, to strengthen and consolidate what was built.” These resources were meant to create and maintain the temple’s splendor.
Where is God’s temple today? It’s made up of his people: you, me and his church worldwide. According to Paul, our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost (see 1 Corinthians 6:19). Like ancient Israel, our Lord still maintains his temple through spoils gained in battle. That’s why our trials are meant for more than just survival. Through every battle, God is laying aside resources and wealth for us. Those spoils are dedicated to building up and maintaining his body, the church of Jesus Christ.
Here is the principle God wants us to lay hold of: Our Lord is interested in much more than simply making us victors. We’re to emerge from battle with wagonloads of resources. This is what Paul refers to when he says, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
We find this principle of “supply through battle” throughout God’s Word. God’s house remained vibrant and alive because his people have emerged from every conflict not just victorious but rich in resources.