Legacy vs. Inheritance

A few days ago I was reading a piece by Sam Chand and here is an excerpt:

“People get those things confused. So I want to clarify it for you today. Inheritance is what you leave behind. Legacy is who you leave behind. Inheritance you can buy. Legacy you cannot purchase. For me to leave a good inheritance I just need some money. I can leave houses, cars, lands, stocks, bonds, insurance policies that is inheritance. Legacy is, who will be there because I invested in their life. Who will be there that will say ‘if it had not been for Sam Chand,’ that is legacy.”

As I read through, I thought about David and his life of legacy. I share a few of my thoughts here.

After David’s life had been threatened by Saul in 1 Samuel 21, he ran away, and later became a captain of 400 discontent men.

And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was DISCONTENTED, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men. 1 Sam 22:1-3


Have you ever had to manage a team at work where your people were discontent with your employer over the work environment? You will know it was not easy. Here is David, he was aware of the anointing upon His life and the fact that God had ordained him to become king, and then, of all the people to recruit and get on his team, he got the downtrodden, broke and busted guys, with a common virtue of DISCONTENTMENT.  Those were the people his anointing attracted??? That is such a divergent picture from the picture of the palace that the anointing created an expectation of.

But this is where I stand in awe of the anointing that David carried. It was radically different from that of any leader before him. The anointing for kingship in David made the men that were with him kings in their fields as they interacted with him. Here are a few examples of what these discontented men became:

Jashobeam the Hacmonite  was leader of the Three (the three mightiest warriors among David’s men). He once used his spear to kill 800 enemy warriors in a single battle. Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, who killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword and the third was Shammah son of Agee from Harar who held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines.

So powerful were these mighty men that they took deathly risks just to satisfy David’s desires. Once when David was staying in the stronghold, a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem and David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” You know what happened? The Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord.


Now, thinking about it deeply, what David did with those men was amazing. He improved their lives and they became a band of strong men that enabled him ascend into the position of kingship when the time came. Did they come to him strong and ready? No! This is legacy! Men whose lives were forever transformed by their interaction, service and loyalty to David and the God of David. He poured himself into them in their discontent state and pushed them to their potential and then they served him out of the fullness of their gifts. That’s what the gift of God in a man can do.

What are you doing with the gift of God inside you? Whose life is better because of you? Who is glorifying God because of you? (Gal. 1:24) Who is seeing in you the anointing that made something out of nothing in their life?

What is your legacy?

I have had this hymn on my mind all morning,

Fading away like the stars of the morning,
Losing their light in the glorious sun—
Thus would we pass from the earth and its toiling,
Only remembered by what we have done.



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