Please read with me 1 Samuel 30 in the Old Testament, the full chapter. We’ll explore in the next few posts what God did in and through David during a terrible crisis. In the middle of a storm, God’s top priority is to deal with our hearts, our faith; then He helps us handle the situation.
When you don’t understand the ways of God, and suffer from them
(…)the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way. So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive.
~1 Samuel 30:1-3
After a three-day journey back home, following rejection from the Philistines, David and his men found the disaster we just read about. So, not only was the door of opportunity they had pursued closed, but even what they already had was now gone! Despair engulfed them.
Outcasts in Israel, they had tried to rebuild their lives in a foreign land but never gained the people’s trust. Nonetheless they had achieved some kind of normalcy; they had families and homes, and they provided for themselves. That’s when all hell broke loose and ripped it all apart. This happened when they least expected it, while they were tired and vulnerable. The enemy of our souls loves to blindside us with his attacks. Maybe they even had been spied on. Maybe the Amalekites were told the village was defenseless. Whatever the case may be, everything they owned was destroyed and their loved ones had been snatched away.
Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
~1 Samuel 30:4
We are talking about grown men, fierce warriors here, utterly distraught, crying like babies. That is deep. If even tough guys break down, it is dangerous.
When you stand alone and your only refuge is in God
As grieving humans do, the men looked for a scapegoat, someone to blame, and there he was: David! They forgot in an instant all their leader had done for them. Anger and distress clouded their judgment and they desired to inflict torment. They not only spoke against him but were about to put their threats to action.
What a lonely painful place to be for David! Especially since he, too, had suffered the loss of his family. But nobody cared! They wanted to stone him. Nobody was there to comfort, help, protect or advise him. Thankfully he was a man of prayer! He knew how to triumph over adversity: in the presence of God!
(…) But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
~1 Samuel 30:6
Wow! So short, but oh so powerful! God, the Comforter, took care of His child. David brought his burdens to the throne of grace and received help in his time of need!
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
The Word of God sustained him in the secret place of intimacy with HIS God. Great example!
Then God did two more extraordinary things: first, he gave David direction and wisdom to address the situation; second, He changed the warriors’ hearts. Clear cut work of the Holy Spirit! They exchanged the stones they had picked up to kill their leader for weapons to risk their lives under his authority!
David’s trust in God in spite of all that had transpired surely played a huge role in this turnaround. When tested by circumstances, our faith shines brighter and inspires those around us dealing with similar struggles. And as we stand firm and honor Him, God comes through for us, with His favor, His promises, His strength.
So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”
~1 Samuel 30:8