From The Heart

Publish date: 06/13/2005

Now when David and his men came home to Ziklag on the third day, they found that the Amalekites had made a raid on the South (the Negeb) and on Ziklag, and had struck Ziklag and burned it with fire, 2 And had taken the women and all who were there, both great and small, captive. They killed no one, but carried them off and went on their way. 3 So David and his men came to the town, and behold, it was burned, and their wives and sons and daughters were taken captive. 4 Then David and the men with him lifted up their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. 5 David's two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail, the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. 6 David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.  1 Samuel 30:1-6 AMP


David went through some very, very hard and difficult things in his life. The only way he made it through these things was by his humility. He put God first place in his life – he respected, honored, and worshiped God, and gave Him the credit, in every situation. He submitted himself to God in everything and he did not try to fight battles in his own strength. When you are in a position of leadership, you are the one who is praised when things go well and you are the one who is blamed when things go wrong. If you want to be a great leader, you cannot afford allow praise to go to your head and to be lifted up in pride when things go well. Neither can you afford to react negatively, toward yourself or others, when things go wrong. In the middle of his intense pain over the loss of his own family and the threats against himself, by his own men, David turned to the Lord. David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God. He remembered God's promises to him and he put his trust in the Lord.    


David went to the Lord to ask for direction. The Lord told him to pursue the enemy and that he would surely overtake them and recover all that was taken. David took only 400 men with him, because 200 of them were too exhausted and faint to cross the brook Besor. On the way, his men found an Egyptian in the field and brought him to David. He had not had food or water for three days so they gave him bread, figs and raisins to eat and water to drink. As it turned out, he was a servant of an Amalekite, who had left him behind because he had fallen ill. He told David that the Amalekites had raided several cities, including Ziklag. David asked the servant to take him down to this band and he did, after making David promise to neither kill him nor deliver him into the hands of his master.


God told David that he would prevail and win the victory, but He never told him that he would meet an Egyptian, who would help him. David's men could have minded their own business, as they passed him by, ignored his plight, and left him to die, being selfishly focused only on their mission to recover their families and property. They would have missed their opportunity to gain a valuable advantage over a powerful enemy. However, they did what was right in God's eyes, showed kindness and saved his life. They had no idea that this act of mercy would be the key that would open the door, leading them to their victory. Do not only do what the Holy Spirit tells you personally and specifically to do – do what God generally tells you to do in His Word. A small key – a small action - can lock or unlock a huge door! Don't be so busy with your own stuff that you miss an opportunity to show mercy and kindness to someone else who needs it. Don't forget what is most important to the Lord and don't forget why you are here – to be a giver and not just a taker. Don't be disobedient to God's Word and then blame Him for your defeat, when you are the one who missed your opportunity to do the right thing!


And when he had brought David down, behold, the raiders were spread abroad over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing because of all the great spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17 And David smote them from twilight even to the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except 400 youths who rode camels and fled. 18 David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken and rescued his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing, small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken; David recovered all. 20 Also David captured all the flocks and herds [which the enemy had], and the people drove those animals before him and said, This is David's spoil.  1 Samuel 30:16-20 AMP


God gave David a great victory and restored everyone and everything that was taken, together with the additional spoil from the other tribes and cities that had been raided by the Amalekites. When David arrived back to the brook Besor, where the 200 exhausted men had stopped and waited, some of David's men who had gone with him, did not want to share any of the recovered goods with those who did not fight. In other words, they were personally taking the credit for the victory. Instead, David spoke to them about being grateful to the Lord, Who was the One Who had saved them, and about sharing equally with those who had stayed behind. In God's eyes, when you are obedient, everyone counts and every job well done – whether fighting the battle or waiting with the baggage - is worthy of a reward.