And it came to pass, when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid upon the south, and upon Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag and burned it with fire;
and had taken the women captives that were in it; both great and small: they had put none to death, but had carried them off, and went on their way. 1 Samuel 30:1-2
An adverse day, “So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.” 1Samuel 30:3
David lifted his voice and wept, And so too, all the people with him.
Then, “…the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters.”
Out of the bitter gash created in every man’s heart for the daunting occurrence, came a hankering for revenge. David was the goat. Who else could it be? Our valiant General, had overlooked a key tactic — protecting the women and children back home! But at the critical juncture, “David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
Overwhelmed with the turn of events and then the turn of loyal comrades, David pulled himself together in the consoling of Yahweh Elohim, “The self-existent, eternal ” and supreme” God of all. He confided in and appealed to the safety of God Sovereign, operating in His eternal dimension, with all power and authority. No mistakes happen here, no miss-events.
Surely, in time past, through the strength of God, David had slain a lion and bear in the sheepfold, had evaded the hand of an evil king, Saul — had seen many an explosive turn of events, effectively turned back again, at God’s hand.
The priest, Abiathar, was summoned; he brought the ephod. David enquired of the Lord. Shall I Pursue? Yes, you will recover all.
600 Men mounted up to pursue. At the brook called Besor, 200 fell faint and stayed behind. 400 went on with David.
As seen in the story of Gideon in Judges 6 and 7, manpower reductions are common with the Almighty God. Less is more with God.
An Egyptian was found in the field, abandoned by the enemy Amalekite raiders. Once fed and nourished up, he led David’s men down to the Amalekite encampment. They were “spread abroad, eating and drinking, and dancing.” “David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled.” So,
“David rescued his two wives. David recovered all.”
David and his Men returned with flocks and herds to the brook Besor. 200 Men, faint, were there still. Many of David’s fellows, “men of Belial,” sought to deny the 200 faint men a portion in the spoil. Instead they suggested in an angry way, “to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away, and depart. ” To the men of Belial, these exhausted men were traitors.
David intervened with a distinct “no.” But, “as his share is that goes down to the battle, so shall his share be that abides by the baggage: they shall share alike. ” It became policy.
In summary, what happened?
- A tragic event. A great spoil
- A severe mourning.
- A bitter blaming.
- A leader’s self-encouragement.
- A consultation with the Eternal, Supreme God.
- A pursuit to recover.
- A partial troop fainting.
- Two thirds troop continue pursuit.
- An abandoned enemy directs David to the spoilers.
- A great smiting and total recovery with spoil.
- A return to the one-third who had fainted.
- A disgruntled portion of the troops seek to exclude the fainted ones
- These Men of Belial treat the fainted troops as deserters.
- David intervenes with , stay by the baggage or go fight, all get the same.
- Return to Ziklag safely.
In closing, David, a leader greatly saddened by personal loss, then accrued blame of his fellows. Amazing, he falls upon the arms of the Supreme, Eternal. He had learned to find God-perspective — Not what things look like from tiny vision. Gaining that vantage-point, David leads a recovery and unites his Men under the Mighty hand of God. This I know, God is for us. love ya
Great word pastor Tom
P Jeff Harrington