1 Samuel 30

1 Samuel 30 has David and his men returning to Ziklag only to find that the Amalekites had made a raid and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and all who were in it.  He came back to a burned out city with all the women and possessions gone, including David’s own two wives.  Not a happy time.  Everyone is mourning and the people are frustrated and ready to stone David for leaving everyone behind and allowing them to be captured while they were away.  David is also distressed as he has lost everything too.

So what does the coming king do when the chips are down?  “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God”.  He goes to God for strength.  He was at the end of himself, so he turns to God.  So often we wait for that distressing time before we get around to going to God.  But God is always there.  Then David calls for the priests to bring the ephod so he can seek God’s direction on whether to chase after the Amalekites or not, and God says yes, so he takes off with his 600 men.

Two hundred men stayed behind as they were too exhausted to join the chase.  Along the route, they ran into a servant who had been abandoned by his master. He had been there for the raid and was able to lead David and his men to the place the Amalekites and their captives were staying.  They were celebrating their victory when David attacked.  “David struck them down from twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled”.  He finished the job completely.

David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives”.  His mission was a success and he brings everyone and everything back safely.  Some of the knuckleheads among his men don’t want to share any of the spoils with the 200 who had stayed behind.  But David makes it clear.  “They shall share alike”.  And he made it a rule for Israel that there would be equality among his people whether they were in the battle or staying behind to stay by the baggage.  He gives some of the spoils to those places who have allowed him and his men to live the last years.

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