“But David found strength in the LORD his God”. Yes, it is true, David, the man after God’s own heart, found strength in the LORD during one of the most challenging times in his life.
He was going through a very grievous situation, a situation that you and I may never ever pass through in our entire life. However, this great warrior of Israel leaned on his God when he was in need of strength. What about you? on whom do you lean on when you need strength?
In order to comprehend the seriousness of this situation that David went through; we need to understand the background of it a little bit. During this period, David was on the run to save his life from King Saul and in the process, he sought refuge with Achish son of Maok king of Gath and he allowed David and his men, six hundred of them, with their families to settle down in Ziklag. The verses below tell the story.
1But David thought to himself, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.” 2So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maok king of Gath.
3David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal. 4When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him. (1 Samuel 30, 1-4)
After settling down in Ziklag David also started serving Achish faithfully However, some of the philistine army commanders were not happy with David being part of the frontline army as he was an Israelite. Finally, because of the objection of his commanders, Achish decides to send David and his men back to Ziklag. But unfortunately, when they arrived in Ziklag, they found the town completely destroyed and their family members being taken as captives by the Amalekites. The following verses tell the story.
3When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 5David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. (1 Samuel 30, 3-6)
As the verse says, David and his men wept until they had no strength left to weep. They lost everything they had; including their dear and near ones. David also lost his two wives; not only that, as a leader, the complete blame for this disaster fell on David; in fact, his men were even thinking of stoning him to death. Now, David who was on the run to save his life from Saul has not only lost his family but also facing another death threat, that too from his on faithful servants.
If you end up in a situation similar to this – what would you do? You might seek help from your powerful friends and relatives or from the leaders of your land; you might even try to end your life.
But David did not seek help from anyone; he did not attempt to end his life; instead, he found strength in the LORD his God who rescued him from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear. He knew fully well that – the God of Israel will bring deliverance.
So, he enquired about the Will of God in this situation and after seeking God’s face he and his men set out to hunt for the enemies and finally they were able to recover everything the Amalekites had stolen from them, including all the family members and the livestock. Besides, they also got a huge amount of plunder from the Amalekites.
18David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. 19Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back. 20He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, “This is David’s plunder.”( 1 Samuel 30, 18-20)
Thus, as the LORD promised, He delivered David from this very difficult situation. From this story there is something important for us to learn and that is what we are going to examine in the next part.
What We, Believers, can Learn from David’s Experience?
Yes, we as believers can learn a few things from this story. In fact, The LORD Almighty used this story to strengthen me during a very difficult situation that I was facing a few weeks ago.
It was a health issue and it suddenly appeared, I asked my brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for me; and though I was expecting an immediate deliverance as usual, the problem continued and I became a bit worried and desperate. Though I got medical help, the problem appeared again.
This increased my anxiety; I became more worried and found it more difficult to pray or read my Bible. Anyway, on the third day I opened my Bible and started reading 1 Samuel 30; and the verse that says – “But David found Strength in YAHWEH his God” really caught my attention and I started meditating on it throughout the day. It helped me to gain more inner strength and hope. I was really in a situation that man could not strengthen me or help me; but God Almighty intervened and delivered me out of that difficult situation.
To tell you the truth, I, when in a difficult situation, often seek the face of man to gain strength. Though I am a believer in Christ, it had become a habit in my life; but this time it was different – man could not strengthen me or help me and finally I started relying on God for strength, because I had no other choice. As the word says:
Thus, this experience has truly taught me an important lesson about relying on God Almighty for strength in difficult times. Similarly, like David, you, as a believer, might go through very difficult times in your life, but you should learn to rely on God for strength in those situations. Yes, it is natural for us to seek man’s face in order to gain strength but the Word of God says:
As, you know, there is always a limit for what flesh and blood can do for you. But, when you seek God’s face for strength, HIS holy Spirit will intervene and strengthen you. You will find many doors that man could not open being opened and many obstacles removed from your path.
Saints, remember – Looking to man for strength is undesirable for believers. See what the verses below says:
5This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. 6That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.
7“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. 8They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”(Jeremiah 17, 5-8).
So, it is always better to trust in the LORD rather than trusting in man. Amen.
3Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. 4When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. 5Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. (Psalm 146, 3-5)