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charity SephusThe Amalekites made their living by raiding Philistine and cities in the south including Ziklag. The Philistines were headed north to wage an attack against Israel, leaving no men of fighting age to defend their home.  While David went north with the Philistine army, the Amalekites raided Ziklag, taking all of the women, children, cattle and possessions before they burned the city to the ground. When David and his army came back, they were horrified by what they saw, and they all “wept until there were no more tears left” and blamed David.  No one had been killed, but knowing their families were alive was of little consolation as they imagined what was happening to them as captives of the Amalekites.  

1Samuel 30:6 says, “David was greatly distressed; because the people spoke of stoning him.  The soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and daughters; but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”  

As I read this verse, the memory of Mrs. Ida Linsey, my Sunday School teacher at Friendship Baptist Church, came to mind.  When she heard us children arguing, with tears in her eyes she said, “Don’t Fight…”  She knew that we would face opposition in life where we would need to know how to solve problems peacefully, even with differences in our opinions. She taught us to blame the enemy not each other.

Unity among his 600 soldiers was more important now than placing blame. David was wise enough to consult God. He might have felt the same urgency as Mrs. Ida, because it was time to take appropriate action against the enemies. At times, in all of our lives, we may become “greatly distressed”, as had David.  When it appears that no one appreciates our labor, we must encourage ourselves in the Lord, our God. Our progress will go up in smoke if we fight each other instead of encouraging ourselves.

When David was in distress, it was unwise to turn a deaf ear to the threats and innuendoes of all those people; still praying he sought God’s will. The tragedy turned David’s heart to God and he did not wallow in the appearance of defeat, but got back everything that the enemies had stolen from him. He could not give up. If you have ever been doing your best, feeling the Lord’s guidance, and hearing grumbling and complaining coming from everywhere, and even people threatening to kill you, then you experienced some of what David was going through. 

Let us have confidence in the Lord who is strong and faithful. He is a mighty fortress and a bulwark that never fails.