1 Samuel 30:1-30 (Part 1) – What David Does Here…We Should Do…Seek God First

Posted: April 19, 2018 in 09-1 Samuel

1 Samuel 30:1-31 (Part 1 of 3)
David Destroys the Amalekites

Have you ever had a situation like David has in this passage? He comes back to his temporary home town after being told to go home from battle and then finds his town destroyed and all the wives and children of David’s elite fighting force and of David himself gone, taken away by the Amalekite raiders. He has a bad experience at the battlefront only to return home to find that his village had been sacked and all the people taken away. It was a ghost town of rubble and burned out huts and buildings. Things had gone from bad to worse. What would you do in his shoes? What would be your reaction?

Our natural inclination would be to lash out without thinking. I know that would be my first inclination. I am flesh and blood just like anybody else. If someone had purposefully tried to destroy something that was dear to me and then try to hurt my family in some way, that inner rage that is in us all would rise up in me quickly and cause me to want to lash out. However, my first nature is to avoid conflict. I have never been one to seek out conflict. I often try to avoid conflict at all costs, often to the detriment to what is right and true or at least what is best for me. I hate conflict. I am a pretty easy going, why can’t we all get along kind of guy. I am certainly not trying to say I am a saint or anything but I am one of those people who is deathly afraid of conflict. Like I said, I will avoid it for as long as I can and in as many ways as I can until I am forced to deal with a conflict head on. I guess I am just a person who likes things to be calm and peaceful and will avoid conflict and shy away from it just to keep things going along calmly. It is almost to the point of a character flaw and maybe it is one that my desire to avoid conflict sometimes hampers my leadership ability. However, sometimes in life, conflict is unavoidable. Sometimes, in a world of 7 billion souls with different interests and different priorities conflict is bound to happen no matter if you are a born conflict avoider like me or if you have an naturally aggressive personality. That’s just life. That’s just the way it is.

Sometimes, life just puts you in situations where there is reason for conflict. David is in one of those situations here. You and I will find those unavoidable situations during our lifetime. For me, they make me as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof because of my nature of wanting to avoid conflict. Sometimes, though, you just can’t avoid it. If you are like me, there are those days where someone either purposefully or by accident “gets your goat”. There are times when you just have to respond in some way. I have had those kind of situations in life. You just can’t avoid it. There’s an old saying that seems appropriate – life is not so much what happens to you but how you respond to it. Sometimes, people purposefully hurt you or your family – like this situation with David. Our natural inclination is to lash out. Our natural inclination is to charge off into the breach without thinking. Even a conflict avoider like me has those moments where circumstances demand a response from us and even conflict avoiders want to lash out at those who have either by will or by accident have hurt us in some way.

David’s got that choice here. We have that choice in times of conflict. How do we respond? Do we lash out with some knee jerk reaction? That is often how we handle things. That’s what I thought of this morning. How would I respond to this situation if I was in David’s shoes? He was having a bad couple of days here. He just got rejected and sent home from the battlefront. Now, he gets home and finds it purposefully destroyed. What would he do? What would I do in that situation? Let’s read 1 Samuel 30 together now:

30 Three days later, when David and his men arrived home at their town of Ziklag, they found that the Amalekites had made a raid into the Negev and Ziklag; they had crushed Ziklag and burned it to the ground. 2 They had carried off the women and children and everyone else but without killing anyone.

3 When David and his men saw the ruins and realized what had happened to their families, 4 they wept until they could weep no more. 5 David’s two wives, Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel, were among those captured. 6 David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God.

7 Then he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring me the ephod!” So Abiathar brought it. 8 Then David asked the Lord, “Should I chase after this band of raiders? Will I catch them?”

And the Lord told him, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!”

9 So David and his 600 men set out, and they came to the brook Besor. 10 But 200 of the men were too exhausted to cross the brook, so David continued the pursuit with 400 men.

11 Along the way they found an Egyptian man in a field and brought him to David. They gave him some bread to eat and water to drink. 12 They also gave him part of a fig cake and two clusters of raisins, for he hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for three days and nights. Before long his strength returned.

13 “To whom do you belong, and where do you come from?” David asked him.

“I am an Egyptian—the slave of an Amalekite,” he replied. “My master abandoned me three days ago because I was sick. 14 We were on our way back from raiding the Kerethites in the Negev, the territory of Judah, and the land of Caleb, and we had just burned Ziklag.”

15 “Will you lead me to this band of raiders?” David asked.

The young man replied, “If you take an oath in God’s name that you will not kill me or give me back to my master, then I will guide you to them.”

16 So he led David to them, and they found the Amalekites spread out across the fields, eating and drinking and dancing with joy because of the vast amount of plunder they had taken from the Philistines and the land of Judah. 17 David and his men rushed in among them and slaughtered them throughout that night and the entire next day until evening. None of the Amalekites escaped except 400 young men who fled on camels. 18 David got back everything the Amalekites had taken, and he rescued his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing: small or great, son or daughter, nor anything else that had been taken. David brought everything back. 20 He also recovered all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock. “This plunder belongs to David!” they said.

21 Then David returned to the brook Besor and met up with the 200 men who had been left behind because they were too exhausted to go with him. They went out to meet David and his men, and David greeted them joyfully. 22 But some evil troublemakers among David’s men said, “They didn’t go with us, so they can’t have any of the plunder we recovered. Give them their wives and children, and tell them to be gone.”

23 But David said, “No, my brothers! Don’t be selfish with what the Lord has given us. He has kept us safe and helped us defeat the band of raiders that attacked us. 24 Who will listen when you talk like this? We share and share alike—those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment.” 25 From then on David made this a decree and regulation for Israel, and it is still followed today.

26 When he arrived at Ziklag, David sent part of the plunder to the elders of Judah, who were his friends. “Here is a present for you, taken from the Lord’s enemies,” he said.

27 The gifts were sent to the people of the following towns David had visited: Bethel, Ramoth-negev, Jattir, 28 Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, 29 Racal,[a] the towns of the Jerahmeelites, the towns of the Kenites, 30 Hormah, Bor-ashan, Athach, 31 Hebron, and all the other places David and his men had visited.

In this passage, we find the answer of what David would do. He was put into a situation that by human nature was a no-brainer call for rage and an automatic knee-jerk reaction of retaliation. Most of us what fly off the handle and repay pain with pain. We would not think twice about a knee-jerk reaction of hurting someone for hurting you. What does David do?

He seeks the guidance of God. He prays. He seeks after what God wants him to do. Now there’s a novel plan for us all. I know that even for me, a conflict avoider to the point of it being a character flaw, there are times that conflict requires or demands a response from me. In those times, we must check ourselves the most. We must seek God. We must pray. Even when we are so angry that we don’t want to think about it and we just want to act and lash out in anger. Even then, we must seek the Lord. We must find what He wants us to do. We must seek to do His will. His will not ours.

Let us take heart of what David does here BEFORE he acts. He seeks God. He prays. He looks for God’s guidance in how to respond. No auto response here for David. He seeks after God. He lets God lead. Often we are like Saul (who always sought after his own passions and followed up with God later) and we should be like David (who sought after God and align his passions with God’s will). Man, this passage makes me admire David all the more. He was not perfect but man did he time and again seek God’s guidance before he acted (and when he didn’t it was always disastrous for him). That is the takeaway.

Seek God first before we act even when our soul cries out for acting in our own desires and passions.

 

Amen and Amen.

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