While David was living with the Philistines, he found himself in a very difficult situation. The Philistines were going to war with Israel and David was expected to fight on the side of the Philistines since he was living with them.
As David was heading into battle I can only imagine the turmoil he was experiencing in his heart. He now was going to have to fight his Jewish brothers with the memory that he was also going to be their king one day!
It appears that God stepped in and caused concern among some of the Philistine generals so that they demanded David go back and not fight in the battle because they did not fully trust him. From David’s perspective he must have rejoiced in God’s provision and would have been very relieved as he headed home with his men.
But, when they returned to their city, they found that it had been set on fire and destroyed by the Amalekites and all the women and children were taken captive. There was such despair among David’s men that they were wanting to stone David!
WOW! This new crisis came out of nowhere. David got out of one predicament only to find himself in another! Why did God let this happen? I can only imagine the anguish, fear, anger and grief that everyone endured and for what?
I think the answer can be found in 1 Sam 30:6 which says, “But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” The meaning of this could be clarified with these translations, “David found strength in the LORD his God” (NCV) or “he felt the LORD God giving him strength” (CEV).
The very reason David was living with the Philistines was because of discouragement. He had lost perspective of God’s leadership in his life. He was tired of running from Saul and took things into his own hands when he decided to leave Israel and live with their mortal enemy. He thought is would be better to live with the Philistines than depend on God and run from Saul. David forgot that he was in God’s school of character development.
Even though he may have made a mistake in going to live with the Philistines, it seems that this new tragedy of losing all the their loved ones allowed David to get back on track and see God as the source and strength of his life. The proof of this is the action he took by seeking God’s leadership about the situation and then pursuing the Amalekites to save all the hostages at God’s direction.
Father, there are so many things that happen in life that are hard to understand. This story is again an example of the character training program that you had David on so that he could be the king of Israel you desired. It is also encouraging to see that mistakes made can be rectified by coming back to you and yielding to your leadership. It is never too late to come home to you.
Help me to not lose perspective, but rather trust you to enable me to live faithfully in spite of my circumstances knowing that I too am on a character training program for service in your Kingdom.
Following Jesus with you,