David destroys the Amalekites.
VERSE 1. When David and his men had come to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid on the South, and on Ziklag, and had struck Ziklag, and burned it with fire,
VERSE 2. and had taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They didn’t kill any, but carried them off, and went their way.
VERSE 3. When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters were taken captive.
VERSE 4. Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voice and wept until they had no more power to weep.
wept until they had no more power to weep. That is a real outpouring of grief!
VERSE 5. David’s two wives were taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
VERSE 6. David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the souls of all the people were grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters; but David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.
David strengthened himself in the LORD. David’s town had been destroyed. His two wives were taken. And his 600 men were about to stone him to death.
What does David do? He strengthens his trust in the LORD God:
Proverbs 3:5. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding.
VERSE 7. David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Please bring the ephod here to me.” Abiathar brought the ephod to David.
the ephod. In those days, people sought the will of the LORD God by means of the Urim and Thummim. They were sacred dice.
The priest would retrieve the sacred dice from his Ephod and throw them. The results would be interpreted as the will of the LORD God.
Whatever the dice “said” was considered to be the LORD God “saying” his will to them.
VERSE 8. David inquired of the LORD, saying, “If I pursue after this troop, will I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue; for you will surely overtake them, and will without fail recover all.”
Pursue; for you will surely overtake them. The LORD God sends David and his men on a rapid mission to recover their women and their possessions.
VERSE 9. So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those who were left behind stayed.
VERSE 10. But David pursued, he and four hundred men; for two hundred stayed behind, who were so faint that they couldn’t go over the brook Besor.
VERSE 11. They found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he ate; and they gave him water to drink.
They found an Egyptian in the field. By “chance” they happen to meet this Egyptian slave. He will lead them straight to the Amalekite camp!
VERSE 12. They gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins. When he had eaten, his spirit came again to him; for he had eaten no bread, and drank no water for three days and three nights.
VERSE 13. David asked him, “To whom do you belong? Where are you from?” He said, “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days ago I got sick.
VERSE 14. We made a raid on the South of the Cherethites, and on that which belongs to Judah, and on the South of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.”
VERSE 15. David said to him, “Will you bring me down to this troop?” He said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me and not deliver me up into the hands of my master, and I will bring you down to this troop.”
VERSE 16. When he had brought him down, behold, they were spread around over all the ground, eating, drinking, and dancing, because of all the great plunder that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah.
VERSE 17. David struck them from the twilight even to the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped from there, except four hundred young men, who rode on camels and fled.
David recovered all. David rescued his two wives. And he recovered everything.
Even if the enemy robs us and destroys our lives, God can fully restore us. When we fight the Good Fight, God can restore everything the enemy took.
VERSE 19. There was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither plunder, nor anything that they had taken to them. David brought back all.
VERSE 20. David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drove before those other livestock, and said, “This is David’s plunder.”
VERSE 21. David came to the two hundred men, who were so faint that they could not follow David, whom also they had made to stay at the brook Besor; and they went out to meet David, and to meet the people who were with him. When David came near to the people, he greeted them.
VERSE 22. Then all the wicked men and worthless fellows, of those who went with David, answered and said, “Because they didn’t go with us, we will not give them anything of the plunder that we have recovered, except to every man his wife and his children, that he may lead them away, and depart.”
VERSE 23. Then David said, “Do not do so, my brothers, with that which the LORD has given to us, who has preserved us, and delivered the troop that came against us into our hand.
VERSE 24. Who will listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down to the battle, so shall his share be who stays with the baggage. They shall share alike.”
stays with the baggage. Whether you are at the “front lines” and seeing action and getting credit, or whether you have to stay behind and handle baggage, it is all part of the work of the kingdom. Everybody shares in the glory equally. Everybody’s activities are important.
Joshua alludes to this concept when he sends the eastern tribes home:
Joshua 22:8. and spoke to them, saying, “Return with much wealth to your tents, with very much livestock, with silver, with gold, with bronze, with iron, and with very much clothing. Divide the plunder of your enemies with your brothers.”
VERSE 25. It was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.
VERSE 26. When David came to Ziklag, he sent some of the plunder to the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, “Behold, a present for you from the plunder of the LORD’s enemies.”
VERSE 27. He sent it to those who were in Bethel, to those who were in Ramoth of the South, to those who were in Jattir,
VERSE 28. to those who were in Aroer, to those who were in Siphmoth, to those who were in Eshtemoa,
VERSE 29. to those who were in Racal, to those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, to those who were in the cities of the Kenites,
VERSE 30. to those who were in Hormah, to those who were in Borashan, to those who were in Athach,
VERSE 31. to those who were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men used to stay.
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