1 David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, 2 and had taken captive the women and all who were in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way. 3 When David and his men came to Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 5 David's two wives had been captured-- Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6 David 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. 7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, "Bring me the ephod." Abiathar brought it to him, 8 and David inquired of the LORD, "Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?" "Pursue them," he answered. "You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue." 9 David and the six hundred men with him came to the Besor Ravine, where some stayed behind, 10 for two hundred men were too exhausted to cross the ravine. But David and four hundred men continued the pursuit. 11 They found an Egyptian in a field and brought him to David. They gave him water to drink and food to eat -- 12 part of a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of raisins. He ate and was revived, for he had not eaten any food or drunk any water for three days and three nights. 13 David asked him, "To whom do you belong, and where do you come from?" He said, "I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite. My master abandoned me when I became ill three days ago. 14 We raided the Negev of the Kerethites and the territory belonging to Judah and the Negev of Caleb. And we burned Ziklag." 15 David asked him, "Can you lead me down to this raiding party?" He answered, "Swear to me before God that you will not kill me or hand me over to my master, and I will take you down to them." 16 He led David down, and there they were, scattered over the countryside, eating, drinking and reveling because of the great amount of plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah. 17 David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. 18 David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back.
"David recovered everything" - vs. 18. This is a nice picture of what Christ has done for us. He has recovered all that we had lost through sin. When we go into Heaven, it will be as if we had never sinned.
But my focus this morning is David's recovery of what he had lost through sin. David at this point had drifted from a close walk with the Lord.
The Evidences of this:
1. Lessened Faith
1 Samuel 27:1
But 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."
He had trusted God to deliver him against Goliath, but now he had no such faith in the face of Saul's threat. He would have said he still believed in God, but he didn't have faith for life's troubles anymore.
There are many who believe God will take them to Heaven, but they have many doubts about God's daily provision and protection.
2. Living Life with the Enemy
What is wrong with this picture? David and his men actually went to live with the Philistines, the people he had fought against for so long; the very people who had endlessly fought against God. Goliath was a Philistine.
There are many Christians who are living with the enemy. They have been given the victory over sin through Jesus Christ, but they go and live with it anyway. They do things the Lord doesn't want them to do. They refuse to do things the Lord does want them to do. They have time for worldly (and often sinful) entertainment, but they have no time to pray. Their heart's desire is to do their own thing, not obey God.
They want to choose their own path rather than look for God's will. I don't believe God would have told David to go live with the Philistines, but David didn't ask God's opinion.
3. The hard Lessons of God's Discipline.
The raid on the camp was discipline from God. Even his own people wanted to stone him. It was needed to finally get David's attention. Isn't it sad that God sometimes has to take such drastic measures to get out attention?
"Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer."
The Results of God's Discipline
1. David once again began to seek God - vs. 6-8, and God answered him.
2. He recovered all. His wives, children, property AND his walk with God. David repented, therefore he recovered all. He recovered in a day what had been lost over months and years of neglect.
We too, can recover that close walk with the Lord. God wants us to have it. Why not begin to seek him diligently today. Spend some quality time in the Word each day. Wait on Him in prayer, and He will answer you also.
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