Summary: In his return to God, David saw the providence and the grace of God in response to his prayer.
David hit rock bottom when he returned to Ziklag and found his home city burned down and everything taken away, including their families.
• This was by far the greatest tragedy he had encountered, ever since he ran from Saul as a fugitive.
He faced the rejection of Saul, the rejection of Israel, the rejection of the Philistines rulers at Aphek and now the rejection of his closest men, who thought of stoning him.
• It brought him to the end of himself, and forced him to return to God. It was the turning point in his life.
• Be wise. We do not want to reach the end of ourselves, only then to realise our need of God.
1 Sam 30:6b “BUT David found strength in the Lord his God.”
1 Sam 30:7-8 “THEN David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, "Bring me the ephod." Abiathar brought it to him, 8and 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."
This was the first time we read of David seeking God since he stepped into the land of the Philistine. The Lord wasn’t mentioned since 1 Sam 26 when he left Israel.
• But now David knew he needed the Lord’s help. He asked for the ephod! He is going to PRAY! The crisis brought him to his knees.
It reminds me of a comment that a famous mountain climber George Adam Clark made. When he was young his dream was to climb the Swiss Alps. On his first climb, he was accompanied by two strong guides – one in front and one behind him.
As they reached the top, the guide in front of him stepped aside so he would be the first one to see the majestic view. Just as the young climber stood up, a strong wind suddenly picked up and almost thrown him off.
The guide nearest him pulled him down and shouted, “On your knees, now, sir. You are not safe here unless you are on your knees.”
Don’t get blown away. Get down on your knees! That’s what David did.
• We have something that the world cannot match and does not understand – that’s PRAYER. We have the living God on our side when we pray!
• In adversity, that’s where our true strength lies. We pray and let God take charge. We seek Him and let God leads the way.
• Especially so in recent days, when we read of senseless killings almost every week - when everything seems to be out-of-control, we cling on to the ONE who is in control.
Winston Churchill puts it this way: “If you are going through hell, keep going.”
• By the grace of God, we will get through it. Keep going, and we will see the light that God shines!
• God will do His work. God will judge the wicked and redeem the righteous.
David WEPT but he did not just CRY. Ultimately he cried TO GOD.
• Don’t just CRY. Cry to God! Don’t just LAMENT. Lament to God, like the Psalmists in the Psalms. Pour out your heart to God.
• David prayed and God spoke. David turned to God and God stepped in. We are going to see in this chapter one of David’s finest hour.
David asked God, “Shall I pursue them?” and “Will I be able to overtake them?”
• God says YES to both! One is a command, the other is His promise. David will succeed in the rescue.
My first impression of this is, “Do you really need to ask permission for this? I thought this is plain common sense. Of course, we should pursue them.”
• It’s like asking, “I am hungry. Should I eat? I am tired. Should I sleep?” Why not?
• But to David, in this context, it’s different. It is likely he has NOT been talking to God for a long while.
• In the light of all that has happened, David has been doing a lot of things on his own, since he left Israel. He has actually drifted from God. And his own decisions have led him to where he is right now.
David is not going to depend on his “common sense”. He saw this GREATER need now to SEEK and CONSULT God.
• He is putting the Lord back to His rightful place in his life. He is Lord, not David.
• When this is set right, everything else will turn out right. The result is what we are going to see here in this chapter.
Let’s read 1 Samuel 30:9-20.
1. SEE THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD in response to prayer
David obeyed the Lord and took his 600 men in pursuit of the enemy.