David had been on a long journey into the heart of darkness.
He had been the “blue-eyed boy” of the kingdom having killed Goliath, become Israel’s most successful captain, and marrying King Saul’s daughter. But that was a distant memory to him now. His father-in-law and King had turned on him with vicious hatred driven by obsessive jealousy, and not a few demons.
The litany of his sufferings was heart-wrenching. He had been betrayed and hunted by Saul, his wife given to another man, and he lived as a fugitive in the harshest, remotest locations. He had hidden in places whose very names indicate desolation – the cave of Adullam, the desert of Ziph, and the Crags of the Wild Goats. He once had to act like a madman to escape, and he was betrayed by people he helped again and again.
In a ploy to win Saul’s favour he had tricked Achish the Philistine into thinking he was raiding Israel and wanted to fight with the Philistine’s against Saul. But his plan of turning against the Philistines in the battle against Israel was foiled when the Philistine’s refused to have him in their army and sent him back to Ziklag. Deeply disappointed and exhausted from the three-day ride they returned to Ziklag and discovered the sum of all fears:
1 Samuel 30:3
When David and his men came to Ziklag, they found it DESTROYED BY FIRE and their WIVES AND SONS AND DAUGHTERS TAKEN CAPTIVE.
The distress was overwhelming. The long years of frustrations, disappointments, suffering, betrayal, and crisis – and now the worst blow of all.
1 Samuel 30:4, 6
So David and his men WEPT ALOUD until they had NO STRENGTH LEFT TO WEEP…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.
David had now gone to the very depths – he had been rejected and betrayed by his family, his King, his wife, his tribe, and now his mighty men. This was the lowest point of David’s life. What did he do? And what must we do?
Strengthen > Inquire > Pursue
David did something we must all do. We summarise it as: Strengthen > Inquire > Pursue.
- Strengthen yourself in the Lord
- Inquire of the Lord
- Continue the pursuit
If we are to defeat the devil and win in warfare we must follow this same strategy.
1. Strengthen yourself in the Lord
1 Samuel 30:6
But David FOUND STRENGTH in the Lord his God.
2. Inquire of the Lord
1 Samuel 30:8
David INQUIRED of the Lord.
3. Continue the pursuit
1 Samuel 30:9-10
But David and four hundred men CONTINUED THE PURSUIT.
In a desperate moment of distress and danger David did the first thing we must all do – he found strength in God. And then he did the second thing we must do – he inquired of God. And then he did what we must do – he pursued his enemies until he took back what was stolen.
But we must remember that David and his men were absolutely exhausted – physically, emotionally and spiritually. They were exhausted from their endangered fugitive existence, from continual disappointment and betrayal, from three days of riding, and mostly from weeping until they had no strength left to weep. 600 bone-weary men set off in pursuit but 200 were too exhausted to continue.
Some may have to stop – and there is grace for them – but we must continue the pursuit. If we do not strengthen ourselves in the Lord and inquire of the Lord we won’t have enough strength to continue the pursuit. There is a time to rest and a time to fight and now is a time to fight! In a time of war we must not stay at home! We must ride on!
Whatever it takes
1 Samuel 30:17
David fought them from DUSK UNTIL THE EVENING of the next day.
400 exhausted, greatly-outnumbered men fought for 24 hours straight! And we also must be determined to fight no matter how long the battle takes. And we must fight until we recover everything.
1 Samuel 30:18-19
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.
Continue the pursuit until you have recovered everything!
If something in this post helped you or you have some tips how to Strengthen > Inquire > Pursue then leave a comment below.