1Sa_30:1-2. And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.
What a singular providence! There was a blood-feud between Amalek and Israel since Israel endeavored to exterminate the Amalekites, and it is written, “The Lord shall have war with Amalek for ever and ever”; yet God holds in these tigers, and will not let the lions devour their prey.
1Sa_30:3-4. So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, And their daughters, were taken captives. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
They were tired and weary after a long march with Achish, and then another long march home. Oh! how they longed for their couches! How they desired to sit down and converse with their wives and their little ones! Tears did not seem a sufficient expression for their sorrow, and yet when a strong man weeps — a burly warrior like Joab, a rough, coarse man like Abishai, or a strong young man like Asahel — there must be deep grief. They wept till they had no more power to weep.
1Sa_30:5-6. And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters; but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
He had not only his own personal sorrow, but that of all his people; and then, instead of comforting him, every friend had turned into a foe; his house was a heap of ashes; he might have said, “Ahinoam is not, and Abigail is not, and my children have ye taken away; all these things are against me!” But he had more faith than Job, and so he encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
1Sa_30:7. And David said to Abiathar, the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David.
Ah! that’s the thing! Bring hither the old family Bible; let us go to prayer about it; down on our knees and tell the Lord the case.
1Sa_30:8. And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.
But it is easier said than done. Where are they? How shall they find these fleet Amalekites Who fly away so rapidly?
1Sa_30:9-10. So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him. and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind stayed. But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor.
Worse and worse you see! But the case is in God’s hands, and no matter what the circumstances may be. All’s well that ends well, and God always has the enemy in his hands.
1Sa_30:11-13. And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water; And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him; for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights. And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick.
Shame on his master, I say, and yet there are some who stop their men’s wages as soon as they get a little ill! Shame on them, I say. It might be fit for an Amalekite to do this, but certainly not for an Israelite. So this young Egyptian tells David all about what they had done; and David follows them, smites them with the sword, takes away their plunder, and, moreover, gets a great spoil to himself, and so the Lord hears the voice of David. Now Abraham’s servant and David were men in like difficulties with us, but they asked guidance of God and received it; let us be sure in every time of difficulty to do the same.
This exposition consisted of readings from Gen_24:1-16; 1Sa_30:1-13; 1Jn_1:1-3.