Remember in yesterdays reading how David wasn’t allowed into battle because the Philistine rulers were afraid he’d turn his back on them? Well, today, in 1 Samuel 30, we see that when he arrived back at Ziklag, the Amalekites had raided their place as well as one called Negev. They captured, but did not kill, everyone, this included David’s wives, all the soldiers wives and their children while they were out. Scripture tells us when they got back and saw this that “David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.” (v.4) It goes on to tell us today’s verse, that even when it was so horrible, when he was filled with such pain, he sought out God first. Yes, David! Don’t you just love how in tune he is to seek God first?! And sure enough the Lord responded to him and ends up telling him to “pursue [the Amalekites]…you will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue” (v.8) So, they followed the Lord and went on to try and find their people. (Only 400 of his 600 men went, the rest were too exhausted to go on) God puts an Egyptian slave in their path who ends up leading them straight to the camp where their families and belongings were. They go on to fight and recover everything that had been taken from them. God gave them the strength to go on.
Today’s scripture really hit me hard. I’m going to get personal here because I think it applies. As I was writing this, I was in a place where my faith was shaken a bit. I had a situation where someone didn’t respond to me in the way I was hoping/expecting about something I said related to my faith. I was vulnerable and shared something that was on heart and when I didn’t get the response I was expecting, I started to question myself and the strength of my relationship with the Lord. My mind was filled with doubts. So, before my reading in today’s chapter, I prayed for extra help to get through today’s devotional. I knew I needed Him and that He was going to have to take over, more than usual. Honestly, I needed him to show me how to keep going after that and that despite the hurt I was feeling and the questioning the enemy was trying to fill my head with, as I read, I felt today’s verse hit me with so much truth, presence and power: “But David found strength in the Lord his God.” (v.6) God still speaks to us, friends. He faithfully and graciously gave me today’s scripture, when I was struggling to find strength, He reminded me that my strength is found in the Lord, my God, which came through and allowed today’s devotional to be completed. We can sometimes get let down from our built up expectations of people or things. We can get hurt and things will bring us down, but then we are right at the feet of Jesus and God reminded me in today’s reading that he will never let me or any one of us down, that when we call on Him for help, He is there, that when the enemy tries to tell us lies, we can press into God for truth. I believe that God is more concerned about changing our hearts into a reflection of him rather than allowing the desires of our flesh, like the desire for confirmation or the opinion of others, to lead us.
Think about a time when you were shaken about any area of life. How did you respond? Write it down. Did you seek the Lord first like David for guidance or did you struggle to meet with Him? Then re-read today’s verse. If you could re-do it and seek the Lord first, how would that same situation have looked for you?
Heavenly Father, thank you for your faithfulness and graciousness. You are so good. In the midst of pain and hard, that when we seek you, you show up! That you created your Word to speak to us. That it is alive and you perfectly orchestrate a verse or what you want us to hear, when we dive into it, that you can take a hurt and still manage to give strength that can only come from you. Thank you for the gift of your strength. That on days when we feel we just can’t, that you can, that you come in and take over for us! We love you Lord and we thank you for these moments where it is so clear that it is all in your strength, not in our own. In your loving, faithful and gracious name we pray, AMEN!