Your Source of Strength

I Samuel 30:1-8 David and his men arrived in Ziklag on the third day. The Amalekites had raided the Negev and attacked and burned down Ziklag.  2 They also had kidnapped the women and everyone in it from the youngest to the oldest. They had killed no one but had carried them off as they went on their way.  3 When David and his men arrived at the town, they found it burned down. Their wives, sons, and daughters had been kidnapped.  4 David and the troops with him wept loudly until they had no strength left to weep.  5 David's two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelite and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had also been kidnapped.  6 David was in a difficult position because the troops talked about stoning him, for they were all very bitter over the loss of their sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God. 7 David said to Abiathar the priest, son of Ahimelech, "Bring me the ephod."a So Abiathar brought it to him,  8 and David asked the LORD: "Should I pursue these raiders? Will I overtake them?" The LORD replied to him, "Pursue them, for you will certainly overtake them and rescue the people."

            Where do we go during these days of exhaustion? Where can you can be built up when your fatigue overwhelms your mind and body?  In I Samuel 30 we find David in one of the most draining situations in all of the Bible. In the previous chapter, David was forced to lead his men on a 75-mile march from the town of Aphek to his current home in Ziklag.

            David and his troops, weary from 75 miles on foot with all their supplies strapped to their backs, come home to discover: “The Amalekites had … attacked and burned down Ziklag.  2 They also had kidnapped the women and everyone in it from the youngest to the oldest. They had killed no one but had carried them off as they went on their way.” 

            They arrive home to rest and enjoy their families, but they discover a burnt-out shell of a town. David and his men are at the breaking point. They weep until they are unable to weep anymore. Remember this is not a knitting club watching “The Notebook,” but these are hardened soldiers who are emotionally wrecked. Their core has been ripped out, and in their pain, we find two responses.

            David’s own troops immediately turn their eyes upon him. They ready themselves to stone David over this loss. Make no mistake, for David this threat is real. They respond to their grief and exhaustion by lashing out.

            In one of the most touching and stirring moments in the Bible David finds His strength in the Lord at the end of vs. 6: But David found strength in the LORD his God.

 

            Find your strength in God’s Presence

            David found his strength in his moment of weakness by going to the Lord in prayer. Thanks to the book of Psalms, you can easily follow his example of pleading with God for hope and endurance. In Psalm 25, David comes to God for hope in distress. In Psalm 26, David trusts in God for vindication in his instability. In Psalm 27, David makes God his stronghold when war breaks out around him. In Psalm 28, David remembers that God is his rock when his life falls apart.

            Throughout the Psalms you are given wonderful example prayers to help you find strength in your God when this world has taken away all your supports. Don’t flail about and scream as if you don’t know where to turn for help in a time of need. Come to God in prayer and find your strength in God’s presence.

 

            Find your strength in God’s Wisdom

            After leaning on God in prayer, David immediately turns toward God for wisdom by consulting a priest who will be his intercessor before God in vs. 7-8. I believe this action is meant to be contrasted with King Saul’s trial of exhaustion in I Samuel 28. In weakness Saul runs to a local medium for wisdom instead of the Word of the LORD.         

Don’t run to the next self-help book or lean on the advice of friends and family who don’t know the Lord when you are spent and wiped out in this world. Go to the Word of God. Find a mature brother or sister and Christ to consult with, and lean on God’s wisdom instead of this world’s.