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Saturday, March 25, 2017

David Defeats the Amalekites

David has now avoided murdering Nabal, escaped Saul’s attempts to murder him, lived among God’s Philistine enemies, and continued walking together with God.  Now, God provided a way for David to avoid killing Israelites in battle.  God is good all the time.  All the time, God is good.

Three days later, when David and his men arrived home at their town of Ziklag, they found that the Amalekites had made a raid into the Negev and Ziklag; they had crushed Ziklag and burned it to the ground. They had carried off the women and children and everyone else but without killing anyone. When David and his men saw the ruins and realized what had happened to their families, they wept until they could weep no more. (1 Samuel 30:1-4 NLT)

David’s own family was among those who were captured.  He was hurt just like everyone else.  HIs first reaction would have been my first reaction: “Get the people who did this and get my family back!”  All of David’s men would have had the same reaction.  Even with these emotions, though, David had the presence of mind to stop are remember the most important part of his next step: walk together with God.

David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the LORD his God. Then he said to Abiathar the priest, "Bring me the ephod!" So Abiathar brought it. Then David asked the LORD, "Should I chase after this band of raiders? Will I catch them?" And the LORD told him, "Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!" So David and his 600 men set out, and they came to the brook Besor. (1 Samuel 30:6-9 NLT)

David didn’t proceed until he knew that this was The LORD’s will.  Then, he moved forward.

So he led David to them, and they found the Amalekites spread out across the fields, eating and drinking and dancing with joy because of the vast amount of plunder they had taken from the Philistines and the land of Judah. David and his men rushed in among them and slaughtered them throughout that night and the entire next day until evening. None of the Amalekites escaped except 400 young men who fled on camels. (1 Samuel 30:16-17 NLT)

Interestingly enough, the Amalekites were already supposed to be gone.  These are the people that God sent Saul to wipe out because of the way they attacked Israel back when they were first escaping from Egypt.  Saul didn’t do his part of God’s plan, so it affects David and many others further down the road.

Nothing was missing: small or great, son or daughter, nor anything else that had been taken. David brought everything back. (1 Samuel 30:19 NLT)

Two hundred of David’s men were too exhausted to go all the way into battle.  They stayed at the brook of Besor with their group’s provisions.  Now, David and the other four hundred are returning home after the battle and setting the captives free.

Then David returned to the brook Besor and met up with the 200 men who had been left behind because they were too exhausted to go with him. They went out to meet David and his men, and David greeted them joyfully. But some evil troublemakers among David's men said, "They didn't go with us, so they can't have any of the plunder we recovered. Give them their wives and children, and tell them to be gone." But David said, "No, my brothers! Don't be selfish with what the LORD has given us. He has kept us safe and helped us defeat the band of raiders that attacked us. Who will listen when you talk like this? We share and share alike--those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment." From then on David made this a decree and regulation for Israel, and it is still followed today. (1 Samuel 30:21-25 NLT)

Once again, David walks together with God.  He treats the whole team as a team.  This pattern is still followed to this day in God’s Church.  Each part of God’s Team is important and treated as such (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).  David didn’t just walk with God.  David equipped the people around him to walk together with God.

When he arrived at Ziklag, David sent part of the plunder to the elders of Judah, who were his friends. "Here is a present for you, taken from the LORD's enemies," he said. The gifts were sent to the people of the following towns David had visited: Bethel, Ramoth-negev, Jattir, Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, Racal, the towns of the Jerahmeelites, the towns of the Kenites, Hormah, Bor-ashan, Athach, Hebron, and all the other places David and his men had visited. (1 Samuel 30:26-31 NLT)

David too more steps in his walk, living a lifetime for The King.

How about you?  Do you check with God before following your emotional first reaction to a situation?  Do you follow through with everything the LORD tells you to do?  Do you build up God’s Team, Christ’s Body, the Church?  Do you walk together with God and equip others to do the same?