I Samuel Chapter 30
Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org
I Samuel 30:1 "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;"
David and his men had been marching back home to Ziklag for three full days. Ziklag was the town that David and his men had been given for their families by king Achish of the Philistines. As they came down the road and entered into Ziklag, all that was left of the place were burned out shells of their homes. Their town lay in ruins, with their wives and children gone.
Remember that David and his men had raided These Amalekites lands and done the same to their homes and children, back in chapter 27, and had given the spoils over to king Achish to win favor from him. David and his men killed a lot of them and roughed them up real good. So when David and his men departed to fight with the enemy, his enemies came and wipe out Ziklag.
I Samuel 30:2 "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."
David had killed so many of the woman and children of the Amalekites, that they wanted these women and kids for themselves. David was not so kind with the women and children of the Amalekites, for he slaughtered them all, even to the suckling child.
I Samuel 30:3 "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."
By rushing into things, many times we overlook the obvious. David overlooked the protection of he own family when he rushed into war. It cost them their families and their town. David paid a price for not asking God's leading in his life.
I Samuel 30:4 "Then David and the People that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep."
I Samuel 30:5 "And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite,"
You can imagine the pressure on David and the feeling of great loss by his men, as they sat amongst the ashes of their homes, and wept over the loss of their loved ones.
I Samuel 30:6 "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."
David finally set his mind on God, and turned to Him for help. During his entire time with the Philistines, David was relying on his own strength and wisdom, but now when his men are about to stone him and all seemed to be lost, David asked God for help. What does it take in your life before you turn to God with your problems. Though David's men followed him without a thought of what the enemy would do back to them, now after it has happened, their minds are finally focused on the reaction to the things that they have done. You can hear the mob of all six hundred of David's men talking at one time demanding that David be stoned. These men had been loyal to David through thick and thin, and David had taken care of every last one of them and their families. Now they wanted to stone David to death, all because the blame for what the Amalekites did, was David's responsibility as their leader.
David had reached the bottom of his life, the loss of his family, and the burning of his town. Now with the rest of his men out to kill him, David turned his mind to God, and he finally became "encouraged" to call out for help. David took all the men that he had, and left all the women and children completely unprotected in a foreign land, and on top of it all, he had turned his back on God. This is king David, the wise one that is after God's own heart, that messed up in a royal way.
I Samuel 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."
Remember that Abiathar was the grandson of Eli the former judge and high priest, and he was with David after Saul had killed the eighty eight priests, and all the other people of the community. When Abiathar escaped he had brought with him the ephod that the priests use to seek the direction from God.
I Samuel 30:8 "And David enquired at the Lord, saying, "Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I over take them:" And He answered him, "Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all."
It makes all the difference in the world when you include our Heavenly Father in your decisions. When you rely of God, then His blessings are given to you.
I Samuel 30:9 "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."
This brook of Besor is about twenty miles from Ziklag, and keep in mind that these six hundred men have been on the march for four days now.
I Samuel 30:10 "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."
About a third of David's men were just so wore out that they could not swim the river with their supplies, and David ordered them to wait at the brook for their return. They stayed behind with the supplies while the other four hundred men push on in hot pursuit.
I Samuel 30:11 "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;"
This young man was wandering in a daze in a field, and David felt that he must be part of the raiding party.
I Samuel 30:12 "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 drink any water, three days and three nights."
This shows just how fast the enemy was moving, for they would leave their own behind that could not keep up.
I Samuel 30:13 "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 ago I fell sick."
This shows us just how rough this raiding party was, that burned Ziklag.
I Samuel 30:14 "We made an invation upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the coast which belongeth to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire."
The Cherethites" are a band of the Philistines that were "executioners", for this young man was part of the raiding party. So David had a good informant, for he was not pleased to be a slave to an Amalekite.
I Samuel 30:15 "And David said to him, "Canst thou bring me down to this company?" And he said, "Sware unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hand of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company."
David wanted to know if this Egyptian boy could take him to this band of Amalekites. However before the boy would help David, the lad made David sware by God that he would not return the boy to his master. Of course David would keep that oath, for David wanted to kill all them that left this lad, and stole his wives.
I Samuel 30:16 "And when he brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah."
There was a vast amount of Amalekites down in the valley having a great drunken party, not expecting anyone to follow them. They had great wealth of goods taken from the Philistines while they were off to war with the Israelites. These Amalekites raided towns on both sides of the battle, and took the wealth of their communities while the men were off to war. To these Amalekites the war is over and it is time to get on with the party.
I Samuel 30:17 "And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled."
David killed every last man that was on foot, for the young men that had camels made haste and got out of there and were the only ones that survived.
I Samuel 30:18 "And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives."
Not only from Ziklag, but all the town of both the Philistines and Judah, and any other town that got in their way.
I Samuel 30:19 "And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all."
This means that none of the wives were molested, or beaten nor harmed in any manner. We see that God had his hand in the protection of David and his men's families, and their goods. Even so, David messed up, for you do not leave the defenseless souls without some defense when the men march off to war. David is about to become king, and this type of action should not happen when he becomes the king of Israel.
It pleased God that the enemy was destroyed, and even though David destroyed the enemy, God protected His people when in the hands of the enemy. Yes, there are many different things to think about concerning lessons to be learned by what has happened here. These are some of the things that we learn on an individual basis, for a Paul wrote in I Corinthians 10:11 happened as "ensamples for our admonition"; "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."
The things that happened and were written about in the Old Testament, were examples of other things that will happen in our day. We are living in the time of the end of this world age, and we had better learn from those things God's prophets wrote before. The moral to all this, is that we do not leave God out of our lives, for He makes the difference.
I Samuel 30:20 "And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before those other cattle, and said, "This is David's spoil." "
With all the Amalekites dead or running for their lives, all of the flocks and herds left became David's. All the wealth that they had, that that they took from the Philistines, as well as what they had taken from Ziklag. This was a lot of goods and wealth.
I Samuel 30:21 "And David came to the two hundred men, which were so faint that they could not follow David, whom they had made also to abide at the brook Besor: and they went forth to meet David, and to meet the People that were with him: and when David came near to the People, he saluted them."
This shows that as far as David was concerned, there were no hard feelings in the fact that these two hundred did not have the strength to continue into the battle. These men had been loyal to David and trusted by him.
I Samuel 30:22 "Then answered all the wicked men and men of Belial, of those that went with David, and said, "Because they went not with us, we will not give them ought of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away, and depart."
Here is another lesson to learn. Even though David put a band together of loyal troops to himself, when ever you have a group of any number for any purpose, there is going to be a small number that only considers their own selfish needs. Many will be true and righteous, however they will be a few that are open to Satan's temptations and have wicked thoughts. That is life and that is just the way it is. It is the spirit of jealousy, and it will exist in any group, even amongst God's people, so don't let your guard down, when you know what is the right thing to do. This also gets into the descerning of spirits, and keeping focused that God should always be in charge of the group. These things happened as an example to us living today, entering the twenty first century. All possessions are God's and it is God's spoils. If God gives you gifts then those gifts are God's and if you have them He expects you to use them for His work.
I Samuel 30:23 "Then said David, "Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the Lord hath given us, Who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand."
I Samuel 30:24 "For who will hearken unto you in this matter: but as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike."
David is saying that these two hundred men should have been left with the stuff to start with, protecting the loved ones back home, and they are entitled to an equal share. David was maturing in this decision.
I Samuel 30:25 "And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day."
That is the way that it is, for we are one body in Christ, on people of God, with one Savior Jesus Christ. When one part of the body hurts, than all hurt, and when one rejoices, that all rejoice for him or her. This is the way that David demanded it. We share equally in that salvation, for those that participate, whether you be the teacher, the one in prayer, the giver of your tithe, or the one driving the bus. We all share alike.
I Samuel 30:26 "And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil unto the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, "Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of the Lord;"
David takes this to the next level, for he is going to share the wealth with all of Judah, and the rest of the cities and peoples that supported Saul in their war effort against the Philistines. Though the two hundred that stayed behind gave support to the others, however remember back when Saul was in hot pursuit of them, these cities gave David support, food, and information to protect them when they were running from Saul. David is remembering all those men and towns and people that gave and loved David and his men. Remember that the Amalekites were raiding in Judah, and in the land of the other tribes, so the stock is being returned to the rightful owners? Judah is getting her own cattle and sheep back.
I Samuel 30:27 "To them which were in Bethel, and to them which were in south Ramoth, and to them which were in Jattir,"
All of these names are places south of Hebron, and places that David and his men sought shelter in. Each of these shared in the effort to preserve David, and keep him while Saul chased him. Remember also, as we will see in II Samuel, that it is Judah that will make David their king first, and these gifts are going to make it easier for David to establish his kingdom. David was proving to these people that he is fit to rule, and that he is fair in his judgments, and they wanted him to be their king. The point to make here is that he wasn't robbing the four hundred that fought, for they all received their fair share, but the things that were sent on to the people were things that were rightfully their.
I Samuel 30:28 "And to them which were in Aroer, and to them which were in Siphmoth, and to them which were in Eshtemoa,"
I Samuel 30:29 "And to them which were in Rachal, and to them which were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to them which were in the cities of the Kenites."
I Samuel 30:30 "And to them which were in Hormah, and to them which were in Athach,"
I Samuel 30:31 "And to them which were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were wont to haunt. "
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