Text: 1 Samuel 30
We are living in what many see as stressful times in our nation. We are a nation divided on so many issues. Our children are growing up in a time where overdoses, suicides, and school shootings are often perceived as the normal way of life. These tragic events in our society could lead even the strongest believer to become distressed. In this devotional, let us turn our distress to delight as David did in 1 Samuel 30.
In our passage, David's life had been turned upside down. David and his men returned to Ziklag, only to find that the Amalekites had burned the city and took their wives and families captive. In our reading, David was said to be distressed. Not only was David concerned about his family but, as a leader, he bore the hurt of his people. David's men spoke of stoning him, because their hearts were grieved. This, for sure, was a distressed time for David. I love David's response in 1 Samuel 30:6, "... but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God."
David did not stay distressed after He encouraged himself in the LORD. He sought God. He inquired of God regarding his next step in 1 Samuel 30:8 and the Lord answered David! The Lord told David to "... Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all." What a promise given to David! David was obedient and pursued. What we see in the next few verses was a leader who was given a promise of God to go recover what was lost; but also on his journey, he took time to help someone else who was hurting.
As David pursued after his family, God put a neglected and forgotten Egyptian young man in David's path. David did not know that this young Egyptian was a servant to an Amalekite. David took time to supply him with food and drink, but also to speak to him. David learned vital information from this Egyptian that would lead to where the Amalekites were located.
I have learned four things from David's response in a distressful situation that may help us all:
- A distressed situation does not exempt us from helping others in their time of distress (verse 11).
- Helping those in distress requires our time (verse 11).
- Helping those in distress may cost us resources (verses 11-12).
- The one we help in distress may be the one God set aside to help us in our distress (verse 15).
I do not know what you are going through right now in your life, but we can learn from David to take time to encourage ourselves in the Lord and, as David did in our reading, ask God today for direction.
Written by Brian Ragle