1 Samuel 30:1-31

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Enslavement & being held in bondage, is one of the most terrible things on the face of the earth.  And yet multitudes of people are in bondage, some being enslaved by men and others being enslaved by substances.  Tragically, there are many who are enslaved to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, sex, and a host of other worldly vices.

But there is wonderful news: we can be set free from the slavery and bondages of this world.  Jesus Christ can set us free.  This is the practical lesson of this present passage of Scripture, the truth that Jesus Christ sets the captives free.  This is: The Defeat of the Amalekites by David: A Picture of Christ Setting the Captives (His Loved Ones) Free, 30:1-31.

A.           A lesson on prayer-seeking the LORD during bitter, painful trials (v.1-8).

In verses 1-8, we will learn some interesting things in the life of David.  We will learn of when to pray, the answers to our trials and distresses of life, as well as David’s prayer life and the source of David’s strength. 

Now, when David and his men returned home from the battlefield, they discovered their city burned and their families taken captive by the Amalekites.  Remember…

·         David lived with the enemies of God for 1year and 4months

·         He was ready to fight against Israel, they people whom he was going to be king over.

·         But God stepped in preventing David from committing this act of sin.

·         David and his men went back home to Ziklag, but when they returned their city was burned to the ground, as well as their families missing.

Warren W. Wiersbe says this:

Perhaps the Lord permitted this raid on Ziklag to encourage David to get out of enemy territory and go back to Judah where he belonged….[The Amalekites] burned the city, an act of vengeance on their part but perhaps a message from the Lord that it was time for David to think about returning to Judah.

1.            The Amalekites' raid on David's city, Ziklag (v.1-2).

a)            They took everyone captive: Women, children, elderly but killed no one (v.2).

(1)           The raid on Ziklag was unopposed because David and his men had been off preparing to join the Philistine army in their attack against Israel.
(2)           As a result, the Amalekites were able to capture everyone alive and enslave them either for their own use or else to be sold at the slave markets.

2.            The shocking discovery of David and his men (v.3-5).

a)            Several things had happened.

(1)           Their city burned & their families taken captive & they wept until they had no more power to weep (v.3-4).
(2)           David's two wives had been captured, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal (v.5).

3.            The hostility and threat by David's men to stone David (v.6a).

a)            The distress of David and his source of strength (v.6b-8).

b)            He sought the LORD for strength (v.6b).

c)            He sought the LORD for guidance (v.6b-8).

(1)           In other words, David inquired of the Lord (see 1Sam.23:2, 4, 10-12; Prov.3:5-6).

!!! 4.             David's question (v.8).

a)            Should he pursue and would he catch the raiding party?  (v.8a).

b)            The LORD's answer: "Yes" (v.8b).

(1)           It is awesome to know that the Lord hears our prayers (Ps.50:15; 91:15).
(2)           Think About this.  This is a strong lesson for us on prayer, on seeking the Lord during bitter, painful trials.  With the loss of his family and then having his closest friends turn against him, David faced the most bitter trial a person can face.  Imagine losing your entire family and then later, for whatever reason, having all your friends turn against you.
(3)           The answer to bitter, painful trials is the Lord, praying and seeking His face for strength to bear the trials, to overcome and conquer them.  If we ask, God gives us strength.  If we seek, we will find.  If we knock, it will be opened unto us.  This is the promise of the Lord.

Jesus said "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”  (Matthew 7:7, NKJV)

He also said in John 15 that "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”  (John 15:7, NKJV)

A lot of times we don’t have because we simply just don’t ask "Until now you have asked nothing in My name.  Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”  (John 16:24, NKJV)

I love this promise "Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore! “  (1 Chronicles 16:11)

B.           A lesson on compassion (v.9-15).

1.            The utter exhaustion of David and his men (v.9-10).

a)            Two hundred were so worn out they could not cross Besor Ravine (v.10).

b)            David and 400 men continued the pursuit (v.10).

(1)           David and his men were utterly exhausted, for they had already spent the last three days traveling from the battlefield to their home at Ziklag, a journey of over fifty miles (1 Samuel 30:9-10).  In addition, experiencing the destruction of their homes and the loss of their families drained the strength out of their bodies.
(2)           A state of total exhaustion, of being bone-weary and completely worn out had overtaken some of the men.  When they had traveled about another sixteen miles in their pursuit of the Amalekites, they came to a deep and wide ravine known as the Besor Ravine.  Being thoroughly exhausted, 200 of the men could not cross the ravine.  They simply could go no further.  So leaving these 200 men behind, David and the remaining 400 men continued their fierce pursuit.

2.            The discovery of a half-dead Egyptian in a field and David's compassion (v.11-12).

a)            They gave him water and food (v.11).

b)            They revived him: He had not eaten or drunk for three days or three nights (v.12).

3.            The interrogation by David and his discovery that the man was one of the enemy (v.13-14).

a)            He was an Egyptian slave of an Amalekite (v.13a).

b)            He had become ill on the march and had been abandoned (v.13b).

c)            He had taken part in the raiding and burning of Ziklag (v.14).

!!! 4.             The request by David (v.15).

a)             A dangerous risk: The man could betray them (v.15a).

b)            The man negotiated for his life and freedom (v.15b).

(1)           Thought 1: This is a striking lesson on compassion.  Rushing to save their families, David and his men did not have to stop to help this Egyptian.  Spotting the man, it was visibly evident that he was half-dead, and it would take some time to revive and refresh him.  Stopping to help him meant a delay in their pursuit to save their families.
(2)           Nevertheless, compassion reached out to help the man.  And because David was filled with compassion, he was rewarded with additional information about the Amalekites.  Our hearts are always to be filled with compassion, reaching out to help any person who is in need.

Jesus said "Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. “  (Matthew 5:7, NKJV)

In Luke’s Gospel He says "Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.”  (Luke 6:36)

The Good Samaritan "But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.  So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”  (Luke 10:33-34, NKJV)

Paul said in Acts that "I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak.  And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive."  (Acts 20:35, NKJV)

Writing to the Romans he said "We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves."  (Romans 15:1, NKJV)

C.           A picture of Christ setting the captives free (from Satan and sin) (v.16-20).

1.            David found the Amalekites partying, drinking (v.16).

2.            David attacked and killed all the enemy except 400 who escaped on camels (v.17).

3.            David recovered everything (v.18-20).

a)            Freed his two wives who had been taken captive (v.18).

b)            Freed every person who had been taken captive (v.19a).

c)            Recovered the plunder (v.19b).

(1)           All possessions (v.19b).
(2)           All the flocks and herds (v.19b).

d)            Received the largest portion of the plunder-as the leader (v.20).

D.           A picture of covetousness, and of justice and generosity (v.21-31).

1.            The return to the 200 men who had been too exhausted to fight (v.21).

a)            They came out to meet the conquerors (v.21a).

b)            David greeted them: Did not rebuke them (v.21b).

2.            The opposition and covetousness of some wicked troublemakers among David's men (v.22).

a)            They opposed the exhausted men's receiving a share of the plunder (v.22a).

b)            They suggested the laggards could, however, have their families (v.22b).

3.            The wisdom and justice of David's decision (v.23-25).

a)            The victory was the LORD's and the plunder was a gift from Him (v.23).

b)            The task of the supply soldier was as vital and important as that of the combat warrior (v.24a)

c)            The decision: Justice demanded that all share and share alike (v.24b).

d)            The principle of equal distribution was made a permanent law (v.25).

4.            The generosity of David: He sent gifts (some plunder) to the leaders of various cities throughout Judah, leaders who had provided supplies for him during his years as a fugitive from Saul (v.26-31)

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