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Reassessing of the Place of Honor

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Advice to Elders from David's Exploits

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This morning we celebrate our elders, In the church here we speak of elders as those who are advanced in age, who are not young. It does not rule out the role of elders as a position in the church, positions which these people may also fill and are encouraged to fill. We are celebrating the older people in our church community here who are involved in the church life. This celebration will be used to remind them of the love of the Lord and his willingness and his presence in the matters of life and challenges which the evil one may throw at them and to assure them and us all that God is still on the throne and reigns forever and ever.

Text Overview

In that spirit, let us open our bibles to the books of , from verse 1 to the end.
1 Sam 30:1-3
1 Samuel 30:1–31 ESV
Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. And David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.” So David set out, and the six hundred men who were with him, and they came to the brook Besor, where those who were left behind stayed. But David pursued, he and four hundred men. Two hundred stayed behind, who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor. They found an Egyptian in the open country and brought him to David. And they gave him bread and he ate. They gave him water to drink, and they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. And when he had eaten, his spirit revived, for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. And David said to him, “To whom do you belong? And where are you from?” He said, “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago. We had made a raid against the Negeb of the Cherethites and against that which belongs to Judah and against the Negeb of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire.” And David said to him, “Will you take me down to this band?” And he said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this band.” And when he had taken him down, behold, they were spread abroad over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. And David struck them down from twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled. David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives. Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. David brought back all. David also captured all the flocks and herds, and the people drove the livestock before him, and said, “This is David’s spoil.” Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow David, and who had been left at the brook Besor. And they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. And when David came near to the people he greeted them. Then all the wicked and worthless fellows among the men who had gone with David said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except that each man may lead away his wife and children, and depart.” But David said, “You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the Lord has given us. He has preserved us and given into our hand the band that came against us. Who would listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike.” And he made it a statute and a rule for Israel from that day forward to this day. When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to his friends, the elders of Judah, saying, “Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the Lord.” It was for those in Bethel, in Ramoth of the Negeb, in Jattir, in Aroer, in Siphmoth, in Eshtemoa, in Racal, in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, in the cities of the Kenites, in Hormah, in Bor-ashan, in Athach, in Hebron, for all the places where David and his men had roamed.
Let us look at what this text given to us by the Lord says and look at the meet of the word that we may be encouraged.
It was a time of transition in the life of Israel
They had Samuel whom they adored but found his children wanting - and maybe with the Eli problem not far from history and mind, They asked for a king like the other nations, thereby rejecting God as their king.
At this time they had experienced Saul and David was beginning to shine...they even had a song for him...The author is reporting what happened and a time in the life of David.
After trying to deceive the philistines about his status and the philistine lords rejected him, he went back "home" to meet the chaos and loss.
David and his men - He ran away because he did not want to be killed by Saul, met the King of Gath who gave him Ziklag,
Ziklag - It was originally apportioned to the tribe of Simeon(, ) but later fell into the hands of the Philistine before Achish handed it over to David
Negev -
Amalekites - They were to be eliminated by Saul, He did as the people wanted and for that reason, the Kingdom was taken from him. David on the other hand raided them and left no one alive.;ref=BibleESV.1Sa15.3;off=0;ctx=e_up_$E2$80$A2out_of_Egypt._~3$C2$A0Now_go_and_strike_
- Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”
They are descendants of Esau (, ), They could also have joined up with the people of the same name as they were mentioned before Esau was born ()
They have been the enemies of the people of God from the time they left Egypt, It was against them that the hands of Moses had to be supported till victory was guaranteed.()
Burned the city with fire - There was loss of some sort though nothing like life
Took women - Oldest to youngest without killing anyone - kidnapping basically
Carried off everyone - The providence and protection of God of David and his own.
They raised their voices and wept until there was not more strength to weep
Two of David's wives -
Ahinoam from Jezreel
Abigail, wife of Nabal the Carmelite
David was in a very precarious situation - The people spoke of stoning him - ?
David strengthened himself in Yahweh his God
David asked for the ephod - worn by the priest when seeking a word from God, unfortunately used sometimes as an idol
- We see him choose to seek God out the way God had prescribed with the Ephod and the Aaronic priest...unlike Saul
David inquired of Yahweh
Should I pursue
Will I overtake
Pursue and You will overtake
Wadi Besor - Wadi is Rocky watercourse / streambed that is dry except during rainy season.This is the brook of Good news but some people were disheartened
Found an Egyptian Man/Servant of an Amalekite in the open country and brought him to David
gave him food and he ate and they gave him water - after receiving mistreatment from the Master.
They gave him a slice of fig cake and two raisin cakes he ate and this revived him for he had not eaten for 3 days and 3 nights -
By showing David’s kind and gracious treatment of this Egyptian sojourner, the author demonstrated that even in the midst of personal tragedy David was sensitive to Torah injunctions regarding the treatment of aliens, particularly Egyptians (cf. ; ; ; ).
Robert D. Bergen, 1, 2 Samuel, vol. 7, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 277.
They had taken plunder of the land of the Philistines and the land of Judah
David attacked from Twilight to the evening of the next day
He recovered all the Amalekites had taken
Corrupt and useless men v22
v25 new rule in Israel
Returned things to the cities and towns of Judah

Advice from this narrative

1. It is God that protects and provides

In all we do we need to understand and no without doubt that all we have is from God and he alone can truly provide

2. Even when we experience loss and disappointment, God is Still in Charge

No matter what may come our way, God is still in control

3. When people are challenged they may not be cordial but we still need to lead and do it faithfully

We should expect and excuse people when they are mourning, we should not encourage speculation and old wife fables but allow and encourage people to grieve trying our best to make things easier for them and not harder

4. We should seek to obey God according to God's word

No matter how pressing or challenging the issue may be, we need to trust God enough and be dependent upon him that we seek to please him according to his word

5. In personal and trying times we should not be too self engrossed to ignore those that need our help

Our grief and personal troubles should not blind us to the needs and sufferings of others and can like David take time out to help.

6. We should be an example of encouragement and community

We should try our best to get a good deal for everyone, it means taking time to heal rifts and not causing them, reconciling brethren and encouraging in every way possible, the community and sharing among brethren.
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