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Great Distress & Godly Deliverance

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Great Distress & Godly Deliverance

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Reading
1 Samuel 30:1–6 KJV 1900
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; 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. 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. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 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.
,
1 Samuel 30:18–19 KJV 1900
And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. 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.

Intro

Intro

There’s much to be distressed about in today’s world. We have wars, rumours of wars, thefts, murders, rampant greed and many other things too numerous to list.
What does this topic have to do with anything today?
Loss of possession
+ Loss of possession
Loss of family
+ Loss of family
And while the world looks for answers to the world’s problems, the Word of God goes beyond the calamity to the source of help.
Fear of death
+ Fear of death
We fear harm at the hand of those within our own household and we likewise fear the hands of those outside our home.
We fear loss of our finances by the turning of our economy, and we fear loss of our family through divorce.
Luke 13:1–5 KJV 1900
There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Not only do we fear the loss of these physical, tangible things in this life, but we suffer also from the fear of death which looms upon all of us.
Luke 13:1–4 KJV 1900
There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
As we explore our passage tonight I would like for us to view these issues because it's exactly what David faced in this part of his life.
The two calamities which Jesus himself addressed were two different types - one directly from the hand of a man; and the other what could be perceived as a natural or accidental disaster.
The two calamities which Jesus himself addressed were two different types - one directly from the hand of a man; and the other what could be perceived as a natural or accidental disaster.
What will we see? What do you want me to learn?
And at both times Jesus doesn’t point the finger to blame, as we often seek to do, but rather the solution to all calamities.
Tonight I’d like for us to explore through this passage tonight what can cause us to distress. We will see from the references here in our focal verse in that we can easily get caught up in the things of this world with what we have, and we can also easily neglect our responsibilities with our family which can cause further angst, and lastly we have the greatest fear - that of death.
But while we can explore all the things about what causes us to stress, this passage also will provide encouragement in that even if we be caught up in the world with worry, that we can be encouraged by David’s testimony here and the testimony of our fellow brothers and sisters to continue in fellowship together.
We need to be encouraging one another and helping each other during these days.
We need to be encouraging one another and helping each other during these days.
Let’s get started by diving into verse 6.

David Greatly Distressed

Let's dive into verse 6:
Let's dive into verse 6 a little more deeper:
Firstly, let’s start by asking the question - why was David greatly distressed?
We can see from the beginning of this chapter that the things causing him great distress were:
1. The loss of his physical possessions - his home had been burnt with fire and his livestock were taken away;
2. The loss of his family - they’d been taken captive by the lawless and godless Amalekites; and
3. The fear of death at the hand of his own men.
In isolation just one of these things could be enough to cause anyone to stress, but all three at once help us to appreciate why Scripture states David was in great distress.
Let’s explore each of these in a little more detail.

Loss of Possessions

Seeing the loss of property and possessions, like we see here with David, causes us to have a healthy fear for the protection of our own property should calamity befall us.
It's seeing the loss of possessions, like we see here with David and others, in our own life that cause us to have a healthy fear for protection of our property should calamity befall us.
Thankfully in our time we have organisations, such as insurance companies, who can help us to restore our possessions by charging a small premium every year. And I personally believe to be a good stewardship would require us to consider the cost that insurance may be needed for our possessions - such as our homes, our cars, and perhaps even our earnings should something befall us.
But I should quickly add that there's a fine line between being responsible for the things God has given us and idolising them. Jesus puts it quite succinctly in:
Matthew 6:21 KJV 1900
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
(KJV 1900) 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
So how would we know the difference?
So how would we know the difference on whether we’re being diligent with our property or whether we are idolising it?
Jesus gave us the clue: look at your heart. One way of determining what is in your heart is to listen to what you know a lot about and like talking about:
(KJV 1900) 34 ... for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
(KJV 1900) 34 … for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Matthew 12:34 KJV 1900
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
What are you thinking about? Do you worry about the loss of your possessions? Do you look to acquire more possessions? Your heart would be thinking about these things constantly. In fact, even when you're here in church listening to the Word of God being preached, your mind is elsewhere because your heart desires what you have (or haven't) got.
You could be worrying about how to make more money. Or thinking about the latest model and make of a particular brand of motor vehicle.
For us to talk about something it would mean we’d have facts stored in our memory and likely we’d have opinions about it. So where does your heart go? What does your mind like to think about? Perhaps you’re hear in body but your mind is thinking of other things.
Another good way of determining whether a possession is an idol in your life is whether you’re able to remove it. We certainly cannot take our possessions with us when we die, and if we’ve read the Bible fully we know that everything gets burned up anyway.
So what should our attitude be towards our worldly possessions?
I recall one American pastor who said he could tell a lot about the condition of a person's heart by looking at their bank statement. Our wallets are not far behind the pursuits of our own heart. If we worship possessions we will soon find ourselves spending on those things which supplement and complement our desires.
Be a good steward, be diligent with what God has given us, but keep our mind focussed on God, not the things he has given us.
Or perhaps you look to acquire more possessions? Your heart would be thinking about these things constantly. In fact, even when you're here in church listening to the Word of God being preached, your mind is elsewhere because your heart desires what you have (or haven't) got.
Your heart would be thinking about these things constantly. In fact, even when you're here in church listening to the Word of God being preached, your mind is elsewhere because your heart desires what you have (or haven't) got.

Loss of Family

I recall one American pastor who said he could tell a lot about the condition of a person's heart by looking at their bank statement. Our wallets are not far behind the pursuits of our heart. If we worship possessions we will soon find ourselves spending on those things which supplement and complement our desires.
But even with the loss of possessions, it wasn’t the largest concern of David and his men. We see that their greatest concern was the loss of family.

Loss of Family

The second distress David faced was the loss of his two wives and children. The tragic loss of any life would overwhelm the grief we would have for any loss of physical possessions in this life.
The second distress David faced was the loss of his two wives and children. The tragic loss of any life would overwhelm the grief we would have for any loss of our possessions in this life.
And this loss is what caused even David's men to turn against their master as verse 6 emphasises...
(KJV 1900) 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...
1 Samuel 30:6 KJV 1900
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.
(KJV 1900) 6 ... because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters.
But why would the men have considered stoning David?
What could have further angered David's men into thinking of such thoughts about stoning him was the reason they had been absent from the city - leaving the wives and children without protection.
In the previous chapter, in , David had made the decision for him and his men to side with the Philistines. No doubt this would have caused quite the stir among David's own men at as to why they were now partnering with their enemy to fight against their own countrymen!
In our previous chapter, in , David had been off to battle with the Philistines. No doubt this would have caused quite the stir among David's own men at as to why they were now partnering with their own enemy to fight against their own countrymen!
David’s choice was not the right decision.
As the men were not absent for a few days from their homes their other enemies, the Amalekites, easily took advantage of the situation and took their wives and children captive.
And this is a caution that I’ve even asked myself as a father:
How am I protecting my family today?
I can buy enough insurance to help cover and protect our physical possessions, but what of the precious souls within my own home? I’m commanded within Scripture:
Ephesians 6:4 KJV 1900
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
So what am I doing? Am I being a good example and testimony to my children? It can be very easy to impart bible facts to my children about the content of what is contained within God’s Word, but if I’m not living out what I believe and hold to be true my children who are with me constantly will see the hypocrisy.
It is difficult leading the home. Decisions need to be made and directions established, and as we’ve seen with David, sometimes we make the wrong choice.

Fighting the Good Fight

And another aspect that I also need to be mindful of is that I need to be fighting the right things.
It begs the same question for us men today - how are you protecting your family? We can buy all the insurance in the world to protect our possessions, but what the precious hearts of those within your own home?
I shouldn't be caught up with the enemy fighting their battles for them, and I certainly shouldn't be fighting against my own brothers and sisters in Christ! What a great victory for Satan and his host to see Christians fighting amongst each other.
And it's why John, the apostle whom Jesus loved, reminds us in three separate occasions in his first epistle ( , , ) that we are to love one another and not to hate.
And this is just as important within the home. I need to make sure I’m not siding with the enemy against my wife - there’s nothing more glorious than for Satan to see the destruction of godly homes. Why? Because a marriage is to be a picture of the gospel - of what Christ loved his bride the church and laid down his life for her.
And the destruction of godly marriage also makes grace contemptible and impractical.
1 Peter 3:7 KJV 1900
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
It’s important then within the home to administer grace to each other. Remember, grace is unmerited favour (I don’t deserve it, I can’t earn it). When I do wrong my wife has every right to seek that justice be done, but I seek her forgiveness - I confess my wrong and I turn from my wrongdoing, I grow in knowledge of the things I do that cause myself and my wife to stumble.
And I’m very thankful for my gracious wife.
So are you fighting with the enemy? Have you been enlisted?

Taken Captive

Sometimes we don’t even know why, but in David’s case it was a slow process that took a period of 16 months. We could even say that even though his two wives and children had been taken captive, David himself had been captive long before.
But thankfully the Philistines all too well remembered and it was they who ended up preventing David from entering the battle and sent David and his men back home.

Enlisting with the Enemy

Absent Fathers

Even though David’s two wives and children has been taken captive, it was David who had been taken captive well before his family was by the Amalekites.
During this short period of time when David was off fighting for the enemy his absence from the home allowed his enemy to take captive all the wives and children.
During this short period of time when David was off fighting for the enemy his absence from the home allowed his enemy to take captive all the wives and children.
During this short period of time when David was off fighting for the enemy his absence from the home allowed his enemy to take captive all the wives and children.
It's a sad reality in the world today that men are absent from the home - even when they're physically present.
It's a sad reality in the world today that men are absent from the home - even when they're physically present.
Unfortunately, even though David was physically absent preparing for battle with the enemy he had been taken captive well before his family was by the Amalekites.
Unfortunately, even though David was physically absent preparing for battle with the enemy he had been taken captive well before his family was by the Amalekites.
Sixteen months ago David decided within his own heart to escape from the hands of Saul by fleeing into enemy territory.
If we take a quick flick back to we’ll see what had captured his heart:
1 Samuel 27:1 KJV 1900
And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.
1 Samuel 27:1 (KJV 1900) 1 And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.
And sure enough Saul does not purse David upon his flight into Gath (verse 4).
(KJV 1900) 1 And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.
(KJV 1900) 1 And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.
And sure enough Saul did not purse David upon David's flight into Gath (verse 4).
And sure enough Saul did not purse David upon David's flight into Gath (verse 4).
But what Scripture in helps to emphasise most about David is that his decision shows absence of the Lord which, if you read previous chapters in 1 Samuel, you'll see that this type of behaviour is quite unlike David.
But what Scripture in `` helps to emphasise most about David is that his decision shows absence of the Lord which, if you read previous chapters in `1 Samuel`, you'll see that this type of behaviour is quite unlike David.
Where is the Lord?
It begs the question - "David! Where is the Lord??"
And this highlights a point for us men. Men are to lead the home and with that means making choices. Now we all know how resentful we can become when we have somebody else in authority - and it's no different for the home. Your wife will resent your choices, your children, because again the flesh wants to usurp any form of authority and it thinks it knows best.
And this problem causes some husbands to relinquish their God-given authority to their wives because of the pressure of making and decision and sticking by it.
What appeared to be a simple decision to leave the land 16 months ago to escape from the hands of King Saul, now sees David holding the service of protecting his Philistine lord.
And a very important point should not be missed here - we need to include the Lord in all our decisions, because if we think it's okay to do so without him, as we see with David, he continues making decisions without God at the forefront of his mind.
The point here is quite simple - if we neglect to include the Lord in our decisions we then think it's okay to continue making decisions without Him.
But Scripture in this one moment in history is giving you a clue if you'll open your eyes to it. David makes a decision, but he doesn't consult the Lord about it. Therefore, in the home, the simple question I have for men tonight is - have you taken your decisions to the Lord? Have you sought the Lord's direction in where you would like to go?
Have you included the Lord in your decisions?
Or are you like David at this point?
Do you have an open mind to the possibility that perhaps the Lord may deny your request?
Father's need not go it alone and the Lord is willing to help guide you along the way if you remember Him in the decisions you make.
And it’s important also to add that when we do include the Lord in our decisions that we humble ourselves when approaching God’s throne of grace. We come with bended knee, not with folded arms.

Wives

Wives

Before moving on I’d like to just make one other point about the wives and children who had been taken captive.
But what of the wives?
Something else that is silent here in is that we don't hear of the complaints from the wives and before you retort that David's wives would have known no different, remember that one of David's wives, which lists is Abigail (the widow of Nabal), who was a very godly woman. She could have very easily brought David to task on how silly the idea to move to enemy territory would be, but we don't see that.
The best and yet the hardest thing for a wife to do is to let the men in her life fail - her husband and her sons.
Psalm 119:71 KJV 1900
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; That I might learn thy statutes.
Were there consequences to David’s decisions?
(KJV 1900) 71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; That I might learn thy statutes.
Will their be consequences for poor decisions?
Of course!
But did you notice that even though the wives and children had been taken away captive by the Amalekites they were not harmed and David and his men recovered all - nothing was missing.
There’s comfort here for those who are caught captive by the decisions of others. However, God has an attentive eye for those who are afflicted, and for the widow and fatherless. Even at the very beginning of the book of Samuel we have an afflicted wife in Hannah, and even in her affliction she did not raise her fist up at the Lord and demand her rights, but took comfort in the Lord and His provision.
1 Samuel 30:18–19 KJV 1900
And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. 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.
God has a special watch for those who are afflicted and even when your husband makes the wrong choice it's important you administer grace to each others hearts as points out:
(KJV 1900) 18 And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. 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.
1 Peter 3:7 KJV 1900
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
God has a special watch for those who are afflicted and even when your husband makes the wrong choice it's important you administer grace to each others hearts as points out:
Remember, mercy is forgiving and forgoing what someone justly deserves when it is within your power to punish. Grace though is granting you what you cannot earn and do not deserve.
(KJV 1900) 7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
Remember, mercy is forgiving and forgoing what someone justly deserves when it is within your power to punish. Grace though is granting you what you cannot earn and do not deserve.
I can't force my wife to forget all the wrongdoing I've done to her and the family. But this doesn't prevent me from asking for forgiveness and seeking to restore our relationship. I seek her grace to restore, it is her decision whether she applies grace to our marriage or not.

Fear of Death

The third aspect which caused David great distress was the threat from his men to kill him.
The fear of death is what initially propelled David to escape from his home land to the land of the Philistines as we saw in . However, fear continues to haunt David - moving didn’t apparently provide the remedy hoped for, and we see this highlighted in .
1 Chronicles 12:1 KJV 1900
Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war.
And what is David’s response to these mighty men who’ve arrived:
The author of Chronicles then begins to list and detail these mighty men who joined David while he abode in Ziklag. Let's look at a couple of verses:
1 Chronicles 12:17 KJV 1900
And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.
So the tree change decision David had made now just made him even more on edge with those who came to help.
But what of David’s men who sought to kill him? Where did they come from?
A flick back to shows that there were two types of men that joined David since David’s initial parting from the presence of King Saul in the royal house.
1 Samuel 22:1–2 KJV 1900
David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.
1 Samuel 22:1–2 (KJV 1900) 1 David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him. 2 And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.
(KJV 1900) 1 David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him. 2 And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.
Notice the types of men who came:
His brethren - his father’s house
Those who were in distress - men who had personal problems of their own.
1. His brethren
Every one that was in debt - men of broken fortunes, unable to provide for their own homes.
2. Those who were in distress - men who had personal problems of their own.
3. Every one that was in debt - men of broken fortunes, unable to provide for their own homes.
Every one that was discontented - restless men, unhappy with King Saul's authority and regime.
4. Every one that was discontented - restless men, unhappy with King Saul's authority and regime.

Unfortunately though, as we see back in our passage in we see when these men were faced with a distressing situation, they quickly turned on their leader and returned to their old familiar habit of revolting against authority.
Around two-thirds of David's men were men who, what we call today, "have issues" and David doesn't reject these men from being a part of his troop.
He became an example to them and they witnessed the power of God in David's life with the many ways in which God delivered David from King Saul's hand.
Who are you being an example to? There is always someone else who is in a worse condition than you. Are you showing them the power of God in your life?
How easy it can be for us to forget what our leader has done for us!
Unfortunately though, as we see back in our passage in we see when these men were faced with a distressing situation, they quickly turned on their leader and returned to their old familiar habit of revolting against authority.

Men of Manasseh

How easy it can be for us to forget what our leader has done for us!

Men of Manasseh

Just a quick aside here: is David still living in fear? Did moving away cure him of his fear? No! But let's look at one of the men's response to David:
1 Chronicles 12:1 KJV 1900
Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war.
(KJV 1900) 1 Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war.
(KJV 1900) 1 Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war.
(KJV 1900) 1 Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war.
Just a quick aside here: is David still living in fear? Did moving away cure him of his fear? No! But let's look at one of the men's response to David:
1 Chronicles 12:17 KJV 1900
And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.
Just a quick aside here: is David still living in fear? Did moving away cure him of his fear? No! But let's look at one of the men's response to David:
1 Chronicles 12:17–18 KJV 1900
And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it. Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, And on thy side, thou son of Jesse: Peace, peace be unto thee, And peace be to thine helpers; For thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.
1 Chronicles 12:18 KJV 1900
Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, And on thy side, thou son of Jesse: Peace, peace be unto thee, And peace be to thine helpers; For thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.
(KJV 1900) 17 And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.
Amasai who was chief of the captains knew the source of David's help and echoed this in his ear. Leading men who knew what manner you ought to me can be a very tough task.
Just a quick aside here: is David still in fear of King Saul? Did moving away cure him of his fear? No! But let's look at one of the men's response to David:
18 Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, And on thy side, thou son of Jesse: Peace, peace be unto thee, And peace be to thine helpers; For thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.
Amasai who was chief of the captains knew the source of David's help and joined him. Leading men who knew what manner you ought to me can be a very tough task.

Men of Manasseh

Men of Manasseh

But have a look at what else we notice here in we read:
1 Chronicles 12:19–21 KJV 1900
And there fell some of Manasseh to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle: but they helped them not: for the lords of the Philistines upon advisement sent him away, saying, He will fall to his master Saul to the jeopardy of our heads. As he went to Ziklag, there fell to him of Manasseh, Adnah, and Jozabad, and Jediael, and Michael, and Jozabad, and Elihu, and Zilthai, captains of the thousands that were of Manasseh. And they helped David against the band of the rovers: for they were all mighty men of valour, and were captains in the host.
(KJV 1900) 19 And there fell some of Manasseh to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle: but they helped them not: for the lords of the Philistines upon advisement sent him away, saying, He will fall to his master Saul to the jeopardy of our heads. 20 As he went to Ziklag, there fell to him of Manasseh, Adnah, and Jozabad, and Jediael, and Michael, and Jozabad, and Elihu, and Zilthai, captains of the thousands that were of Manasseh. 21 And they helped David against the band of the rovers: for they were all mighty men of valour, and were captains in the host.
Do you think it was coincidence that these seven men who were all captains of thousands that were from the tribe of Manasseh joined David on his way to Ziklag?
And have a look at some of the names of these men, which your Bible may supply definitions of. They may have even introduced themselves to David like:
"Hi, my name is Jehovah has bestowed." (Jozabad)
"Hi, my name is God knows." (Jediael)
"Hi, my name is Who is like unto God?" (Michael)
"Hi, my name is He is my God." (Elihu) and
and
"Hi, my name is Under the Lord's protection" (Zilthai)
Do you think God was already preparing David for help before he arrived home to Ziklag?
I think so!
And there's one other essential point to make about the timing of these men in David's life. They would have been completely impartial to what had befallen when they did eventually arrive home to Ziklag.

Impartial Guidance

These seven men from the tribe of Manasseh wouldn't have been caught up with the difficult moment that had enraptured all of David’s men.
The emotionally charged moment saw these men rashly thinking of ways to make it right and not knowing any other way sought to destroy the man who had been responsible for their absence.
A very important point I would like to make here is that when all these men arrived to Ziklag, these seven men from the tribe of Manasseh wouldn't have been caught up with the moment.
But these mighty men of valour helped David and David was able to encourage himself in the Lord.
And similarly for us there are times when we too need godly men and women to help direct us in life, even to help us objectively look at our situation and point us in the right direction without being caught up in the moment.
And this is why it's important to remain in fellowship with the brethren as often as you can. You’ll never know if you’re never here on whether you’ll be able to encourage someone who is going through a moment in life that you yourself have been through, and similarly you yourself may need help and guidance from others.
1. You could be here to help encourage someone else; and/or
2. You could be here because someone may help encourage you in the right direction.
If you’re not here you miss out on the opportunity to be fed by God’s Word and by godly men and women.

David Greatly Delivered

Returning back to our passage in it wasn't until David hit that colon in verse 6 that he realised he had nothing.
It wasn't until David hit that colon in verse 6 that he realised he had nobody else to turn to.
The Philistines didn't want him
2. Achish didn't need him
Achish didn't need him
His own men wanted to kill him; and
3. His own men wanted to kill him; and
His family was gone.
4. His family was gone
It was at that moment, at this lowest point of his life, that he remembered the Lord. The last 16 months residing in Ziklag didn’t hardly even seen David engaged in fellowship with the Lord. Sure he may have made cursory statements about the Lord, but even if he did Scripture has been purposefully silent. The relationship he once had with the Lord when he was on the run with Saul had begun to wane.
And it would. What would David need the Lord for?
It wasn’t until this colon in verse 6 that he finally sees his need.
And do you know what I’m very thankful for here in verse 6?
I’m thankful there’s no full stop, a period, at the end of the phrase “David encouraged himself”.
Yet, thankfully, he remembers and note that our passage doesn’t contain a full stop at the end of “David encouraged himself”.
Why?
It would be very easy for psychologists and self-help gurus to jump on the bandwagon that for David to have found the right solution he just needed to have searched within his own heart to get it. But we don’t see the source of help being David himself through positive affirmations.
Scripture notes three distinct things in the final 8 words of verse 6:
Thankfully the verse continues.
David needed to strengthen himself not be positive affirmations, he needed to tap back into the source of his strength - that to whom Amasai had reminded him had been his help and was evident to others.
(KJV 1900) 6 ... but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
David needed to strengthen himself not be positive affirmations, he needed to tap back into the source of his strength - that to whom Amasai had reminded him had been his help and was evident to others.

Source of Strength

Your Source of Strength

It wasn’t a coincidence that the men from Manasseh
Where do you turn for your source of strength?
David knew the source of his strength was the Lord. But just stating the fact and affirming that God can help, will not help you. It’s no different to knowing the medicine will help cure your ailment, you actually need to take it.
It therefore presupposes that you have a relationship with the Lord.
And notice that very important three letter word: “David encouraged himself in the Lord his God”. David had a relationship with the Lord, but he had strayed like a lost sheep away from the fold thinking that it was going to be easier and better if he grazed in Ziklag.
Unfortunately things didn’t and he realised his error of neglect to the Lord and resumed the relationship he had.
How is your relationship with God? Has the relationship waned? Do you feel the Lord irrelevant at meeting your desires and needs? Do you even have a relationship with Him?
Psalm 66:18 KJV 1900
If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear me:
You cannot have a relationship with God if you are not born again.

Conclusion

Maybe tonight you're at that colon in our focus passage. Maybe you've made some bad decisions in life and there doesn’t appear to be any hope. Even though you may have made many bad decisions in life and have a distressed soul, you can make one very good decision tonight. Just as David restored the relationship with his Lord, you too can restore a right relationship with God tonight.
And what's great about God is that He provided the means whereby we can be restored. We can go straight to his throne of grace by what He did for all mankind in sending His only begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins. Just like David you too can be restored and forgiven.
The means by which God has redeemed us is by repenting of your sins, acknowledging the wrong we’ve done, not hiding or running away from them - as problems always have a habit of following - but taking ownership that it is YOU who has done the wrong against a righteous and holy God - it is YOU who has walked apart from God, and that by confessing and forsaking your sins you humbly apply the blood that was shed on the cross at Calvary in Christ Jesus and put your trust in Him for your life.
And do that tonight, because we never know when
As I finish up now, you know, I'm very thankful for the simplicity of the gospel message. I'm thankful that I had parents who loved me enough to tell me of the gospel story when I was a child and receiving the free gift of Christ's blood applied to my life.
But you know what I really appreciate about the gospel message besides its simplicity and besides the amazing gift mankind? It's that it reminds me of what I need to do when I get things wrong.
This might shock some of you, but I'm actually not perfect. I’ve made some poor decisions in my life, but I'm thankful that even when I strayed away from the Lord and wanted to do what I thought was right He didn't neglect me. He in his timing brought godly men and women to my life who helped direct my path during my Ziklag period.
Thank you to all those who’ve helped minister to my heart.
God is willing and able for all men to repent, but God will not forever be
If you are not saved this night my prayer is that you will become saved. Make the best decision tonight, trust in Christ.
Closing Hymn
317 - What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Notice the sentence doesn't stop after the words "David encouraged himself". It's not
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