Title: Be encouraged you are going to get it back
Text: 1 Samuel 30:1-20
Introduction: What do you do when everything around you is falling apart? And when people who were once with you are now ready to kill? What do you do? Our story today tell us what to do.
Background: David has fled to the Philistine city of Gath where King Achish gave him asylum in Ziklag so he and his men could reside. Later, the king accepted David as a mercenary and gave Ziklag to David as a prize. However, some of the Philistine commanders were suspicious about David when it came to going to war against the Israelites. They felt that David would turn on them in the midst of battle. So King Achish had no other choice but to dismiss David and his troops and sending them back to Ziklag. Again David is favored by a king and again shunned by one. Like his relationship with King Saul. David lived in the tension of having favor and despair. It seem that whenever he came to place of safety or blessing the bottom would soon drop out from under his feet. Somebody here can testify to this sentiment.
But one thing I love about David is that he did not stay down for long. He knew where to get his help from. That is what our story is about today, how to get the help you need and recover what you have lost. The Lord does not want to stay in despair and lost. Grief can come to an end with the Lord’s help. David shows us how to deal with the troubling times so we won’t fall apart under pressure.
When David and his troops came back to Ziklag he discovered something awful has happened. It is nothing worse that going home to problems. He came home to Ziklag and discovered that the Amalekites have destroy the village and burned it to the ground taking away all of the wives, sons, daughters, possessions and livestock into captivity. As a leader, David had to deal with this tragedy. He had another burden added to his shoulders. He has to deal with his disheartened troops who have lost their families. Look at verse 4. The text says that David and his people lifted up their voices and cried so much that they had no power left in them. They wailed until they were weak. I can hear there pain. That is what major loss will do to you. But also David had to deal with personal loss at the same time. The text says in verse 5 that his wives were gone. How much more can a man take. He not only had to deal with the pain of others, he had to deal his personal pain. All that David had was now gone. But it gets even worse. Look at verse 6. It says that David was greatly distressed because the people wanting to stone him because of the pain of their loss. We see couple of things here. When problems come up the leader always gets the blame. This was now David fault. We also see that people were reacting out of their pain. They want to stone David as if he committed this offence. My brothers and sisters, people may have done some things to you out of their personal pain. Hurt, pain and loss will make people act out. Some people may not like you because they are hurting on the inside. Some people behavior is due to their personal issues. Some people got bad attitudes because hurt and pain on the inside. We see here is that hurt people have the potential to hurt people. Not saying it is right or wrong but we all have been on both sides of this coin. Pause. But Church, what do you do when you are in a situation like this when all that you had is lost? How do you deal with other peoples stuff as well as your own issues? David shows us how we can gain strength in our weakness and recover what we loss. Look at verse 6b. The text says that David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. The original language encouraged means to grow or become firm or strong. During times of distress you may have looked at other avenues to find strength finding out that strength was short lived. You may have tapped into your inner strength only finding out that you were but so strong. You may have tried draw strength from others finding out they were not any stronger than you. But David found his strength from the source of all strength. He did not find it in money. He did not find it in sex or in Oprah. David encouraged himself in the Lord his God and found strength. My beloved, you got to know that the Lord is you strength! You have a personal God who wants to strengthen you when you are at your weakest place. David knew that the only way for him to get strength was to go to the Lord. In verse 7, he calls to the priest Abiathar and ask him to bring him an ephod. An ephod is garment that distinguished the high priest. It was an over the shoulder breastplate. He put this on to present himself before the Lord his God as a priest. My beloved in Christ, you are a royal priesthood. You don’t have to put on an ephod to get the strength you need. You have breastplate to put on you and this is the breastplate of the righteousness Christ. And His righteousness is your strength and encouragement!
David shows us what to do when are to go before God. In verse 8a, David inquired at the Lord. First of all, this is a sign of reverence and humility. David did not tell God what to do like we often do. He asked God earnestly. He asked (begged) the Lord should he purse after the troop? And asked, “Shall I overtake them?” This shows me that even when my emotions are running because of what was done to me, I must humble myself before the Lord asked in prayer him for direction. Look how God honored David’s request in 8b. The Lord said to David, “pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake take them and you will recover it all”! David was not only going defeat the enemy but he was going to get all his stuff back! My brothers and sisters, because of Jesus, like David we have been anointed and we have the promise of salvation. God is there always to give us what we need to restore what we lost. We just have to ask God in prayer knowing that He is able to do what we ask Him to do when we ask according to His sovereign will.
It is in prayer that David received the promise of victory and recovery from God and went out with confidence to get back what he lost. And it is because of the promises of God thru His Word in prayer that you can move forward in confidence knowing you will get it back everything that you lost from the enemy!
Now in verses 9-10, David is ready with his troops to attack the enemy. So he and his 600 men came to the brook of Besor. However, when they get there is a problem. Two hundred of the men stayed behind because they were weary. They could not make it. They had the Lord on their side but they still could not make it. When you have a promise of God not everybody can endure what it is going to take to get that promise. You may have some friends that you started out in church with you but you desired to go further in the Lord and they could not hang so they stayed behind (they wanted to stay in clubs…). This is what happened to David. Now, he only has 400 hundred to fight but he goes anyway. There are times when you just got to go with what you have trusting in the Lord!
As David and the 400 went to get their stuff back, they found an Egyptian slave in the field who had not eaten in 3 days. They gave him some bread, water, figs and some raisins. And when he ate, he was revived. They brought him to David and David asked the Egyptian, “who do you belong to?” He says to David, I am a servant of an Amalekite. My master left me behind because I was sick after the invasion of Ziklag. Uh oh! Here is a problem. This man in front of David is partly responsible for the destruction of his village and the captivity of not only the wives and children of Ziklag but of David own wives. What is David going to do? David had every right to kill this man but he doesn’t. He gives him a pardon. Look what happens next. Dave asks the Egyptian can you take him to the Amalekites? The Egyptian has David swear that he wouldn’t kill him and then takes him down to where the enemy camped. If David would have killed this man, he may not every found the enemy. My brothers and sisters, when you are going toward what God has promised you, you may just run into somebody who has hurt you and did you wrong. It is here that you have an option. You can kill them or you can bless them! Either or you will have to deal with the consequences. Killing leadings to dead ends but blessings leads to more blessing. Which one do you chose? Bless your enemies and watch what God will do for you! Like David, he will make your enemies you footstools. Look what happens.
So the Egyptian brings David down where the enemy is partying celebrating their victory in the land of the Philistines. Then David attacks and kills all of the enemies except for 400 young men who rode off on camels. The text says in verse 18 that David recovered all that Amalekites had taken away and rescued his 2 wives. Verse 19 says that nothing was lacking great or small, son or daughter, spoil or anything taken. David recovered it all! David gathered all that was his. In verse 20, one translation says the people shouted “this is David’s spoil!” My beloved you can recover everything that you lost. You can take it back from the enemy! And people will shout this …..! But first it starts by encouraging yourself in the Lord and He will strengthen you. Pause.
The enemy was successful discouraging David. David lost his home town. He lost his possession. He lost his wives. His men were discouraged and turned their back on him. His circumstances were bad but his relationship was all good! David still had his God! He was able to encourage himself in the Lord his God. My beloved despite everything that is lost and what is going wrong you still have God! In the time of lost, it is time to go spiritual and encourage yourself in the Lord. David did not have the external encouragement he needed so he went spiritual and sought the Lord and Lord he heard him and blessed him! My beloved, it may be time to go spiritual and seek the Lord in prayer and in worship! God will give the encouragement you need to get it back. Look at your neighbor and tell them, get it back!
Close: Get it back! Hezekiah Walker says it like this, “I’m reaping the harvest God promise me and take back to devil stole from me. I will rejoice today for I shall recover it all”. I am going to get it back! Get your joy, get back your love, Get back your strength! Etc…Get it back