Sunday, November 22, 2015
David returns to Ziklag and Saul dies (1 Samuel 26-31)
David and his army would go out and defeat any army that would endanger their new city. They even went to the king of the Philistines and volunteered to join forces with the Philistine army. The king said OK, but the soldiers in the Philistine army did not want David with them. They were afraid that he would turn on them in battle, especially if they ended up in a battle against the Israelites.
So David and all 600 of his men headed back to Ziklag. From a distance, David and his men became concerned. They could see smoke rising on the horizon in the direction of Ziklag! When they arrived, they couldn't believe their eyes. The city was burned to the ground and all their wives and children were missing! While David and all his men were gone, the Amalekites had raided Ziklag, burned it to the ground, taken all their livestock and gold and carried off all the wives and children.
David's men began to weep till they could not weep any more. David was now in serious trouble because the men were bitter and blamed him. They began to talk of stoning David to death! But David found strength in the Lord. While his men were grumbling, blaming and complaining, David was praying. David asked God what to do. "Should I go and chase the Amalekites?" He asked God.
David heard from God. He rounded up all his men to go bring back their wives and their belongings. David knew they would be successful because of what God told him.
When you pray, do you give God a chance to speak by remaining quiet for a period of time, or do you do all the talking? Or are you like David's men.... complain, grumble and blame instead of praying? God wants us to speak to Him, but He also wants to speak to us. Sometimes listening to God is the hardest part. God speaks in many ways like through other Godly people, through His Word, through music and through experiences. If we contemplate God in these things, we can hear what He is saying. A very great way to do this is by using a resource called " The Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids". Here is a link to their webpage. http://www.spiritualcirclejournal.com/Kids-Journal.html
Some of David's troops found an Egyptian man in a field. They gave him some water and food. He hadn't eaten or drank anything for three days. When he was strong enough to talk, he told David that he was a slave of the Amalekites and they left him there to die. "Will you lead us to their camp?" David asked.
"Yes." Replied the man. But please promise me that you will not kill me or give me back to the Amalekites." David agreed.
So the Egyptian led them to the Amalekite encampment. While the Amalekites were celebrating, David and his army caught them by surprise and defeated the Amalekites. They rescued all the wives and children and they also retrieved all that had been taken from them and more. When they got back to Ziklag, David sent some of the plunder to his friends in Judah, and then they started to rebuild the city.
In the meantime, the Philistines attacked Israel. Forcing many of the Israelites to flee. Saul, his three sons and his army remained and fought. During the battle all three of Saul's sons were killed, including Jonathan, David's best friend. Saul was also severely wounded and ended up killing himself because he didn't want to be tortured to death by the Philistines.
The words for today are PRAY and LISTEN. God loves you and He wants you to make decisions that will be for your benefit and His glory. He won't steer you wrong. PRAY and LISTEN :)