David Was Greatly Distressed 1 Sam. 30 :1-19 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
When David went to the Philistines to get away from Saul’s constant attempts to kill him, he allied himself with Achish. Achish gave him and his men Ziklag as their city to dwell in. After nearly one and a half years, the Philistines and Israel went to war. David and his men were Achish’s guard until the princes of king Achish convinced him that David could easily reconcile himself to Saul by turning against the Philistines and Achish in the battle. So, David and his men were dismissed. Upon their return to Ziklag, they found that their city had been burned, their wives and children had been taken captive and their possessions had been stolen. As a result, David was greatly distressed.
When you are greatly distressed, as David was, remember these things that we learn from this text:
Weeping is natural and beneficial – 1 Sam 30:4 – during times of such distress, it is common to try to be strong for everyone else. When your own soul is so distressed from grief or loss, it does no good to “hold it in.” David wept, Jesus wept [Heb 5:7], Jeremiah wept, etc.
Distress over something big is normal – 1 Sam 30:5 – the captivity of their wives and children was certainly a legitimate reason for distress. Our problem today is that we stress over “everything.” We live very stressful lives. When you are already stressed over a pile of little things, it takes very little to put you over the edge.
Don’t fight with those who fight with you – 1 Sam 30:6 – David’s men who had fought with him the entire time he had been running from Saul were now ready to stone him. Of course, they were grieving, as well. And one of the most common manifestations of grief is anger. And one of the most common targets for anger is someone very close to you. So, when you are distressed, don’t fight with those who are closest to you. They are probably grieving, too. They are the ones who are going to help you get through your distress. So, don’t fight back if you sense that they are upset with you.
Encourage yourself in the Lord – 1 Sam 30:7 – David encouraged himself in the Lord. When you are distressed, take it upon yourself to draw close to the Lord. Get to God and stay with him until you are completely encouraged. Tough situations and circumstances will bring you down and drive you away from the Lord. Your friends, your internet searches, and so forth cannot encourage you the way that the Lord can and will. And you must be encouraged in the Lord before you do anything else.
Inquire of God until you are certain what to do – 1 Sam 30:8 – In the Old Testament, priests inquired of God by asking him a question in the presence of the ephod. Through the stones that were on the breastplate and through the Urim and Thumim therein, the Lord would answer them. David asked whether he should pursue the Amalekites who had attacked Ziklag. The Lord replied that he should pursue them and then guaranteed that he would overtake them and recover all. Fabulous. Today, we go to the Bible. And by reading the Bible, the Holy Spirit will bring verses to your remembrance that will give you assurance of what God wants you to do in your present distress. You will have peace in the direction of the Lord, knowing that his direction is going to work out best [Rom 8:28].
Get up and do what the Lord shows you to do – 1 Sam 30:9-10, 18-19 – Once David was encouraged in the Lord and once he knew that he was to pursue, he and his men went right after the Amalekites and destroyed them and recovered everything. There was nothing lost. When you are encouraged in the Lord and you have his direction to follow, you must get up and do what God has shown you to do. Sitting there wallowing in your distress will accomplish nothing. Going in a direction other than what he shows you will make the problem worse.
Conclusion: David had a good way of dealing with his distress. So, you should follow what he did when you face the distress that will inevitably come in your life.