Reading through the Bible together
When David and his men reached Ziklag, to their horror they found the city burned and empty. Their wives and children were gone, and they all wept. In their bitterness, David’s men even talked about stoning him.
But in this crisis David did not forget the Lord. In this chapter we find the Lord mentioned in four verses: 6, 8, 23, 28, and verse 6 says, “He found strength in the Lord his God.” This time he remembered the Lord’s promises and the many times He had delivered him in the past.
The Lord did not leave David to fight alone. So when he enquired of the Lord through Abiathar the priest who was with him, the answer came, “Pursue them. You will surely overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”
The soldiers found a half-dead Egyptian slave wandering in the desert, abandoned by his master. He led them to the raiders’ camp. With four hundred men, David attacked at twilight and fought all night until evening the next day. He destroyed all the Amalekites except for the four hundred who escaped on camels. He saved the all the wives and children and took a great deal of plunder.
When David got back to Ziklag, he shared his plunder with eighteen cities and villages who had helped supply him during his wanderings. Two groups, those of Keilah and the Ziphites, received nothing, for they had tried to betray him to Saul.
If Saul had destroyed all the Amalekites when the Lord commanded him to, this battle against Ziklag would never have happened.
As it turned out, chapter 30 recounts David’s success when he trusted in the Lord. Chapter 31 recounts Saul’s failure and death because he did not trust the Lord.
Retired Professor and Missionary