Let us take a close look at what happened, what did not happen, and what David did to affect the outcome on the day that the Amalekites raided his camp. It might bless you to pray your way through these verses, 1-25, today and tomorrow.
From 1 Samuel, chapter 30 . . .
Then it happened when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negev and on Ziklag, and had overthrown Ziklag and burned it with fire; and they took captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great, without killing anyone, and carried them off and went their way. . . . David was a soldier, a fighting man, doing what he was assigned to do, but his camp was raided, and the results were grievous. Might the camp have been safe under guard? Perhaps, but that is not the import of this story.
When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire, and their wives and their sons and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep. Now David’s two wives had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. . . . Few things are more traumatic, more apt to embitter, more able to devastate than the plunder of a family or a family member. When men weep in Scripture, I try to remember that these are man tears, and not to denigrate a woman’s, this happens but seldom, and it would be chilling. David and his men wept aloud until they literally could cry no longer. But then, David shows his mettle …
“But David strengthened himself in the Lord.”
Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Please bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this band? Shall I overtake them?” And He said to him, “Pursue, for you will surely overtake them, and you will surely rescue all.” So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those left behind remained. But David pursued, he and four hundred men, for two hundred who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor remained behind. . . . What might be the difference if we fought under this measure of supervision, with the faith that comes through hearing the Lord’s instruction and encouragement?
When we do take up arms, we may look around and see others who either have no stomach for the fight or seem not to know that “there is a cause.” No matter. We soldier on. We’ve been told, the Lord’s battle with Amalek does not cease from generation to generation, until the memory of that tormentor is blotted out forever. (Exodus 17 and Deuteronomy 25)
More tomorrow … for today, for whom do you fight? Name those you would see released from captivity in the camp of spiritual marauders.
Joshua Defeat Amalek
Nicholas Poussin, Wikipedia, by permission, public domain, life of the illustrator