I love the Scripture when it makes extreme understatements. For instance, in I Samuel, there is a passage that says, “And David was greatly distressed” (I Samuel 30:6). Yeah, I bet he was. You see, the rest of the verse says, “Because the men were talking about stoning him.” Eek! Now that is something to be “greatly distressed” about! But What was going on?
Now, he had just returned from Gath, where King Achish had said to him, “I know that you have been as pleasing in my eyes as an angel of God . . .” (I Samuel 29:9), and with those praises ringing in his ears, David and his men returned to Ziklag, anxious to be reunited with their wives and children. However, what they found was that their city had been burned to the ground; their homes destroyed, and their children and wives gone. The Amalekites had invaded while they were in Aphek and taken captive everything that was precious to David and his men.
What a horrible day of infamy in the life of this anointed man of God! “So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep” (I Samuel 30:4). Oh, what anguish they must have felt. I don’t think we can even imagine the pain and loss they felt. As I said, because of their loss and the pain and anger, they were talking about stoning David. Even David was torn with grief. David and his men had come to the end of their rope; all hope was swallowed up in grief and despair. Have you ever been there? Have you reached this point?
So what is a child of God supposed to do when discouragement sets in, and he feels useless, like a complete failure, abandoned by God and rejected by everyone who once cared? Believe it or not, YHWH was with these men in this tragedy. He had incredible blessings ahead, but it had to be cast completely into the hands of the Lord. This was a situation that no amount of human resources could solve.
That’s when I Samuel 30:6 says, “But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” David had learned to stand alone, dependent only on his Lord and finding everything he needed through personal communion and affection for the Lord. This is a victorious sight — David standing amid the ruins of his life, rejoicing in his God’s faithfulness and encouraging himself in the presence of the Lord. David had come to see that all that really counts in the face of death and despair, is a personal knowledge of YHWH.
Once the lesson was learned, YHWH opened the heavens and spoke clearly to David. Directions came loud and clear. David inquired, and God answered, “Without fail you will recover everything” (I Samuel 30:8). There was nothing lacking — David recovered it all.
My friends, if you have reached the end of your rope; if you cannot go any further, encourage yourself in the Lord your God. Call out to Him and seek His face. He is your rescue and your peace.
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With these Morning Messages, I take you on guided tours to, as Bunyan described, the Celestial City. At times we linger at corners familiar and unseen. And explore the depths of our faith along the way.
The trail is long, but there’s no hurry. Though we do need to stock up on supplies for the way, and that’s where I need your help. If you enjoy these messages, please consider becoming a contributing member of this tour group. It will be very much appreciated.