“And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.”
This was God’s anointed. The King of Israel.
Tired of hiding. Tired of running. Tired of waiting.
He had had enough.
So he went into enemy territory. To the people whose giant he had killed years earlier, and made friends with King Achish.
David lived a double life, wiping out Israel’s enemies, pretending to be fighting for the king.
Not exactly the life you would expect if you were a king, but it was ok.
No more running from Saul. A city of his own. A Philistine king’s favor and trust.
But double lives can only last so long.
One day, the Philistines went to war with Israel and David tried to go with them.
The Philistines wouldn’t stand for it.
Hold on, King Achish, this is David. The David that slew our giant. The David that Israel sang about. The David that Israel praised higher than their own king.
No, this David wouldn’t fight with them.
So David and his men were sent back to their city.
Rejected by Israel, rejected by the Philistines, David journeys back to Ziklag.
It’s all he has left.
All he had left.
Where his city stood, there’s only ashes.
No women, no children, no cattle, no houses.
“Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.”
Surrounded by ashes, tired and heartbroken, with no more power to weep.
Could David’s life get any worse?
Could anyone else turn against him?
Grieving and searching for a solution, his own men spoke of stoning him.
The Israelites had forsaken him. The Philistines had rejected him. His wife and children were captured. And now his own men were turning against him.
There was no where safe left to go.
There was no one on his side.
“David was greatly distressed…
“but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
When dangers awaited him in every place on earth, he found a refuge.
When everyone he knew seemed to turn into his enemy, he went to his God.
And he encouraged himself there. He had a promise. He had a safe place. He had God.
Then he inquired of God. And God said, “Pursue.”
So David went, and pursued, and smote, and recovered ALL.
The women, the children, the cattle -everything.
And his testimony was,
“that which the LORD hath given us, who has preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand.”
Meanwhile, the Philistines overtook Israel in battle. King Saul died. The throne was finally opened for David.
Imagine if David had been allowed to fight with the Philistines and had turned against them, staying true to Israel, what would have been the battle’s outcome? Would Israel have won? Would Saul have died?
What would’ve happened to the women and children of Ziklag? Would David have been able to restore everyone and everything that was lost? Would David have inquired of the Lord?
In what looked like the most hopeless, heartbreaking moment in David’s life,
God was working mightily.
God had a plan. God had made a promise. God would perform it.
I love this story. Beautiful. Relatable. Messy. Inspiring.
But it’s more than just a story I can relate to or be inspired by.
It’s a REAL happening by a REAL God that is just as REAL today as He was back then.
And today, He is still working mightily performing His plans, fulfilling His promises.
Today, He is my God.
“When dreams are shattered, when faith is shaken, when there’s no easy way out, God is doing His most important work.” -Vaneetha Rendall
(read the story: 1Samuel 27-31)