How David Encouraged Himself PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. John E. Russell Sr   

TEXT: 1Samuel 30:1-20

KEY VERSE: 1Samuel 30:6

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
1Samuel 30:6, KJV 

David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.
1Samuel 30:6, NIV 

INTRODUCTION:  David had many roles in life: 

Family: Son, Brother, Husband and Father   
Professional: Shepherd
Civil: Soldier and King
Spiritual: Shephard (Pastor), Prophet, Psalmist and teacher

David was in God's school for personal development and God was preparing him to become Israel's second king. Samuel  had anointed him to be king, replacing King Saul, whom God had rejected  because of  his disobedience.  Saul did not want David to replace him, saw David as a threat and was trying to kill him. David saw Saul as God's anointed and did not want to harm  him, so he ran away from Saul to the Philistines, who were the enemies of Israel.                     

David made friends with Achish, a Philistine king. Achish gave him the city of Ziklag, where David and his six hundred men lived with their families. From time to time,  David and his battalion-sized  force would attack the Geshurites, the Girzites or the Amalekites. He would kill everyone so as to  leave no witnesses and take their livestock and material goods.  He would tell Achish that he had attacked parts of Israel.                    

Later, the Philistines  gathered their armies  to attack Israel. This would be the battle in which Saul and his sons would be killed.  Achish wanted David to fight Israel along with the Philistines,  but the other Philistine leaders did not trust David. So, Achish sent David and his men back to Ziklag, "out of the frying pan into the fire."                    

When David and his troops arrived in Ziklag, they found their  families gone, their livestock gone,  their material goods gone, and the city burned. David and his troops were deeply shocked and  grieved. The  grief of the men  soon turned to anger, which they directed toward David. They blamed David and spoke of killing him. He faced the possible loss of his life, loss of  his family, loss of  finances, loss of his followers and loss of his kingship!                    

Did David run?  Get drunk?  Pop  pills?  Go to the  psychiatrist?  Blame God? Backslide?  No! David allowed his terrible circumstances to drive him to God rather than away from God! David had no human being to encourage him, so he encouraged (strengthened) himself in the Lord.  How did he do this?                      

I.  DAVID ASKED GOD (v. 8a)               
A)  "Shall I pursue?"               
B)  "Shall I not pursue?" [Implied]    
NOTE: David did not know the size of the enemy or where they were.  But, he trusted God with his life: 

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  
Proverbs 3:5-6 

II.  DAVID LISTENED TO GOD (V. 8b)               
God answered,
A)  "Pursue!"               
B)  "You shall recover all!"               
NOTE: Not  only did David ask God for his will (word) in this specific matter, but he listened  to God. What does it mean to listen to God?  

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
Proverbs 4:20-22

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
Psalms 119:130 

I have chosen the way of truth; thy judgments have I laid before me.
Psalms 119:30 

NOTE: When one listens to  God, he receives his written Word through the eye, touch or  ear gates, into the mind, through the mind and into the heart (human spirit). We receive the leading of the  Holy Spirit directly from inside ourselves. How do we know when we have received God's Word into our hearts? We will believe, speak and act on God's Word:

III.  DAVID OBEYED GOD (vv. 9-20)               
NOTE: When David accepted God's will, it was no longer David's  battle, but God's. David  had learned this  valuable lesson from his battle with Goliath. David spoke his faith: 

And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S and he will give you into our hands.
1Samuel 17:47 

A) Daved pursued the Amalekites
God  provided military intelligence from a young Egyptian who had been a servant of one of  the  Amalekites. David discovered where the Amalekites were. Incidentally, they were much larger in  number than David's men. They were a brigade-sized force with a cavalry unit (400 men on camels), whereas David had a battalion-sized force. 

B) David recovered all: families, animals and more goods than they had lost
If David had not obeyed God (acted on his Word), history may have been written differently.  However, God knew that David would follow the pattern of obedience to God             that he had established early in his life. David's obedience to God allowed him to bless David and to make him a blessing to many others! God fulfilled his promise (Word) abundantly. David was able to share some of  their spoil with the elders of Judah (v. 26). 

CONCLUSION: Let  us not be discouraged by problems and difficult circumstances, but rather let us encourage ourselves in the Lord as David did!

Copyright © by John E. Russell 2014, 2016

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Last Updated on Saturday, 05 March 2016 00:41