And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive.4 Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep.5 David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel.6 And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul,t each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. (1 Samuel 30:3-6 ESV)
David and his men have fled from Saul to the Philistines where they have secretly put to the sword Israel’s enemies in the South while pretending to battle against Israel. It is has been a dangerous ruse they have played for years (don’t know how long they kept this up). David’s men have followed him from cave to cave, refrained from ending their banishment twice when they could have killed Saul, and now spent years away from their home in the pretended service of their greatest enemy. They have put up with a lot. And now, after being sent back from war with Israel, they find their city and worldly valuables burned and their families taken captive. It is too much! They want to stone David. I can hardly imagine the stress David must have been under. And yet, David “strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” That is such an amazing statement! David shows the qualities of a true leader – finding strength in God to continue to lead his disheartened men. He could have given up. He could have taken the blame upon himself and beat himself up, perhaps even submitting himself to the stoning as a way of punishing his own failures as their leader. I am tempted to do that with much less signs of failure. How did he do it?
David had a remarkably big view of God. His view of God’s sovereignty was so great that David knew this was not about him. It was much bigger than him. To give in to the self-abasement would have actually been the result of too much pride, giving himself way too much credit for the events as they unfolded. David’s time with God had shown him that. So, he turns again to the Lord and seeks counsel, and finds it.
How big is your view of God and his sovereignty?
Chronological Reading Plan plus Psalms: 1 Sa 28-31, Ps 18