STRENGTHENING OURSELVES IN THE LORD

Scripture Reading: I Samuel 30:1-6

“And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” (I Samuel 30:6)

In chapters 29 and 30, David faced two very difficult situations. The commanders of the Philistines did not want David and his men fighting with them against the army of Saul. The commander’s told Achish, the king of Gath, “Send the man back, that he may return to the place to which you have assigned him. He shall not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us” (29:4). Thus David was rejected by the Philistines and he had become a traitor to Israel.

But things became far worse. When he returned to Ziklag, the city Achish had given him, he found the city burned, and the women and children had been taken captive by the Amalekites — “They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way (30:2). Among the captives were David’s two wives — Ahinoam and Abigail.

David and his men were devastated — “Thus David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep” (30:4). The men became angry at David and spoke of stoning him — “And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters.”

Can you imagine how David must have felt? He had suffered rejection by the Philistines after abandoning Saul and the Israelites. He was a man without a country. Then he suffered the loss of his city, which had been destroyed by fire and the loss of his wives. To make matters worse, his own men turned on him and wanted to stone him to death. What was he to do?

We come to these wonderful and encouraging words — “But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” He had nowhere else to turn. He had no one to help and comfort him. He had been rejected by all. So, he went to his Lord and strengthened himself in Him. I am sure that he prayed and sought the Lord’s strength and love. And he found it when he came in the Lord’s presence.

When we face times of discouragement and trials, when life overwhelms us, there is only one place to go — to our Lord and God, Jesus Christ. We will find rest and strength when we flee to Him for refuge. Jesus bids us to come to Him — “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:29).

Lord Jesus, there is a sweetness in Your presence. When I come to You I find strength and peace. When I am overwhelmed and I seek You, You bring relief to my soul. In You alone, I find refuge and hope.

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