I Samuel 29-30

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Text: I Samuel 29-30

DAVID'S DILEMMA AND PROBLEM

INTRODUCTION:

Galatians 5:16 - This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Of course, if you do not walk by means of the Spirit, you will fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

Romans 13:14 - But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Of course, if you don't submit your heart and mind to the serious study of the Word of God, you will not be Christlike in this life and you will fulfil the lusts of the flesh.

Proverbs 4:23 - Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Of course, if you don't keep your heart with all diligence, you will not do well with the real issues of life.

Romans 12:2 - And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Of course, if you are conformed to the world and are not transformed by the renewing of your mind through the study of the Word of God, you will not experience God's will for your life.

In I Samuel 29 , David found himself in a difficult position. You have probably found yourself in one or more difficult situations in your lifetime. David, however, did something which he should not have done; and it eventually resulted in his being in this awkward circumstance.

In I Samuel 29 , we see David's dilemma. The story, however, does not begin in chapter 29. In our effort to understand chapter 29, we need to go back to I Samuel 27 and remind ourselves of something we have already seen.

I. DAVID WENT WHERE HE SHOULD NOT HAVE GONE - 27:1-7

We have seen that -

1. David stopped trusting the Lord - I Samuel 27:1

The Lord had promised David that he would be the next king; so, David knew that he would have to outlive Saul to succeed Saul as king. However, David allowed himself to be so discouraged that he lost his confidence in God's ability to take care of him and protect him.

I Samuel 27:1 - 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 [i.e. in any part] of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.

Apparently David forgot the thought of Psalms 37:23 which is echoed in Romans 8:28 .

Psalms 37:23 - The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he [i.e. the LORD] delighteth in his [i.e. in the (good) man's] way.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

We have also seen that -

2. David took others with him - 27:2

I Samuel 27:2 - And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.

We are always influencing others, whether the influence is positive or negative, especially if you are a leader like David was. Consider the effect of the decisions you make (or of the things you do or don't do that you should do) on your spouse, on your children, on your fellow workers, on your neighbors, etc. Is your life encouraging them to move in the direction of living more faithfully for the Lord, or is it encouraging them to live their lives more in the direction of not living for the Lord and enjoying the pleasures of sin?

We have furthermore seen that -

3. David went to be with the Lord's enemies - 27:3

I Samuel 27:3 - And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's wife.

What David should have done is found in II Corinthians 6:14-7:1 -

II Corinthians 6:14-7:1 - 14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord [i.e. harmony] hath Christ with Belial [i.e. with Satan]? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel [i.e. with an unbeliever]? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

What David should have done is also found in James 1:2-4 -

James 1:2-4 - 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting [i.e. lacking] nothing.

Rather than allowing the trial to run its course, David ran away to escape the trial.

In addition, what David should have done is found in Hebrews 12:5-13 ,

Hebrews 12:5-13 - 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son,despise not thou the chastening of the Lord [chastening is the same word translated "instruction" in II Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.], despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards [i.e. illegitimate or fatherless children], and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

Finally, we have seen that -

4. David gained relief from a trial but also got out of the place of God's blessing - 27:4-7

I Samuel 27:4-7 - (4) And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him. (5) And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee? (6) Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day. (7) And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months.

Decisions, whether good or bad, eventually bring results or consequences.

II. DAVID'S COMPROMISE LED TO HIS BEING TEMPTED - 28:1-2

I Samuel 28:1-2 - (1) And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel. And Achish said unto David, Know thou assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to battle, thou and thy men. (2) And David said to Achish, Surely thou shalt know what thy servant can do. And Achish said to David, Therefore will I make thee keeper of mine head [i.e. my body guard] for ever.

His decision to flee to Achish meant that he was about to be on the wrong side of a major battle between the Philistines and Israel. How would David possibly get out of this very awkward situation of being the body guard of a king who was fighting against Israel, the nation over which David was destined to become the next king?

We see that -

III. GOD MERCIFULLY DELIVERED DAVID FROM HIS DILEMMA - 29:1-11

I Samuel 29 - (1) Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek [i.e. they assembled in Aphek]: and the Israelites pitched [i.e. encamped] by a fountain [i.e. by a spring (of water)] which is in Jezreel [Jezreel was located about 40 miles northeast of Aphek.]. (2) And the lords of the Philistines passed on [i.e. were proceeding on] by hundreds, and by thousands: but David and his men passed on [i.e. were proceeding on] in the rereward [pronounced - reer-werd) i.e. at the rear] with Achish. (3) Then said the princes of the Philistines, What do these Hebrews here [i.e. what are these Hebrews doing here]? And Achish said unto the princes of the Philistines, Is not this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, which hath been with me these days, or these years, and I have found no fault in him since he fell unto me [i.e. since he deserted to me or since he defected to me] unto this day? (4) And the princes of the Philistines were wroth [i.e. angry] with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him [i.e. to Ziklag], and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith [i.e. with what] should he reconcile himself unto his master [i.e. to Saul]? should it not be with the heads of these men? (5) Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands? (6) Then Achish called David, and said unto him, Surely, as the Lord liveth, thou hast been upright, and thy going out and thy coming in with me in the host [i.e. in the army] is good in my sight: for I have not found evil in thee since the day of thy coming unto me unto this day: nevertheless the lords [i.e. the other Philistine rulers] favour thee not. (7) Wherefore now return, and go in peace, that thou displease not the lords [i.e. rulers] of the Philistines. (8) And David said unto Achish, But what have I done? and what hast thou found in thy servant so long as I have been with thee unto this day, that I may not go fight against the enemies of my lord the king? (9) And Achish answered and said to David, I know that thou art good in my sight, as an angel of God: notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said, He shall not go up with us to the battle. (10) Wherefore now rise up early in the morning with thy master's servants that are come with thee: and as soon as ye be up early in the morning, and have light, depart. (11) So David and his men rose up early to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

Now we all know that David breathed a big sigh of relief when he was sent back to Ziklag. At least he should have. We really have no knowledge of what David would have done if he found himself in the battle against Israel. We would like to believe that he would not have killed Israelites. God spared him the whole problem.

I Corinthians 10:13 - There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

II Thessalonians 3:3 - But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

God was gracious to David when he let David off the hook in I Samuel 29 so that he would not be present on the Philistines' side of their battle against Israel. God is gracious to us also. Praise His name.

We move on to David's Sorrow in I Samuel 30 .

David found himself in enemy territory, a place where he did not belong. Although David was spared from sin in fighting against Israel, David was still not in the place of God's blessing, the place where God wanted him.

It was time for David to get back to where he belonged.

When we don't do what we know we are supposed to do, God is eventually going to take action to see to it that we do what is right. When we are out of the place of God's blessing, God is eventually going to deal with us so that we get back to the place of His blessing.

We see -

IV. DAVID'S LESSON - 30:1-2

I Samuel 30:1-2 - (1) And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day [i.e. on the third day after they had been sent back to Ziklag by Achish], that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten [i.e. attacked] Ziklag, and burned it with fire; (2) And had taken the women captives, that were therein [i.e. in Ziklag]: they slew [i.e. they killed] not any, either great or small [i.e. old or young], but carried them away, and went on their way.

God uses a calamity to get David's attention. God's intent appears to have been to get David to leave Philistia and return to Israel.

Psalms 37:23 - The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

We should not fret over unexpected difficulties which come our way during the course of life. We must realize that God is working in our lives to refine our characters and make us more Christlike.

Next, we see -

V. DAVID'S SORROW - 30:3-4

I Samuel 30:3-4 - (3) So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. (4) Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power [i.e. strength] to weep.

We also see -

VI. DAVID'S ADDITIONAL PROBLEMS - 30:5-6A

I Samuel 30:5-6 a - (5) And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. (6a) And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake [i.e. spoke] of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters. . . .

David was alone.

David's wives were gone.

David's men spoke of stoning him.

What a mess!

We take note that -

VII. DAVID ENCOURAGED HIMSELF IN THE LORD - 30:6B

I Samuel 30:6 b - . . . But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

It's about time he did.

If David was indeed guilty of sin, he may very well have confessed it here. Apparently, David also reviewed afresh his position in God. It is always good for us to take a look at our relationship to the Lord.

We see that as a result -

VIII. DAVID WAS BLESSED BY GOD - 30:7-31

1. David inquired of the Lord 30:7-8a

There was a change in his conduct. There is no record of his having inquired of the Lord sixteen months earlier before he left Israel to go to Achish in Gath.

I Samuel 30:7-8 a - (7) And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod [i.e. bring the ephod here to me]. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David [i.e. and Abiathar brought the ephod to David]. (8a) And David inquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? . . . .

James 1:5 - If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

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

2. David's prayer was answered - 30:8b

I Samuel 30:8 b - . . . And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.

3. The men's attitude changed and David's strength was renewed - 30:9

David's men accompanied him in search of their wives, children, and possessions.

In spite of their having worn themselves out on their 3-day march back to Ziklag and in spite of wearing themselves out mourning for their wives and children, God gave them the strength to pursue after their families.

Isaiah 40:31 - But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

I Samuel 30:9 - So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind stayed.

4. David passed a test of faith - 30:10

I Samuel 30:10 - But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor.

5. David was led to the Amalekites - 30:11-16

I Samuel 30:11-16 - (11) And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water; (12) And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights. (13) And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou [i.e. where are you from]? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant [i.e. slave] to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone [i.e. three days ago] I fell sick. (14) We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites [i.e. the Philistines], and upon the coast [i.e. in the territory] which belongeth to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire. (15) And David said to him, Canst thou bring me down to this company? And he said, Swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company. (16) And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah.

6. David was victorious - 30:17-20

All the wives, children and possessions were recovered.

I Samuel 30:17-20 - (17) And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save [i.e. except] four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. (18) And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. (19) And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all. (20) And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave [i.e. drove] before [i.e. ahead of] those other cattle, and said, This is David's spoil [i.e. plunder].

8. David divided the spoils - 30:21-31

a. With his men - 30:21-25

I Samuel 30:21-25 - (21) And David came to the two hundred men, which were so faint that they could not follow David, whom they had made also to abide at the brook Besor: and they went forth to meet David, and to meet the people that were with him: and when David came near to the people, he saluted [i.e. greeted] them. (22) Then answered all the wicked men and men of Belial, of those that went with David, and said, Because they went not with us, we will not give them ought [i.e. any] of the spoil that we have recovered, save [i.e. except] to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away, and depart. (23) Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the Lord hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand. (24) For who will hearken unto you [i.e. who will listen to you or who will heed you] in this matter? but as his part [i.e. as his share] is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part [i.e. his share] be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike [i.e. they will share alike]. (25) And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day.

David also divided the spoils -

b. With his friends in Judah - 30:26-31

I Samuel 30:26-31 - (26) And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil unto the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of the Lord; (27) To them which were in Bethel, and to them which were in south Ramoth, and to them which were in Jattir, (28) And to them which were in Aroer, and to them which were in Siphmoth, and to them which were in Eshtemoa, (29) And to them which were in Rachal, and to them which were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to them which were in the cities of the Kenites, (30) And to them which were in Hormah, and to them which were in Chorashan, and to them which were in Athach, (31) And to them which were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were wont to haunt [i.e. were accustomed to rove (or roam)].

CONCLUSION:

Let's be where we ought to be, and let's be doing what we ought to be doing so that we don't have to go through the sort of corrective measures David went through in our study today.

On the other hand, if we find ourselves going through some corrective measures, let's get our hands off things and let the Lord go ahead and do the correcting which needs to be done so that we might be right with God.