Wednesday, August 17, 2011

1 Samuel 29 & 30 - David Turned Back from Battling Israel

LINK: 1 Samuel 29 & 30

BACKGROUND

The Philistines, David, and his men were poised for battle against Israel at the Aphek, the exact spot where the Philistines had defeated Israel and captured the ark about 90 years earlier (4:10-11). Israel was at the spring of Jezreel, 40 miles northeast of Aphek.

David avoided the awkward situation of having to go up against Israel when the Philistine commanders, who did not really trust David, insisted he return home to Ziklag, despite Achish's confidence in David's loyalty to him (which David had really faked).

David and his men returned to Ziklag only to find that the Amalekites had made away with everybody and everything, including David's two wives! His men threatened stoning him, and David inquired of the LORD through Abiathar by means of the ephod. You may remember that an ephod was the garment of the high priest that contained the Urim and Thummim, the sacred stones used to discern the will of God (Exodus 28:30). As a result, God assured David that he would succeed. He succeeded in reclaiming all the families and property in addition to Amalekite booty that he diplomatically divided among ALL of his men, including the ones who stayed behind with the supplies by the Besor Ravine. In addition, he sent property that the Amalekites had stolen from the cities and towns in Judah back to those places. This would be very nice for the future when David would set up his kingship at Hebron.

There is no REFLECTION today. One of my "TOP FIVE" favorite Psalms is coming up tomorrow. So, stay tuned.

APPLICATION

I love David's diplomatic leadership over the tension surrounding the dividing up of the spoils in 1 Samuel 30. We can learn much from his leadership.

While not billed as a leadership study, I did the study A Heart Like His by Beth Moore during a time of intense leadership challenge in my life in the summer of 2000.  I heartily recommend it even if you are not in leadership (although I would venture to say that most of us wear some kind of leadership hat in our family, work, or ministry).   

PRAYER

Lord, make us men and women after Your own heart. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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