Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. 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. Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 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.
And David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. And David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.”
Comment: David had been rejected by the Philistines as a fighter in their war against Israel. We saw that when last in 1 Samuel. He arrived home to Ziklag to find the place destroyed but thankfully with no corpses lying around, but no living people either. Everyone was deeply distressed and his band, upset by their loss of family and goods were considering stoning David – I guess, you always have to blame someone!
I wonder what the phrase ‘But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God‘ meant when teased out? Perhaps he remembered past experiences of God’s goodness; perhaps he spent time in deep thought, confession, prayer. Whatever he did convinced him to go to the way that the Jews had in those days to consult God. He called the priest and used the Ephod, Urim and Thummim, and discerned that he should perform a rescue operation!
Prayer: When I know what You want me to do, help me to be faithful in performing, please.