Read 1 Samuel 30-31, 1 Chronicles 10
“David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God . . . and David inquired of the LORD . . .” 1 Samuel 30:6-8
Ahhh! There it is. David is back to inquiring of the LORD. I felt so relieved when I read that. Not that everything is going well at this point – not at all. But I read those words and had hope.
David was greatly distressed and his men were thinking of stoning him because, while the men were off trying to keep up the ruse that they were loyal to Achish, the Amalakites raided Ziklag. When the fighting men returned to discover Ziklag destroyed and their families taken captive, they wept until they had no more strength to weep (30:4). The men, in their grief, decided to blame David. After all, weren’t the Amalikites among those he had earlier led them to raid and leave no survivors? I wonder if the men were thinking the Amalikites had behaved in the same way and would kill their families now in retribution. But then that wonderful phrase, “But David found strength in the LORD his God…” (30:6).
Last time, Jonathan was there to help David find strength in the LORD (1 Sam 23:16). This time David has to find strength in the LORD his God on his own. And I see a turning point here – a change from David ‘thinking to himself’, to David ‘inquiring of the LORD’ and acting in God’s strength. At God’s command, he pursues the Amalakites and gets everything back – nothing and no one is missing (30:19). David gives the credit to God for the win and for the plunder he takes home. And he shows a generous heart with all God gave him. Not only does he share with his own men who stayed behind, he also sends gifts to the elders of Judah who were his friends (30:23-26).
I believe that when David was ‘inquiring of the LORD’, God gave him wisdom to know not only how to win, but how to also strengthen his position politically. God was preparing him for the change that would soon take place. While David was fighting the Amalakites, Saul and his three sons were fighting against the Philistines and all met their death (31:6). The throne of Israel was now empty – awaiting a new king who would be faithful to the LORD (1 Chronicles 10:13).