In 1Sam. 30:6 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. (NIV)
NASB reads … But David strengthened (equipped) himself in the LORD his God.
Notice that all the people were embittered (each one/every one) toward David. David had no human person but himself for encouragement, and David decided to strengthen himself in the Lord.
It is difficult to imagine returning home from a journey to find your entire town in ashes and everyone’s wives and children taken captive. It is not hard though to understand their initial response: All the men wept together until they had no strength left to weep (v4). Again it is hard for me to fathom being in such a situation where no one is in your corner with a word of comfort or encouragement.
Once the initial shock wore off, two reactions remained David’s men, and David:
David’s men were bitter at the loss of their sons and wives and blamed David, talking about stoning him.
David, despite having the same concern and grief, was also on the verge of being attacked by his own men. But v. 6 says David strengthened himself/found strength in the Lord His God.
To find something you have to look for it. David’s men only looked to themselves and did not get beyond their current circumstances and situation. David however took several steps to “find” (establish/prepare a foundation) as the Hebrew translation puts it) of strength in the Lord.
- If we look to verses 11 and 12 we discover that David fasted for 3 days and nights prior to and when inquiring of the Lord. Psalm 119 is one of David’s beautiful prayers of repentance and restoration that showed his search for God and physical and spiritual submission to God’s power.
- (After those 3 days) He went to his spiritual leader and inquired of the Lord what he should do
- After receiving spiritual encouragement he ate and was physically revived as well.
- Then, physically and spiritually strengthened, David confronted his enemies and all was restored
Scripture teaches us not to assume just because we are God’s children that we do nothing.
Luke 3:8 “Therefore bring forth fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.
Whatever your circumstances, including grieving, fearful, feeling alone and threatened as David was, personalizing his heart cry in Psalm 119 (put your name after every “I” in the Psalm) was provided to bless you and enable you also to find strength in the Lord. It is the pattern of restoration.
This story reminds me that without Christ I have no strength to fight the enemy.
But, IN CHRIST I can follow James 4:7:
- Submit therefore to God. (Strengthen yourself in the Lord) so you can…
- Resist the devil
- and he (the devil) will flee from you.
Next time we are in a funk, attacked, threatened, we can remember we don’t have to wait for a friend to support or encourage us – we can do what David did and strengthen ourselves in the Lord.
Say it with me: