In 1 Samuel 29, David is spoiling for a fight. Surprisingly, he is prepared to fight with the Philistines against Israel. An unexpected rejection by the Philistine military leaders sends David and his men back home to Ziklag—where they are hit with a “sucker punch” to the soul: the town has been razed by the Amalekites with all the women and children taken as captives. The sight of it drains the men as they grieve until “there was no strength in them to weep” (1 Samuel 30:4). A “blame game” ensues with David’s embittered army wanting to stone him.
We expect to fight some battles in life. But maybe like David, you have felt blind-sided by the battle you did not see coming. Preparing to fight one difficulty, you were taken by surprise by another when you least expected it. David’s real trouble began when he listened to the voice of discouragement (see 1 Samuel 27:1). Discouragement is never a good counselor. Defeated and disowned, David turns (or perhaps returns) to his Helper.
Rock bottom is a good place to be; it is the foundation of hope. I imagine that when “David strengthened himself in the Lord” (1 Samuel 30:4) he remembered God’s calling, faithfulness, protection, provision, and goodness. He found the place where He lost faith and took it up again. What do you need to remember? To what point do you need to return? Before 1 Samuel 30:8, David thought he had all the answers; he knew how things were going to go. Now, he’s asking questions with a heart to respond. And the sure promise awaits: “Pursue…overtake…and rescue all.” Let’s ask with that same heart of surrender—He will surely answer us!