"Finding STRENGTH in GOD ALONE"
"But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God" (1 Sam 30:6b)
David was in a great distress (1 Sam 30:6a). While he was gone to fight with the Philistines, he had left his city unguarded and the Amalekites (whom Saul did not destroy completely as per God’s command) had attacked Ziklag. David had received Ziklag as a gift from Achish, the king of Gath (1 Sam 27:6). Now the Amalekites had not only destroyed Ziklag by burning it with fire, they had taken their wives and children as captives (1 Sam 30:3). Unable to bear the loss, David and his men wept in anguish until they did not have any power to weep any more (v. 4). To add to David’s distress, his own men out of their personal grief spoke of stoning David to death for allowing this incident to happen (v. 6a). Instead of giving in to his current tragedy, David did something unusual – he found strength in God alone and encouraged himself by relying on God’s strength (v. 6b). This is what distinguished David from all the others – including Saul. Unlike David, Saul became afraid after seeing how strong his enemy was (1 Sam 28:5), and in a struggle to solve his problem turned away from God to alternate sources (1 Sam 28:6-7). When David put his trust and strengthened himself in God alone, God directed him to pursue the Amalekites and recover everything that he had lost so far (1 Sam 30:8, 18-19).
Let us remember this important fact - God has to strip us before He can strengthen us, humble us before He honors us, crush us before He crowns us, crucify us before He credentials us, empty us before He empowers us, and prepare us before He promotes us. “No matter how tough life gets, if you can see the shore [of heaven] and draw your strength from Christ, you’ll make it” (Randy Alcor). When we are in distress and despair, let us find strength in God alone!
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.” (Psalms 46:1-3)