Rely on God in the Midst of Difficulties

 

As David fled from Saul, he left Israel and went to Achish, king of Gath, in the land of the Philistines. The king of Gath gave David the land of Ziklag, hoping that he could use David to oppose the Israelites. This place became the first piece of land that belonged to David. 

 

During David’s reign in Ziklag for one year and four months, many warriors came to him and helped him (1 Chronicles 12:2, 21-22). This was a time when David had security, help, and establishment of his power. However, he slowly began to rely on his own wisdom and military skills, forgetting to rely on God and even became deceitful. Thus God gave David an unforgettable lesson.

 

When the Philistines gathered and were about to attack the Israelites, David pretended to be loyal to King Achish and requested to join Achish in battle. If it were not for God’s intervention, in which the people of Philistines opposed this alliance, David would have made a serious mistake by attacking his own people in battle. David later returned to Ziklag and discovered that the Amalekites had attacked Ziklag and burned it, capturing all who were in it and carrying off with the plunder. When David and his men discovered this, they wept aloud until they had no strength to weep. David was distressed because his men were talking about stoning him; each one was bitter for their wives, sons and daughters were taken captive. David’s two wives had also been captured, and he was anxious, afraid, regretful and ashamed. But David relied on God and found strength in the Lord. He prayed to God, and God instructed David to pursue the Amalekites to rescue the captured. So David and his men pursued after them. He succeeded in rescuing the captured and recovered their possessions. Nothing was missing from what was taken, just as God had promised (1 Samuel 30:1-20)

 

As we read the above passage, we can see that God is very merciful and gracious to His people. David’s experience in Ziklag has given us the following teachings:

1)      “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6). God is not pleased when we do not walk in the path of the Lord. As God’s children, we cannot be deceitful and seek for our own interest in our relationship with others.

2)      If we make a mistake, don’t repeat it. Some people are under God’s discipline but they refuse to admit their wrongs and continue to resist God instead. “Who has resisted Him and come out unscathed?” (Job 9:4). We must consider our own deeds and paths to see if they are according to God’s will. If we are rebuked by the Holy Spirit, we must immediately turn to God, lest we get ourselves into further trouble.

3)      When we are distressed and worried, we must rely on God. Some people tend to complain when they are encountering difficulties, just as David’s men had done.  If we have faith in God like David, we will surely experience God’s grace. “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? (Psalms 56:3-4)

4)      God has redeeming grace towards His people. He will not allow those that seek and rely on Him to be disappointed. Sometimes we, as God’s people, may stumble by our own foolishness. Yet God remains faithful, keeping watch over us. By his mercy and grace, we experience the joy of His redeeming grace day after day just as David had. “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this” (Psalms 37:3-5)

By: Daniel To