Guidance in Despair

In 1 Samuel 30 David returns to his home in Ziklag to find it plundered.  His men are on the brink of mutiny because all of their relatives and possessions are gone.  Unlike Saul who turned to the occult to try and manage his despair, David waits upon God and God directs him on a path of redemption.

A desire for control and safety can often lead to anxiety.  When we do not have enough control of the future it is an opportunity for us to really see where our faith is.  If we have anxiety or worry it is indicative of two things.  Firstly, someone with worry is not resting in God’s provision and is also probably not seeking the Lord’s direction.  Secondly, the person who is worried is looking to the future and fearing things that do not exist yet.  David’s men feared their possessions and familes were lost forever.  In the present moment the possessions and families of the men of David were still alive.  It was fear of what might be rather than what truly is that leads to a debilitating anxiety.  When David consults God (who is ever present with David), God remedies the situation by leading David and his people to action.

1 Samuel 30

 1 David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, 2and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way.

 3 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 5 David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6David 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.

 7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him, 8and David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?”

   “Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”

 9 David and the six hundred men with him came to the Besor Valley, where some stayed behind. 10Two hundred of them were too exhausted to cross the valley, but David and the other four hundred continued the pursuit.

 11 They found an Egyptian in a field and brought him to David. They gave him water to drink and food to eat— 12part of a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of raisins. He ate and was revived, for he had not eaten any food or drunk any water for three days and three nights.

 13David asked him, “Who do you belong to? Where do you come from?”

   He said, “I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite. My master abandoned me when I became ill three days ago. 14We raided the Negev of the Kerethites, some territory belonging to Judah and the Negev of Caleb. And we burned Ziklag.”

 15David asked him, “Can you lead me down to this raiding party?”

   He answered, “Swear to me before God that you will not kill me or hand me over to my master, and I will take you down to them.”

 16 He led David down, and there they were, scattered over the countryside, eating, drinking and reveling because of the great amount of plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah. 17 David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. 18 David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back. 20He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, “This is David’s plunder.”

 21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him and who were left behind at the Besor Valley. They came out to meet David and the men with him. As David and his men approached, he asked them how they were. 22But all the evil men and troublemakers among David’s followers said, “Because they did not go out with us, we will not share with them the plunder we recovered. However, each man may take his wife and children and go.”

 23 David replied, “No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the LORD has given us. He has protected us and delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us. 24 Who will listen to what you say? The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.” 25David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day to this.

 26When David reached Ziklag, he sent some of the plunder to the elders of Judah, who were his friends, saying, “Here is a gift for you from the plunder of the LORD’s enemies.”

 27 David sent it to those who were in Bethel, Ramoth Negev and Jattir; 28 to those in Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa 29 and Rakal; to those in the towns of the Jerahmeelites and the Kenites; 30 to those in Hormah, Bor Ashan, Athak 31 and Hebron; and to those in all the other places where he and his men had roamed.

Questions

  1. What does David find upon returning home?
  2. How does he remedy the situation?
  3. How does David show he will be a good king?
  4. What situations have you encountered that have led to despair?
  5. What is the best way to address fear, anxiety, and despair?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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15 Responses to Guidance in Despair

  1. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. He finds the city burned and all the women, children, and goods gone.
    2. First, he asks the Lord if he should pursue them or not. After the Lord told him yes, he goes and attacks them.
    3. He shows he will be a good king because he inquires of the Lord before acting. He also shows this in that he gives those that stay behind just as much as those who fought with him.
    4. There have health issues in my family that have lead me to feel despair because I didn’t know what would happen.
    5. The best way to address fear, anxiety, and despair is to bring them before the Lord and allow Him to worry about the situation. Our job is to trust in Him and then do what He tells us to do.

  2. Cassie Clark says:

    1.His family and all his possessions are taken by the Amalekites.
    2.He asked God what he should do.
    3.First, for consulting God. Second, he did not withhold the plunder from the men who were took exhausted.
    4.Relational issues with family.
    5.It has to be prayer.

  3. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. David finds that his family, his possessoins, (along with all other people’s in the city) had been raided and taken captive by the Amalekites.
    2. David seeks the Lord, and turns to Him for wisdom through the ephod, by which He is informed that they would be successful in fighting the Amalekites and getting their things back.
    3. By seeking God first and trusting in Him and His word, David shows he will be a great king.
    4. My sister’s depression has led me to despair in the past.
    5. The best way to address fear, anxiety, and despair are turning to the Lord for guidance and support. Though it may sound cliche, it is the fundamental of our faith, seeking God to be our rock and our redeemer, trusting first in Him!

  4. Amy Kringle says:

    1. his home is burned and his children are gone.
    2. He asks God what to do and then he attacks them.
    3. He talks with God before he leads his people.
    4. conflict
    5. to pray and trust God…and then find something else to do so you arent stuck in worry!

  5. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. the Amalekites had raided the Ziklag, his home.
    2. he consulted the Lord first, then did what the Lord told him to do.
    3. He confided the Lord for strength, not his men. Also, he cared about his people and wanted to protect them.
    4. relationship with my sponsors.
    5. Going to the Lord first before doing anything else.

  6. Rebecca Langer says:

    1. What does David find upon returning home?
    He finds his possessions looted, his wives captured, and his house burned to the ground.
    2. How does he remedy the situation?
    He seeks the Lord’s will, then goes after the looters.
    3. How does David show he will be a good king?
    He does not favor some men over others, but keeps cool in hard situations.
    4. What situations have you encountered that have led to despair?
    The uncertainties of life have caused me to despair as lot.
    5. What is the best way to address fear, anxiety, and despair?
    It is to trust God, then take action when he gives direction.

  7. Kristen Patush says:

    1.What does David find upon returning home?
    He finds his possessions looted, his wives captured, and his house burned to the ground.

    2.How does he remedy the situation?

    He seeks the Lord, then David decides to go after the people who did it.

    3.How does David show he will be a good king?

    He goes straight to God for direction, not relying on men, He also wantsd to protect his people.

    4.What situations have you encountered that have led to despair?

    n/a

    5.What is the best way to address fear, anxiety, and despair?

    Submit those things to the Lord prayfully. Keeping a close guard on your heart and mind, taking captive every thought that is in diobedience to his Word.

  8. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. Upon returning home, David finds that everyone’s families and possessions have been taken.
    2. He remedies the situation by asking God what he should do, then going down to the Amalekites and getting all the families and possessions back.
    3. David shows that he will be a good king by giving a fair share of the things to everyone who helped, not just to the people who went with him and got it.
    4. Situations where I don’t know what is going to happen or I don’t know how things are going to work out.
    5. Give it to God and trust that He is in control and He will make everything work out.

  9. Kendalle says:

    What does David find upon returning home?
    Amalekites had raided the Ziklag
    How does he remedy the situation?
    David finds confront in the LORD.

    How does David show he will be a good king?
    David shares his stuff.
    What situations have you encountered that have led to despair?
    Any with the LORD and money
    What is the best way to address fear, anxiety, and despair?

    The Christian answer would be to seek the LORD.

  10. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.What does David find upon returning home?
    – there was nothing left in his town from Amalekites’ attack
    2.How does he remedy the situation?
    – He inquired of God and He allowed David to pursue them.
    3.How does David show he will be a good king?
    – He did not show a discrimination in his people regardless of one’s contribution in the battle. He glorifed God by remembering that the victory and protection were from God.
    4.What situations have you encountered that have led to despair?

    5.What is the best way to address fear, anxiety, and despair?
    – prayer

  11. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) His home had been burnt, and his wives and children were taken captive.
    2) He consults the Lord through the ephod, and is inscructed to pursue the raiding party.
    3) First of all, he consults God before taking action, and he also allows all his men to share in the plunder, whether they fought or not.
    4) I have applied for jobs that I didn’t get.
    5) The only way I know how to deal with anxiety and fear is through prayer.

  12. Moon Jung Kim says:

    1.What does David find upon returning home? Ziklag had been burnt and all the people include his wives had been taken by the Amalekites
    2.How does he remedy the situation? He asked God and according to God’s answer he moved to overtake the Amalekites
    3.How does David show he will be a good king? After they overtook the raiding party and brought the plunders, he shared the plunders alike with all of his men and also gave some to elders of Judah
    4.What situations have you encountered that have led to despair?…
    5.What is the best way to address fear, anxiety, and despair?to pray to God and trust Him

  13. Grace Yoo says:

    1. When David returns home, he finds that Ziklag was attacked and burnt and all the wives, sons, and daughters were taken captive.

    2. David fixes the situation by talking to God and asking Him if he should pursue them.

    3. David shows that he will be a good king by always looking to God for answers.

    4. I know that there are some situations where I ended in despair but I do not remember now.

    5. The best way to address fear, anxiety, and despair is to look to God.

  14. aaron wright says:

    1. Everything was taken by the Amalekites.
    2. he asks God for wisdom and then follows through with attacking
    3. He seeks out wisdom from the Lord instead of acting on instinct
    4. choosing between two majors and not knowing which was best
    5. seek strength from the Lord

  15. [ED2203-01] HyeJin Lee says:

    1.What does David find upon returning home?
    Ziklag was attacked and burnt ,and everyone was taken by the Amalekites.
    2.How does he remedy the situation?
    He inquired of the Lord.
    3.How does David show he will be a good king?
    When he has no solution, he asks God rather than try to find his own answer.
    4.What situations have you encountered that have led to despair?
    Family issues..
    5.What is the best way to address fear, anxiety, and despair?
    Asking God , and surrender all to Him.

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