Most of David’s life sets a prime example of faith for each of us. Even in the midst of his darkest mistakes, his faith never wavers. Take, for example, the day the Amalekites destroyed David’s home town of Ziklag and carried off everything, including his wives and children…
How that must have hurt. David probably blamed himself for not being at home when the enemy arrived; but to make things worse, his men blamed him as well: “David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters.” (1 Samuel 30:6a NIV).
David’s response is a wonderful model for each of us today: “But David found strength in the LORD his God.” (1 Samuel 30:6b NIV).
Why was it that in the face of a stoning, David could find strength in the Lord?
Because he knew God. He knew that no matter what, he could trust God to work things out.
David then continues to show us how to respond in times of trouble. He immediately sought God’s wisdom as to what to do about the problem: “…and David inquired of the LORD, ‘Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?'” (1 Samuel 30:8a NIV).
When God promised victory, David set out after the Amalekites. It didn’t matter to that his tiny army of 600 men was totally outnumbered. He had God’s promise, that that was good enough for him.
Unfortunately for David, things only got worse. 200 of his men were “too exhausted” to continue (See1 Samuel 30:10). He had been seriously outnumbered with all 600 of his men, but now that 1/3 of them had dropped off, how could he even hope to recover the women and children?
Doesn’t this always seem to be the case? We believe God to heal our shaky relationship with our spouse; but then we are served divorce papers. We believe God to heal a small cancerous tumour; only to learn that there are multiple tumours throughout. We claim God’s promise for provision despite the minimum wage job; and then we lose that job…
I don’t know about you, but my response to God in such times is something like this: “Lord, did I hear you right? Am I truly following Your will? I mean, it was impossible then, but now…Now there’s absolutely no way!”
But this wasn’t David’s response at all. In fact, the Bible doesn’t record any hesitation on David’s part. It just says, “…but David and the other four hundred continued the pursuit.” (1 Samuel 30:10b NIV).
How could David so calmly go on in the face of yet another calamity?
Because David knew something that we would do well to learn: God is never surprised by what happens! When God clearly told David to go, that he would have victory over the Amalekites, He already knew that the 200 men would be too tired to go on. He already knew that David didn’t need all 600 men. He knew that David would be victorious with just 400! And because David trusted God, because David knew that God is never surprised by the things that happen after He gives a promise, the loss of those 200 fighters didn’t faze him in the least.
The bottom line is this: when God says something, He means it, and the little changes we see are not surprises to Him!
Is your stand in faith only resulting in more problems? Take heart! Whatever it is, God knew when He gave His promise that there would be more problems, and He isn’t surprised in the least! Let’s learn from David to not let these mushrooming problems faze us. Let’s continue to stand firm on the promise that God has given, no matter what happens, for to God, there are no surprises!
In His Love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.