Today, God often chooses to speak to us through His Word, His Spirit, and the wisdom of other people. But when David was faced with tragedy, God spoke through an ephod, a prayer, and a priest.
In today’s passage, David and his men arrived back in Ziklag only to find it burned to the ground. Ziklag was a formerly Philistine city, deeded to David in 1 Samuel 27:6. It served as home for many women and children while the men were off at war. The Amalekites had invaded Ziklag and captured the Israelite women and children, including David’s wives: Ahinoam and Abigail (1 Sam. 30:5).
All of the men, including David, grieved “until they have no strength left to weep” (v. 4). Then their grief turned vengeful, and they plotted to stone David, the most available target. David was “greatly distressed” (v. 6). However, the passage also declared that “David found strength in the LORD his God” (v. 6). His integrity was still intact.
David asked Abiathar the priest to bring the ephod, a divinely sanctioned means of seeking the will of the Lord. And David inquired whether or not he should pursue the raiding party. The priest reported that David would certainly have success. So, with that divine assurance, David and 400 men set off on a rescue mission.
God led them to an Egyptian whom they treated kindly. He became their informant and led them straight to the enemy. The enemy army was scattered across the countryside, reveling in their plunder. By God’s grace and through His power, David recovered everything, including Abigail. David clearly showed himself here as a leader who demonstrated kindness and sought the Lord’s wisdom in all things.
>> When tragedy strikes, how do we react? It is easy for our first response to be to vent on social media or turn to a close friend for advice. Today’s reading is a good reminder that our first stop should always be to fall to our knees.
"Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll—are they not in your record?” (Psalm 56:8). You know our pain, Father. In Your mercy, comfort us and show us how to live with grief.