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Finding Strength in God


“Out of the frying pan and into the fire” describes the feeling when you pass from one trouble only to find yourself in another difficult situation. Just when you breathe a sigh of relief that your troubles are over, you find yourself in a hot spot again.

Today’s passage paints exactly that type of situation for David. Perhaps he breathed a sigh of relief after leaving Achish behind. But if David expected to find rest, he was mistaken. While David had been with Achish, Amalekite raiders had burned Ziklag and carried off the women and children. Exhausted by travel and overcome with grief, David and his men “wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep” (v. 4). Sorrow gave way to anger as the men held David responsible for their loss. Having been called a traitor by the Philistine commanders, now David faced accusations from his men. They were so angry that they talked about stoning him. Instead of panicking, “David found strength in the Lord his God” (v. 6).

Like Saul, David sought direction from the Lord by asking Abiathar the priest to bring the ephod. This priestly garment contained the Urim and Thummim, two gemstones used for divine guidance. But unlike Saul, the Lord responded to David’s inquiry, reassuring him that they would be able to overtake the raiding party and rescue the captives. However, one-third of David’s men were too exhausted to continue the pursuit. They stayed with the baggage in the Besor Valley. When David and his men returned, “the evil men and troublemakers” in the group complained that those who stayed behind should not get a share of the spoils. David reminded them that God was responsible for the victory. Those who stayed received the same reward as those who went to the battle.

>> Does it seem like troubles are following you? Even though you may not see the light at the end of the tunnel, you can be certain that God knows and controls the ending of your story. Rest in Him today.

BY Dr. John Koessler

Dr. John Koessler, who retired as professor emeritus from Moody Bible Institute, formerly served in the division of applied theology and church ministry. John and his wife Jane enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan. A prolific writer, John’s books include Dangerous Virtues: How to Follow Jesus When Evil Masquerades as Good (Moody Publishers), The Radical Pursuit of Rest (InterVarsity), The Surprising Grace of Disappointment (Moody), and True Discipleship (Moody). John is a contributing editor and columnist for Today in the Word.

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