Read – 1 Samuel 30
Focus on verse 6-8
I am recovering from a head cold/flu of some kind as I write this. The kind where it saps all your energy and leaves you feeling like a wrung out dish rag. Somehow I will have to find energy to get up and go to work tomorrow morning. I am hopeful that I will recover a little overnight, and perhaps feel a little better in the morning. One way or another, the job will get done, and I expect I will survive.
In today’s reading David experiences a kind of fatigue ten time worse than flu bug. He and his men journeyed with Achish only to be sent back by the other Philistine commanders. When David comes back to Ziklag, tired from a journey that amounted to nothing, and still feeling the sting of being rejected by the Philistines to find his home in flames and his family gone, I suspect it all but sapped any strength he had left. On top of that he hears that some of his men are so angry about the situation that there is talk of stoning him.
David 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.
Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him, and David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” (v. 6-8)
This is a potentially volatile situation where everyone is tired, frustrated, angry and looking for something or someone upon whom to vent. If there ever was a time when wise leadership is critical, this is it, and David does exactly the right thing…he “strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” Having done that, he calls the priest to inquire of the Lord in regard to what he should do next. Should they pursue the enemy? Would they be successful?
Where do we go to find strength when all our strength is gone? Many people turn to a drug of some kind to either give them a false sense of strength or to synthetically boost their strength for time. Either way, this type of solution typically doesn’t end well. A wise person finds his or her strength in the Lord. It is in these times that one might turn to Psalm 121:1-2 to help recalibrate one perspective: “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made the heaven and the earth.”