I have never been in a situation like David was when everyone was against Him. They had been his followers but now they even spoke of stoning him. All the children of hundreds of his followers had been stolen. But we have all been in situations where the Lord was our only possible source of help. The reality is that we need the Lord and we need Him all the time. We usually don*t know how desperately we need Him. He purposefully puts us in difficult circumstances so that we will know we need Him. Knowing we need Him is a great place to be!
All of us know what it feels like to be down on our luck. Sometimes we are alienated from people through no fault of our own. That would certainly have been the case of David. Saul was pursuing David as if he were an enemy when David was not.
Sometimes we are alienated because of our own faults and bad decisions. That was also true of David. David and his men had sought protection from the Philistines, the enemies of God. David*s bluff was called when the Philistines went out to fight Israel. God graciously let David off the hook, but when David and his men returned to Ziklag, the home the Philistines had given them, they found that it had been burned and all their families had been taken by the Amalekites.
From whom could David ask help? He couldn*t ask help from Saul, his own king; Saul was trying to kill him. He couldn*t ask Achish; any good will that Achish had given David was based on a false premise. The Philistines were suspicious of him, and his own men wanted to stone him. He had no one whom he could ask for help. David gives us a good example of what to do in this situation. He encouraged, enquired, and pursued.
First, David encouraged himself in the Lord. Verse 6 says, *The people spake of stoning him… but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.* For the first time in a long time David acknowledged the presence and importance of God in his life. David seems to have been so panicked from fleeing Saul that he forgot that there was a God Who was taking care of him. He didn*t need to seek help from the enemies of God when he could seek the help of God Himself.
Secondly, David enquired. Verse 8 says, *And David inquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop?* This is amazing! If someone had burned down my house and taken my family, I wouldn*t be sitting down to ponder whether I should follow them or not. But at this point, David had such a record of going off *half- cocked* that it was very wise of him to say, *God, do I pursue them or not?*
Thirdly, David pursued. Verse 10 tells us, *But David pursued, he and his four hundred men.* We shouldn*t be sitting around waiting for guidance if God has already given it to us. We need to take action when we know what He wants us to do.
David encouraged, enquired, and pursued. He was aware of God*s presence and ability, he asked for God*s guidance, and then he took action and pursued. Whether you are alienated because of a fault of your own or because of things that are out of your control, it is good to know that God is more gracious than Saul, more savvy than Achish, and more forgiving than David*s men. We should treat God in light of His character and ability today.