David is an Old Testament believer who stood victoriously for God. In seemingly insurmountable circumstances, he sought God first, gaining the strength and wisdom needed for success. A striking example of this is the record in I Samuel 30 of David emerging victorious over the Amalekites.
Returning home to Ziklag after a mission with his army, David and his men found that their town had been invaded by the Amalekites, who had burned it down and taken captive their women and children.
I Samuel 30:1-4:
And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;
And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.
So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.
Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
David and his men were greatly distressed to find their homes and all their families gone! With this devastating blow, they could have given up hope of recovering their families. But what was David’s response to such a dire situation?
David turned to the Lord his God. He encouraged himself in the Lord his God. This brought great comfort to his heart, for he knew that the true God was on his side and would not fail him.
I Samuel 30:6:
And David was greatly distressed…because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
This had long been his habit pattern as these psalms written by David testify.
Trust in him [God] at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.
I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel….
I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.
David’s habit was to consistently acknowledge God’s delivering power. Therefore, as David and his men grieved in this heart-wrenching situation, David encouraged himself in the Lord. The word “encouraged” in I Samuel 30:6 means strengthened. When hit with this devastating attack to his family and his people, David knew that strength, peace, and victory could be found only in God. And once he was encouraged—strengthened—he sought the Lord’s counsel. David asked God what to do.
I Samuel 30:8:
And David inquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he [God] answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.
David knew he could rely on God’s words to him. Had he not faced lions and bears, giants, and armies of enemies; had he not experienced God’s delivering power time after time after time? Therefore, after receiving the Lord’s counsel on what to do, David took action on God’s promise: “Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.” Having confidence that they would not fail, David and his men went after the Amalekites and exacted a resounding victory.
I Samuel 30:17-19:
And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled.
And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.
And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all.
Look at the magnitude of this victory. David had poured his heart out to the Lord and was strengthened. He sought the Lord’s counsel and acted on the promise that they would “without fail recover all.”
Today, we are the men and women who stand for God in our life situations. As we go to God and His Word and claim His promises, we too can courageously obtain victory in our lives. We can be confident that we are able to confront any challenge and overcome every obstacle, because we strengthen ourselves in the Lord for resounding victory.