From this position, David had mustered his troops to join the Philistines in their fight against his countrymen and family, against Saul and the Israelite army. But some of the Philistine princes didn’t trust David, so the king sent him back to Ziklag. David and his men returned home with expectations of a grand welcome. What met them was not the kind of grand they were hoping for. Instead of children’s laughter and dancing wives, instead of savory smells and the bustle of feast preparations, a desolate, smoking remains of an Amalekite raid greeted David and his warriors. Ziklag had been burned and the people taken captive. 1 Samuel 30 says the travel-weary warriors sat down and wept until they had no more strength. Then they got mad. Not at the enemy; at David. And there, where things could get no lower, David embraced the humility he needed for restoration.
The broken place got David’s attention. As the magnitude of his pain eclipsed the trials that had numbed him to the spiritual, he turned his face toward God. Without a preacher or a cheerleader, the Bible says he encouraged himself in the Lord. Once he got his mind clear of the trouble and his faith refocused on God, he sought God’s direction. The result was a grand victory in which he recovered all that had been stolen and looted the enemy. Spoils of war were distributed among the men who went to war and as well as to those who stayed behind. From the surplus, gratitude gifts were sent to Israelites who’d been supportive of David in times past. The burning of Ziklag positioned him for the next phase of his life: becoming king.
Sometimes, we need our Ziklag to burn. We need those places of compromise that have weakened our purpose and our joyful trust in God to be brought to waste. Sometimes, we need to be reminded that we’re trusting too much in things other than God. Sometimes, we need a sneak-attack to realize we’ve been exactly where the enemy wants us to be—captive in a sanctuary of our own choosing. Sometimes we need brokenness to bring us to the end of ourselves so that we can see we are not enough. We need Ziklag to burn because it restores our drive to move toward the God we've grown to love less fervently. We need it to remind us of what He's been to us and what He still longs to be in our lives. We need it because it brings us to our knees in surrender, in prayer, in seeking, in reverence, in worship. We need it because bowing down is the single way to rise up. We need it because restoration of real relationship with God is the only pathway to restoration with others. We need it because when we are whole in our walk with God, we carry a victory mindset into the battle and are strengthened to defeat the enemy. Sometimes, a burning Ziklag is our greatest blessing because it brings us low enough to be equipped to rise and rule.
Tip/Tidbit: Let your troubles bring you into sweeter fellowship with God.
It seems absurd that Goliath's killer would want to live among Goliath's friends and family, but that's what happened to David. I think what led David to Ziklag is the same thing that leads us to dwell in enemy territory. To read about this click on the link.>>>