1 Samuel 30:1-6
On February 20, 2015, our 38-year-old son, David, took his own life. During the terrible grief that followed, the Lord led me to a lesser-known story in 1 Samuel 30.
The biblical David had been anointed as the next king of Israel, and as a result, the current king, Saul, was pursuing him to kill him. To escape Saul, David and his men had settled among Israel’s enemies, the Philistines, and had been given the town of Ziklag as their home.
David and his men had traveled a great distance to fight for their Philistine hosts. But when they arrived, they were mistrusted and turned away. So they had to turn around and make the long, exhausting trip back home.
When they arrived, a foreign raiding party had struck their town. They had taken all their wives, children, and possessions and had burned everything else to the ground. They had absolutely nothing left. They all wept until they had no more strength to weep. I identified with that detail.
When it seemed things couldn’t possibly get any worse for David, his men blamed him for their loss and talked of stoning him.
But here comes the important part of the story. With all this facing him, “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6b, NASB). That one sentence grabbed me.
We go through times when the darkness is so deep that we can’t see God acting. We can’t feel His presence. We can’t understand what He is doing or not doing. Sometimes He just seems gone.
We have to remind ourselves who He is. We have to remind ourselves what He has done in the past. He has repeatedly proven Himself to us to build our faith for times just like this.
When life is overwhelming, strengthen yourself in the Lord your God. Grab hold of the truth. Cling to it. Claim it as your own, and act on it.
The psalmists express that idea over and over. When trouble and pain settle in and seem to block everything else, remember, remember, remember. God hasn’t changed. He hasn’t moved. He hasn’t abandoned you, and He never will.