“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. And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, 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. And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. And David enquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.”
– 1 Samuel 30:1-8
There comes a point in time when it seems like everything that you have worked for, prayed for, sowed seeds for, or even simply stumbled upon comes under seizure and attack by the enemy. The attack can become so severe that you don’t know whether you’re coming or going, and it could even go as far as nearly making you question did God really give you said stuff. One thing is sure, he doesn’t attack unless he sees you as a potential threat to him and his kingdom. So, if you’re under demonic attack right now then you must fit one or both of those criteria. Also, you have to be mindful and watchful of his tactics, because he doesn’t always come in the form that you are most familiar with or even expecting him to. Say what?
Sometimes the enemy doesn’t come directly at you while you are preparing for the battle, but he will come with a distraction. This distraction is not so that you take your eyes off of him, rather it is so that you take your eyes off his hands and ways concerning their approach towards you. Need an example? Let’s apply our text. The text starts off by saying that David and his men had come to Ziklag on the third day. What does this mean? They were gone from their land and were returning home. Watch this. They were gone as a good gesture or good deed in order to help the Philistines fight and defeat the enemy that was coming against them (go back and read chapter 29). Tell yourself real quick, every distraction is not going to be bad, but there are some good ones. However, God saw fit to allow the Philistines to remember a history lesson of the man David. They remembered what he did when he slew their armies (more specifically the Giant by the name of Goliath), and they remembered the song that was song when David returned home. Then, they demanded that David leave them lest he turn against them during the battle. David took the defensive role in this and attempted to plead that he may assist in battle, but what David didn’t know is that God was working the offense for him to go and reclaim what was his.
When David returned home, he saw that everything that he had worked for, everything that he had warred for, and everything that God had given him was no longer in his possession. He learned that while he was away attempting to do a good thing, someone took advantage of the situation and waged war against him by taking all his possessions and all the women and children hostage. This is not even the most interesting part. The most interesting part to this whole mess is that David’s men were furious with him to the point where they desired to stone him. Stone him? Yes, stone him! They were mad that they were gone to try and assist another people fight against their enemy; meanwhile, our families were left unprotected and our enemy was able to come in and not only destroy our camps, but take our wife and children as hostages. You know the lividness is real when they desire to kill the King. Watch this. David was not even bothered by this whole notion or at least wasn’t too concerned about it. How do I know this? David said bring me the ephod, because I need to get my Master on the line and holler at him real quick. That’s not what really let me know that David was cool about the whole thing. The thing that let me know this was David’s prayer. He asked God two questions: Shall I pursue? Shall I overtake them?
He didn’t pray about the people and their desire to kill him. He didn’t pray about the fires burning all around him. He didn’t even pray about the pain the he may have been feeling at that moment. No! David prayed for instructions on how should he respond. Can I help us real quick? All too often, we come to God praying for reactions. What are reactions? Those are the things that we do as a result of something happening to us. Often times, we don’t even think about them, but they are sort of like common sense. You hit me, I’m going to hit you back. You stole from me, I’m going to call the police. You talked about me, I’m going to talk about you. All of those are immediate reactions to the situation. However, a response requires more thought and strategy. David knew exactly who to go to for both of these. He could have simply come home and saw the destruction and immediately went to war, but waited and had a conversation with God. Why? Suppose he had went to war and God didn’t want him to. Who’s to say he would have gotten the victory? Who’s to say the enemy wouldn’t have killed the hostages out of fear or spite? Who’s to say what the outcome would have been? However, because of David’s putting God first and seeking Him first, he got permission to seek vengeance. Watch this. As a result of him seeking out God’s plan or way first, he ran into somebody that gave him insider information about his enemy, and he was able to attack at a moment of vulnerability. Thus, I want to suggest that David didn’t view opposition as a moment to demonstration his position, but He saw it as an opportunity to get God’s permission and assistance in the matter.
Can I make a suggestion for us? We have to begin to change the way we view opposition. Yes, everything that happens to us is allowed by God (and some even orchestrated by Him); however, it does not mean that He is pivoted against you (at least if you are on His side). What do you mean by this Kean? Every obstacle you face is not God being opposed to you, rather it may an opportunity afforded by God to you so that He can demonstrate His divine power and capability. In other words, it could be an obstacle He allowed to prove His excellency, His almighty strength, His divine nature, His desire to avenge those whom He loves and has chosen, and/or His way of seeing would you lean on Him or take matters into your own hands.
Can I give you a quick shout cue? That obstacle that you are facing could be God giving you an opportunity to allow Him to reveal His hand in your life, upon your life, and against any who comes to oppose your life! You missed it! Let’s try it this way: Your opposition is God’s opportunity to make good on His promise! What promise! That He Is your refuge, strength, and a present help in times of struggle! That He Is your redeemer and hope of glory. That He Is the one who goes with you into battle to give you the victory! That He Is Alpha and Omega, Beginning and Ending, and through His name we have the power to trample down anyone who rises against us. More importantly, that vengeance and recompense is His! So, with this in mind I urge you to seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness regarding the war that has been waged against you, and prepare yourself to Comeback with A Vengeance!