By the end of 1 Samuel it feels as if David has lost it all. David is little again, his options and choices reduced and reduced, living as a mercenary in the land of the enemy and yet...even in the presence of his enemies, God grants him victory because God wants to show His might for David in the personal just as He did by saving His Israel with one smooth stone.
David was after GOD’S heart, not really a kingdom so God exalts him. Go and take back what was stolen. And then go and get back my Israel. Doesn’t that speak into all our stories of everyday defeat! He promises to restore, to use the little, the insignificant to bring Himself great glory.
David writes ‘I’d rather be a doorkeeper’ - I’d rather be the shepherd boy who got things right, the man leading men so at the end of their tether that he has to leave half of them behind, and not for the plunder (though there was so MUCH plunder he gave it to all the towns of Israel) but instead he was simply going to set free the captives.
Ziklag is about going to get back what was stolen - the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy, but I have come that they might have life.
How does David know what to do? David enquires of the Lord and keeps doing this all through 1 Samuel. So, he has that promise, the anointing of Samuel all those years back, but in the now he can still abide, and we know all these feelings because we read them in the Psalms.
David enquires of the LORD, not going to anyone else. Contrasting with Saul, one of the many ways the writer signals the idea of David as a new king, a better king, one who deliberately seeks to draw near to God, His purpose and His ways. So, David the skilled fighter and tactician is shown exactly what to do in this hour and knows what to fight for. Do we know which are the battles He wants us to fight? Which stands to take? David knew because he kept on asking!
How often do we cry how long O LORD when family life and situations seem to be falling apart, all the good stuff getting stolen! Ziklag is a great Biblical example of God saying, ’Go and get it back! Don’t put up with this, I’m arming you with strength for this moment.’
Not one is lost.
What should I go back and reclaim, Lord Jesus?