Daily Thought for: 22nd April

DAVID’S HEART FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD

1 Samuel 30. 1-18, 21-24

Today’s reading reveals the depth of David’s feelings for the people of God. We would do well to emulate the genuine love and care which he displayed towards them. All too often we show little interest in the welfare of the Lord’s people. 

Ziklag had been attacked by the Amalekites, burnt with fire and the women and children taken captive. How would you have felt and what would you have done in this situation? David’s response befitted the ‘man after God’s own heart’, setting an example for us all to follow. 

He wept, until he could not weep any more, v. 4. He reminds us of the Lord as He wept over Jerusalem and at the grave of Lazarus. How often have we shed tears out of deep concern for the welfare of the Lord’s people? Paul’s letters to the church at Corinth were stained with his tears, ‘For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears . . . that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you’, 2 Cor. 2. 2. 

David’s own people were so distressed that they turned on him and talked about stoning him. It would have been so easy for him to have treated them in the same manner, but he did not have a vindictive spirit. He took a much more constructive course of action; ‘He encouraged (strengthened) himself in the Lord his God’, v. 6. Once he had done this, it was impossible to turn back to the people with anything other than a forgiving and understanding spirit. 

David’s next action was to ask the Lord, ‘Shall I pursue after this troop? Shall I overtake them?’, v. 8. He needed to know that any course of action he took was the Lord’s will, not his own, and therefore in the people’s best interests. 

David was sensitive as to the condition and needs of the people. He knew that there were some who were so weak that they could not go to the battle and so they remained behind. There were those who were negative towards them when they returned victorious, v. 22. David refused to adopt such a spirit and gave them an equal share of the spoils as a reward for their positive contribution in ‘tarrying by the stuff’, v. 24. 

 

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