1 Samuel

1 Samuel - Lesson 29-30

Chapters 28:20-25; 29:1-11; 30:1-20

Next lesson

  • We drop back into the moment when Saul’s paranoia, pride and arrogance has driven him to seek the counsel of a medium

    • Saul met with a woman who practiced speaking with the dead

      • In reality, those practitioners never actually made contact with dead spirits

      • Instead, they were simply encountering evil spirits who impersonated the dead spirits

      • It was a charade the demons used to control those who sought such counsel

      • Men like Saul…

    • Or in this case, the Lord took over the moment to present Saul with exactly what he was looking for: an encounter with Samuel

      • A vision of Samuel’s spirit is presented to Saul so he can hear Samuel’s counsel

      • And that counsel was appropriately harsh

      • Samuel told Saul he was sinning to seek counsel from the Lord through him

      • That in fact the Lord was not interested in speaking to Saul 

    • And then Samuel declared that Saul was destined for the grave by the next day

      • Saul had the kingdom ripped from his family’s hands

      • It was to be David’s now

      • So not only would Saul find himself with Samuel, but so would Saul’s son, Jonathan

    • Samuel’s words to Saul were clearly stunning and unexpected

      • And the next section of the chapter reveals just how concerned he has become

      • And at the same time, we see another ironic roll reversal that 1 & 2 Samuel are so well known for

1Sam. 28:20 Then Saul immediately fell full length upon the ground and was very afraid because of the words of Samuel; also there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no food all day and all night. 
1Sam. 28:21 The woman came to Saul and saw that he was terrified, and said to him, “Behold, your maidservant has obeyed you, and I have taken my life in my hand and have listened to your words which you spoke to me. 
1Sam. 28:22 “So now also, please listen to the voice of your maidservant, and let me set a piece of bread before you that you may eat and have strength when you go on your way.” 
1Sam. 28:23 But he refused and said, “I will not eat.” However, his servants together with the woman urged him, and he listened to them. So he arose from the ground and sat on the bed. 
1Sam. 28:24 The woman had a fattened calf in the house, and she quickly slaughtered it; and she took flour, kneaded it and baked unleavened bread from it. 
1Sam. 28:25 She brought it before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they arose and went away that night. 
  • At hearing of his judgment from Samuel, Saul falls stiff to the ground in fear and distress

    • Whatever view you may have of this man and of what he has done to deserve this outcome, still it’s hard not to feel some pity for him here

      • He has heard that he will die

      • Moreover he knows his son will die too

      • And he has been given the reason for that outcome: his sin

    • By his faith, Saul was saved from judgment in eternity

      • But sometimes the Lord will permit the consequences of a person’s sin to rest upon them while we’re still alive

      • He does this to chastise them, to correct them in the hope it will lead to better things for them

      • But in the worst cases, the Lord may bring a person to the end of their earthly life as a consequence for extreme sin

    • That’s the situation Saul finds himself in at this point

      • And it must be a hard thing indeed to know the Lord has determined to bring this particular judgment

      • To know you will die the next day

      • And even worse to know that your son will die with you

    • This was devastating news for Saul, and the worst part for him was knowing in advance

      • And of course, he bought that upon himself

      • Had he not gone against the commandments of the Lord in seeking the advice of this medium, he wouldn’t have known

      • The outcome would have been the same

      • But in knowing in advance, Saul suffered all the more

  • In fact, his suffering is so acute it leaves him on the floor for some time, or so it seems, because it says he ate no food that day or all that night

    • So it seems as the night was ending, the woman wanted to help Saul leave her home

      • And in another reversal of roles, now the medium is comforting Saul

      • A king of Israel should have had this woman executed for doing what she did

      • Instead, she is ministering to him, indicating how far from God Saul is at this point

      • He can be refreshed by a woman more familiar with demons than God

  • Now the woman speaks using words very similar to those Samuel used a moment earlier, though reversed again

    • Samuel had just said that because Saul hadn’t obeyed, the Lord would do something to Saul – that is, take his life

    • Now this woman says because I have obeyed you in performing this service, I want you to do something for me

    • Throughout this book, we see these kind of reversals of roles, particularly in the life of Saul

  • The meaning of this pattern in Saul’s case is that he is operating 180 degrees from the commandments of God

    • Saul is living in opposite world

    • That’s a phrase that describes the world perfectly in that everything the world celebrates is the opposite of what is godly

    • Made so because the world is under the influence of the Father of Lies

  • In v.22 the woman reminds Saul of his obligation in keeping with the covenant he made earlier

  • So she insists he eats, probably for the reason that it would facilitate his departure from her home

    • But in a great moment of irony in Saul’s life, he refuses to honor this woman’s request 

    • In other words, Saul was violating this covenant just as he did the one he had with the Lord

  • This is a reflection of his heart, that he makes promises he never intends to keep

    • How many times have we seen him make promises to David but then turn against him the next moment?

    • And now he does it even to this woman trying to help him

  • Ultimately, the woman with the help of Saul’s servants convince him to eat something

    • In fact, she’s so determined to get him out of the house, she is willing to kill a fatted calf and feed Saul what will be his last meal

    • She may have gone to such trouble to ensure the covenant was official

    • A meal of this kind would have been the normal convention when entering into a covenant

    • With that, Saul leaves the woman in Endor and goes out to prepare for that day’s coming battle

  • Returning to David’s situation with the Philistines, we find him preparing to advance into battle on the side of Israel’s enemy, but with a plan

  • But before he can enact his battle plan, the commanders of the Philistines object to his presence on the battlefield

1Sam. 29:1  Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek, while the Israelites were camping by the spring which is in Jezreel. 
1Sam. 29:2 And the lords of the Philistines were proceeding on by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men were proceeding on in the rear with Achish. 
1Sam. 29:3 Then the commanders of the Philistines said, “What are these Hebrews doing here?” And Achish said to the commanders of the Philistines, “Is this not David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, who has been with me these days, or rather these years, and I have found no fault in him from the day he deserted to me to this day?” 
1Sam. 29:4 But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him, and the commanders of the Philistines said to him, “Make the man go back, that he may return to his place where you have assigned him, and do not let him go down to battle with us, or in the battle he may become an adversary to us. For with what could this man make himself acceptable to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of these men? 
1Sam. 29:5   “Is this not David, of whom they sing in the dances, saying, 
            ‘Saul has slain his thousands, 
            And David his ten thousands’?” 
  • The Philistines are amassing in Aphek, a town in the north of Philistine territory near the Jezreel Valley

    • The mention of Aphek brings us full circle in the story of 1 Samuel

      • The first mention in this book of Israel battling with the Philistines happened in Chapter 4

      • And the place the Philistines were amassing then was also Aphek

      • That connection seems to emphasize that 40 years of Saul’s reign have done nothing to advance Israel’s security

    • As we heard a couple of chapters ago, David and his men are marching into battle with the Philistines at the rear of Achish’s formation

      • We don’t know exactly what David was planning 

      • But we can safely assume David was going to turn on Achish in the midst of battle

      • Certainly, that’s what Achish’s fellow commanders assumed

    • They object to David’s presence, asking why are there Hebrews in our midst?

      • It’s really a very comical moment

      • These men are preparing to kill as many Hebrews as they can, when they look up and see Hebrews standing among them

      • It’s like a football team discovering a player from the other team standing in their huddle

    • So naturally they object, and Achish, who David has deceived, comes to David’s aid

      • He asks is this not David?

      • By that he means, isn’t this the David who has served me faithfully (or so he thinks) for 16 months?

    • But the commanders use Achish’s own words against him asking is this not David?

      • Then they repeat the well-known song that emphasizes David’s propensity to kill lots of Philistines

      • And it highlights that Saul and David are united in purpose and goals

      • And they ask Achish exactly what could someone like David do to ever make him acceptable to Achish?

      • Therefore, they mock Achish’s naiveté at thinking David has suddenly become a traitor to his own people

      • They know how dangerous it is to have him in their midst in battle

  • Now Achish must deliver this bad news to David

1Sam. 29:6  Then Achish called David and said to him, “As the Lord lives, you have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the army are pleasing in my sight; for I have not found evil in you from the day of your coming to me to this day. Nevertheless, you are not pleasing in the sight of the lords. 
1Sam. 29:7 “Now therefore return and go in peace, that you may not displease the lords of the Philistines.” 
1Sam. 29:8 David said to Achish, “But what have I done? And what have you found in your servant from the day when I came before you to this day, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?” 
1Sam. 29:9 But Achish replied to David, “I know that you are pleasing in my sight, like an angel of God; nevertheless the commanders of the Philistines have said, ‘He must not go up with us to the battle.’ 
1Sam. 29:10 “Now then arise early in the morning with the servants of your lord who have come with you, and as soon as you have arisen early in the morning and have light, depart.” 
1Sam. 29:11 So David arose early, he and his men, to depart in the morning to return to the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel. 
  • Achish has to work to convince David to return to his home in the south

    • Achish acknowledges that David has done nothing wrong in the 16 months he has served this king

      • Furthermore, Achish has been pleased with David’s support

      • He probably appreciated receiving the booty David secured from the Amalekites in the south 

    • Nevertheless, Achish says his fellow lords are not pleased with David, so David must depart

      • David asks what he’s done to deserve this treatment

      • He says he only wants to fight against the enemies of David’s lord, the king

      • We can only assume David is still working to deceive Achish 

      • When he says “my lord the king” David is referring to Saul, not Achish

      • But of course David wanted Achish to think he was talking about  him

    • In v.9 Achish vindicates David for the third time, having already done so in v.3 and v.6

      • Nevertheless, David must go back

      • Achish is treating David unfairly despite testifying three times that David has done nothing to deserve this treatment

      • In this small detail we find a picture of Christ, in the way that Pilate denied finding fault with Christ three times yet still condemned Him

  • The whole scene is a bit odd in that David seems to be working very hard to become part of something he likely couldn’t have controlled in the end

    • He may have had a plan for how he would ultimately turn against the Philistines and support Israel

      • But what if that plan hadn’t worked out as he expected?

      • In the fog of war, there are an infinite number of ways that things don’t go as planned

      • In fact, it’s probably more likely that David would find himself in dangerous and uncontrollable circumstances than that things would work out as he hoped

    • What’s David forgetting in his scheming? He’s working without the counsel of the Lord

      • If the Lord had orchestrated this plan, then David could have moved forward in confidence that the Lord had already worked out the details

      • That’s been David’s experience with the Lord in previous battles

    • But the difference this time is that David hasn’t sought the Lord

      • As we observed last week, David has not prayed to the Lord nor sought His counsel at any point in the time he spends among the Philistines

      • In fact, God’s name doesn’t appear in Chapter 27 

      • And the only mention in this chapter comes from Achish who uses it merely to mollify David

      • In other words, David is operating on his own, and he’s dangerously close to making a serious mistake

    • But then the Lord’s invisible hand steps in to protect David from himself

      • David is being prevented from going into this battle by the Lord

      • Even as David is resisting the Lord’s will, nevertheless the Lord is going to get His way with David

  • I love seeing the Lord working this way with David because it gives all of us hope that even in our worst moments, the Lord doesn’t stop blessing us

    • He acts like a good and perfect Father would

      • He steps in to rescue us when necessary so we don’t run with scissors or play in the street, spiritually speaking

      • The Lord knows David is trying to use his situation to Saul’s benefit, but he’s going about it the wrong way

    • The Lord not only wants us to serve His purposes and goals, He wants us to do so according to His plan

      • There may be multiple ways to achieve something according to God’s purposes

      • But that doesn’t mean all means are equally valid and godly

      • To say it another way, the ends do not justify the means in serving God

    • He wants us to seek His goals by following His plan

      • We can know His goals and purposes by reading scripture

      • But we can only know His specific plan for how we must achieve those outcomes through prayer and taking note of His responses

      • He will close some doors while opening other doors in our life

      • He will convict us of one thing while encouraging us in another

      • David was being pushed away from this battle because he was working the wrong plan even though he had the right goal

  • Next we discover why the Lord wanted David to return to Ziklag rather than enter into this battle

1Sam. 30:1  Then it happened when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negev and on Ziklag, and had overthrown Ziklag and burned it with fire; 
1Sam. 30:2 and they took captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great, without killing anyone, and carried them off and went their way. 
1Sam. 30:3 When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire, and their wives and their sons and their daughters had been taken captive. 
1Sam. 30:4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep. 
1Sam. 30:5 Now David’s two wives had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. 
1Sam. 30:6 Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. 
  • The circumstances of this chapter serve a couple of purposes in the larger story of David’s ascent and Saul’s fall

    • First, we’re seeing the consequences of David’s sin of entering the Philistines territories

      • David moved into Ziklag without the Lord’s approval

      • He avoided the fight with Saul, which was intended to grow him

      • And he resorted to deception again to get his way

      • So there will be a reckoning now

    • But the Lord is good to those who love Him, and so the Lord will ultimately turn these circumstances to good for David and Israel

      • This is probably the most important comparison between David and Christ throughout the books of 1 & 2 Samuel

      • Tragedy turns to victory for David

      • Sorrow leads to joy

      • Just as Christ’s death lead to salvation

  • As the circumstances unfold, David’s absence with the Philistines gave opportunity for the Amalekites to avenge David’s attacks

    • They came up into the city and burned the city and took the women and children captive

      • Obviously, David and his men are greatly distressed by what they find

      • They weep until they are exhausted

    • And it leads David’s men to consider stoning him for his poor leadership

      • Obviously, if he hadn’t made the decision to enter the Philistine territory or attack the Amalekites, this wouldn’t have happened

      • Ironically, David made this move as a means of seeking safety

      • But in the process, he put his men at greater risk

    • The safest place for us to be is in the will of God

      • That may not place us in the most peaceful circumstances

      • But it will assures us the greatest protection from the world

      • David is learning that lesson now

  • And then at the end of v.6, we find a phrase we’ve been waiting to see for three chapters

    • David strengthened himself in the Lord

      • This isn’t merely a reference to David finding physical revival or even spiritual resolve

      • It indicates the moment that David returns to seeking the Lord’s will rather than following his own plans 

      • It’s the mention of God that’s been missing for too long

    • At this moment, we have the clearest distinction between David and Saul

      • When Saul faced great distress and the end of his life, he sought demonic counsel in the face of a silent God

      • When David entered this crisis, he responded by seeking the Lord

      • If there was a single lesson of 1 Samuel, this is it: seek the Lord

  • This is also a powerful illustration of how every child experiences a walk with the Lord, moving in and out of His will at times

    • We may walk closely with Him for a time finding strength and joy and a measure of spiritual fruit

      • But for whatever reason, we may begin to feel confidence in ourselves thinking we know what we’re doing 

      • Then we step outside His will in some area of our life

      • Just as David had experienced victory after victory over Saul in the wilderness, but then ran for protection among the Philistines

    • When we step outside the Lord’s will, He doesn’t forget us or leave us

      • Instead, He works patiently in the background

      • First, He may give us time to experience the foolishness of our decision

      • He may let our situation play out for a time, letting us collect a few scars along the way

    • But even during our rebellion, the Lord watches over us, protecting us from the worst of our mistakes and turning our mistakes to good

      • Just as He stopped David from going into a battle he had no business entering and couldn’t control

      • Likewise, the Lord will protect us from destruction even as He sends us counselors, friends, or other correction to prompt repentance

      • And then as we repent, returning to Him, He delights to pick us up and move us forward

  • Just as we see the Lord doing with David now

1Sam. 30:7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Please bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 
1Sam. 30:8 David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this band? Shall I overtake them?” And He said to him, “Pursue, for you will surely overtake them, and you will surely rescue all.” 
  • David returns to consulting the Lord for guidance

    • You can almost hear a Hollywood soundtrack beginning to play soaring, victorious music at this point

      • This is the climatic turning point in David’s ascent to the throne

      • He has passed the final test of his time in the wilderness

      • This crises cements David’s trust in the Lord

    • David goes back to the High Priest, and asks him to inquire of the Lord concerning what they should do next

      • This is no small thing when you consider what was at stake

      • Obviously, every member of that community is determined to retrieve their family members

      • They are angry and ready to kill David

      • Can you imagine what would have happened if David had told them not to pursue the Amalekites?

    • Yet that was the risk David was taking in this moment

      • He asks the Lord if they should pursue, taking the risk that the answer might have been no

      • This is a dramatic example of submission to the Lord’s will

      • David won’t move to recover his own wives unless and until the Lord grants him permission

      • This is one of the high points in all scripture of a man submitted to the will of the Lord

  • Of course, the Lord grants David the permission he sought, and gave David confidence of victory in the process

    • While Saul desperately desired to hear the Lord’s counsel but couldn’t, David receives an answer to his question

      • The difference between David and Saul is an important one

      • Both men knew the Lord, both had the Lord’s anointing

      • And both men sinned at times, as do all men

    • But when Saul sinned and the Lord brought correction, Saul’s heart was hardened to correction and fought back against it

      • As that process took hold, Saul moved further away from the Lord

      • And at a point, the Lord confirmed Saul’s place outside His counsel

      • This is a devastating place for any believer to find him or herself

      • The writer of Hebrews warns us to stay away from such a place in our relationship with the Lord

Heb. 3:7   Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, 
             “Today if you hear His voice, 
Heb. 3:8  Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, 
As in the day of trial in the wilderness, 
Heb. 3:9  Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, 
And saw My works for forty years. 
Heb. 3:10  “Therefore I was angry with this generation, 
             And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, 
            And they did not know My ways’; 
Heb. 3:11  As I swore in My wrath, 
            ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” 
Heb. 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 
Heb. 3:13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 
  • The writer draws a comparison between believers who act in unbelieving ways and those in Israel during the Exodus

    • Those Israelites saw and heard from the Lord in many dramatic ways and yet they continued to go astray

      • Their error illustrates the danger of taking for granted God’s activity and revelation in our life

      • The Israelites were granted unique and power revelations of God

      • But it was for nothing in the end, since they made no good use of it

      • Instead, they squandered that grace and turned against the Lord time and time again

    • Similarly, the believer can find himself or herself becoming hardened by repeatedly turning away from the Lord

      • Sin is deceitful in that it lies to us

      • Sin lies by convincing us that to obey our own desires is a better course than obeying God

      • And it lies by convincing us we can live in open rebellion to the Lord with impunity

      • That since consequences haven’t come so far, then they will never come

    • Saul’s heart was hardened by the deceitfulness of his sin

      • He sinned long enough that he came to believe there was no other way to be

      • And as he went, his heart lost its capacity to receive God’s rebuke or to be sensitive to the consequences of his errors

      • His heart became hardened, such that the tools God uses to bring repentance were no longer effective

      • And once Saul reached that place, there was no way back

    • Meanwhile, David made some similar mistakes and saw similar consequences

      • But when he experienced the negative impacts of his decisions, he chose to change his path

      • His heart remained sensitive to the Lord’s rebuke, and so he returned to the Lord seeking something better

      • And the Lord was there waiting for him

    • The story of Saul and David isn’t one of a sinful king and a righteous king

      • It’s a story of a hardened heart and a faithful heart

      • Of one man deceived by his sin

      • And another man corrected by his sin 

  • After the Lord gives permission, David takes his 600 men and begins his pursuit, though not sure where he’s going

    • But because he’s following the Lord’s counsel, he has confidence that the Lord will take care of the details

      • And so He does

1Sam. 30:9 So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those left behind remained. 
1Sam. 30:10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men, for two hundred who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor remained behind.
1Sam. 30:11  Now they found an Egyptian in the field and brought him to David, and gave him bread and he ate, and they provided him water to drink. 
1Sam. 30:12 They gave him a piece of fig cake and two clusters of raisins, and he ate; then his spirit revived. For he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. 
1Sam. 30:13 David said to him, “To whom do you belong? And where are you from?” And he said, “I am a young man of Egypt, a servant of an Amalekite; and my master left me behind when I fell sick three days ago. 
1Sam. 30:14 “We made a raid on the Negev of the Cherethites, and on that which belongs to Judah, and on the Negev of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire.” 
1Sam. 30:15 Then David said to him, “Will you bring me down to this band?” And he said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring you down to this band.” 
  • David and men go south as far as the brook Besor, which was the border of Israel with Egypt

    • It’s interesting that David’s men just fall in line behind him

      • One moment they are ready to stone him

      • And the next moment they follow

      • The only thing to explain their change of heart was seeing David consult the Lord

      • Godly leadership is inspiring to others, both in our families and in the church

    • The Amalekite raiders were moving in this territory freely, between the land of the Hebrews, the Philistines and pockets of Canaanites

      • So finding them was going to require quick work and direction from the Lord

      • The journey down from Aphek and the emotional toll of finding Ziklag burned has left some of David’s men exhausted

    • So David decides to leave 200 men with the camp equipment while taking 400 men with him to continue to fight

      • This might have discouraged a leader, to lose a third of his already small force

      • But David is following the Lord now, so he shows no doubt or fear

      • Spurgeon remarked:

When God means to bless us, he often takes away a part of the little strength we thought we had. We did not think our strength equal to the task, and the Lord takes away a portion even of the little power we had. Our God does not fill till he has emptied. Two hundred men must be rent away from David’s side before God could give him victory … Expect then, O troubled one, that you will be delivered, but know that your sorrow may yet deepen, that you may have all the greater joy by-and-by.
  • So in kindness David allows these 200 men to rest

    • Plus by leaving the baggage with them, David’s other 400 men can move more swiftly

    • This is reminiscent of his planned battle against Nabal, where David left some men behind to guard the baggage

  • As they move out, David and his men encounter an Egyptian in the field

    • This was an odd thing…a foreigner by himself so far north and in the middle of nowhere

      • So David and his men find this suspicious and take the man captive

      • They assume that this man may know something or at least he may have seen the Amalekites passing through

    • But the guy is so famished and weak that he’s no use to them without some time to gain his strength

      • This man fell ill three days ago and was left here by the retreating Amalekites

      • So they give him food and water because it’s been three days since he’s had anything

      • And then they begin to interrogate him

    • He confesses that he was a part of the raiding party that struck Ziklag

      • As an Egyptian, he was probably a slave of the Amalekites, perhaps captured in a previous battle with the Egyptians

      • So he speaks as one under orders to do what he did, not as one with a personal grudge against David or anyone else

      • So he tells David the complete story that they raided Ziklag

  • David realizes this man can lead him to the camp of the Amalekites, so he instructs the Egyptian to take his men there

    • Of course, this worried the Egyptian

      • He will make himself an enemy of his master 

      • So if David will not protect him, then he is certain to die

      • Therefore, he asks David for protection and David agrees

    • This entire scene is recorded for us to see the heart of David in the midst of war

      • He regards even the lowest of men with respect and kindness

      • This trait will follow David all the days of his life as king

      • It’s one of the marks of a man after God’s own heart

      • As Jesus says:

Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
  • So then David goes into the camp

1Sam. 30:16 When he had brought him down, behold, they were spread over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing because of all the great spoil that they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 
1Sam. 30:17 David slaughtered them from the twilight until the evening of the next day; and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled. 
1Sam. 30:18 So David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and rescued his two wives. 
1Sam. 30:19 But nothing of theirs was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that they had taken for themselves; David brought it all back. 
1Sam. 30:20 So David had captured all the sheep and the cattle which the people drove ahead of the other livestock, and they said, “This is David’s spoil.” 
  • As the Lord promised, David and his men are successful in the battle

    • They fought all night long, destroying the enemy and freeing all the captives

      • We hear that 400 of the Amalekites escaped on camels, the sports car of that day

      • The significance of the number is in telling us that David had a much smaller force

      • He was fighting with only 400, and just the escapees of the Amalekites was 400 

      • Still the Lord delivered a victory to David

    • David’s victory was so complete that nothing was missing, not even his possessions

      • The Amalekites had other possessions taken from other peoples besides David’s men

      • And these possessions David took for himself as booty of the battle

      • And it was called David’s spoil

  • Finally, he carries that spoil back to the other waiting men

    • The distribution of the spoil takes up these five verses and the rest of the chapter

      • We will study it next week as we enter the final chapter of the book

      • It will illustrate once more David’s fairness and concern for the welfare of his people

    • And it becomes the means God uses to turn the hearts of Israel to their new king even as Saul loses his life on the battlefield

      • Because when both the king and the prince die at the same moment, it leaves a power vacuum

      • David is God’s choice to fill that vacuum

      • And the Lord wants the people of Israel to see that too