When You Have Nowhere to Turn
Saturday - May 23nd
Today's Scripture to Read: 1 Samuel 30:1-6
David found strength in the Lord his God.
1 Samuel 30:6
"Next time you are here, we must visit Ziklag. Have you ever been to Ziklag?" When my friend Ami asked me about visiting the ruins of Ziklag, I geeked out. Ami is a great tour guide in Israel. Those who have been with us in the Holy Land know of his skill in leading tours there. My response surprised Ami. He hadn't met too many pastors who wanted to see the ruins of Ziklag.
My fascination with the little town in the land of the Philistines, began when I read the last few chapters of 1 Samuel or the first time. David and his roving band of warriors had been on the run from King Saul of Israel for a couple of years. The Philistines had allowed them to live in hiding in that border town of Philistia. David had concluded he would die at the hand of King Saul - even though God promised David he would take Saul's throne. David lives a life of deception and treachery for two to three years. He gives up on God. That period is believed to be the most prolonged period in which David did not write a psalm. It was a dark time in David's life.
David left Ziklag with all of his warriors to join the Philistine King in a massive battle against Israel. Philistine generals objected to David and his men being allowed to go to battle against Israel. They believed he would turn and help Saul. So, David and his men took the road home to Ziklag. Can you imagine the anticipation of seeing their loved ones - of hugging their children and kissing their wives?
In 1 Samuel 30:3, as they arrive home, they find Ziklag burned to the ground, and all of their wives and children taken captive. They are crushed. They are exhausted. They cry until they cannot cry anymore. The other men start whispering about how it's all David's fault. They begin to discuss stoning him.
After years of leaving God completely out of his life, of not trusting God, David collapses. We then read what happened next in verse six. "David found strength in the Lord his God." He had nowhere to turn, so he turned to God. God guides them to the invading army, the Amalekites, and David crushes them and brings home all of the people of Ziklag.
When you have nothing left, find your strength in God. Tell him you are running on empty. Express to Him how utterly helpless you feel. And then, open His Word and hear his voice. Love Him and walk in obedience to Him. You will discover the strength you can only get from God.
Next time I'm in Israel, I hope to visit Ziklag with Ami. I have sought to find strength in the Lord my God many times in my life, as David did. Each time God has graced me with his presence and sweet love. Ziklag reminds me of our gracious God and our access to Him when we have nowhere else to turn.
No matter how drained you are. No matter how far from God you feel, remember to strengthen yourself in the Lord your God!