April 26, 2016
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 26 April 2016
First Samuel 30 begins with the record of David and his men returning to Ziklag following the expulsion from the Philistine army. David and his men returned home to discover that the Amalekites “had overthrown Ziklag and burned it with fire” and they took captives (30:1-2). To add to his distress, the people doubted David’s leadership and were embittered toward one another. “But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (30:6). Those who, like David, turn to the Lord God — in faith — in their most earnest distress will find perfect strength. God promises, “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness’” (2 Cor 12:9).
With God’s help, David’s forces were victorious over the Amalekites, thereby saving their families and gaining much reward (30:20). The structure of the chapter is composed in a manner that does not emphasize David’s military ability per se, but rather his dividing of the rewards. The reason for the emphasis of chapter 30 appears to be typological (a representation of an actual, historical reference). David was victorious over the Amalekites, spoiled his enemies, and gave gifts from the spoil. David’s actions foreshadowed those of Jesus, who was victorious in his death upon the cross, spoiled the house of the strong man, and gave gifts to his people (Matt 12:28-29; John 19:30; Eph 4:8-13; Heb 7:25-28).
David’s victory over the Amalekites was also theological in significance. The gifts were from the spoils “of the enemies of the Lord” (30:26). David’s actions against the Amalekites were not vengeful; rather, they were acts of spiritual obedience, that is, the fulfillment of biblical mandates and timeless prophecies. David did not seek plunder or act in vengeance, but did as God commanded (cf. Exod 17:8-16). The typology is also evident again. David was anointed king over Israel (16:12-13), but was confirming that anointing by his messianic actions. The Messiah (Jesus) would not fight personal wars, but only those battles that God specified in order for Him to be victorious.
Psalm 21 was composed as praise for deliverance. David praised, “O Lord, in your strength the king will be glad, and in your strength how greatly he will rejoice. . . ! For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the lovingkindness of the Most High he will not be shaken” (Ps 21: 1, 7). Just as David learned to trust in the Lord, so do God’s people today also ought not to let their hearts be troubled (John 14:1). When we trust God and seek his will by studying and heeding his Word, we experience victory in Jesus Christ.
Whatever distresses God’s people may experience, there is assurance in Scripture that God is not silent toward those who seek Him. “‘Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7).
P.S. Reminder: the next Capitol Commission (interim) Bible Study will be held on the first Tuesday of the month: 3 May 2016.
God's Grace and Peace to You,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia