Posts tagged Ziklag
It seems to me that in this instance, God protected David from making a grave mistake. As David went out with the Philistine army, marching headlong into a battle with the Israelites, God’s hand was at work. Through the Philistine leaders and Achish, God created a way for David to not do battle against his own people but also to gain favor with the Philistines.
Knowing that David would eventually become king of Israel, it’s pretty unfathomable to think of how awkward it would have been if he had also been one of the Philistine army who had killed many Israelites. In fact, during that battle, David may have even had another chance to kill Saul. Would he have taken it, thinking that surely the 3rd time the opportunity arose, it must be from the Lord?
All interesting points to ponder, but I also wonder if, perhaps, God had a much more personal reason for not sending David into that battle – one that speaks to God’s understanding of human relationships. Chapter 31, verse 2 tells us that in this same battle, Saul’s sons were killed, including Jonathan. Given the special bond between Jonathan and David, can you imagine what it would have done to David if he had any part in a battle that killed his friend Jonathan? Can you fathom how much he would have blamed himself for Jonathan’s death, even if he had no direct role in it? I have to wonder, then, if God removed David from the situation so that he didn’t have to watch his friend die.
Not only did he not have to watch his friend die, but he also got to become a hero to the men he was fighting with. As they returned to Ziklag, the found that the Amalekites had raided and burned the place and taken the women, children, livestock and whatever else they could get their hands on. David and his band of men then had an opportunity to rescue their wives, defeat the Amalekites and return home heroes, even as the rest of the Philistine army returned victorious from their battle with Israel.
It dawns on me that sometimes God wants to give us victory, but he’s asking us to switch battles. In other words, we’re dead-set on fighting whatever battle we’re going out to fight and God is pointing us to another battle. His plan and his will are to give us an incredible victory in the other battle, but we are so intent on fighting the one we set out to fight that we fail to listen to his direction. The old adage, “choose your battles wisely” comes to mind. In this case, maybe the best phrase would be, “wisely, allow your battles to be chosen.”