Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way.
And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive.Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David's two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God. [ESV]
David and his men had traveled for two days to get home. When they arrived there, they found their city destroyed, their families taken hostage, and all their possessions plundered. The men were tired and angry. They blamed David.
We find it easy to blame a scapegoat when bad things happen. It seems to be human nature. What David did, though, shows us how we should react to trying situations. He turned to God for his strength. David sought God's advice and blessing for the next plan of action. God told him to go after the raiders - the Amalekites. He told David he would be successful.
God gave David and his men the victory, but with much blood, sweat, and tears. He did not magically kill the Amalekites and whisk their families back to David and his men. They had to turn to God, get His advice, trust Him, then act upon it.
God gave the victory. He promised it. God gave more also. He matured David and his men so they learned to turn to Him, trust Him, and go out in faith upon what He said. This was a double victory for David and his men. They got their family and possessions back and God matured them in their faith.
Today some of us may be going through very trying times in our lives. I do not know what that may be, but you do. From this lesson, we need to learn that we can and should go to God for our strength. Most often when He allows us to go through a hardship, it is to grow and mature us. Pray today asking God for His guidance, will, and strength. Then step out in faith on what He says. It may require your blood, sweat, and tears, but God's plans always work out. You will have the victory in this struggle.