Bible Commentaries
1 Samuel 30

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-31

Chapter 30

And when they got back to Ziklag they found that the Amalekites had invaded the land ( 1 Samuel 30:1 );

Now here's something quite interesting. The Amalekites were the ones that God ordered utterly exterminated by Saul. But Saul failed to utterly exterminate them. He disobeyed the commandment of God, so he lied and said, "I've done all that the Lord told me to do." That was a lie. He did not utterly exterminate the Amalekites. We have pointed out in the past that the Amalekites in the scripture are a type of the flesh, the flesh life.

Now what's God's verdict for your flesh? God doesn't say, "Now reform your flesh." God doesn't say, "Bring your flesh under control." God said, "Kill it, crucify it." "If we by the Spirit, do mortify, or put to death, the flesh, we shall live" ( Romans 8:13 ). Know ye not that your old man, your flesh was crucified with Christ, and God has only one verdict for your old flesh, and that is crucify it, utterly destroy it, give no place for your flesh to fulfill the lusts. Even as God ordered utter extermination of the Amalekites, a type of the flesh, so He orders the utter destruction of our flesh.

Now failure to do so is only going to lead to further problems. Had Saul utterly destroyed the Amalekites, obeyed the voice of God, then they would not have been able to invade Ziklag and take David's wives, and all of the spoil with them.

Interestingly enough, next week in our study, as we get into second Samuel, we're gonna find that an Amalekite came to David and said, "I was passing through Mount Gilboa, and I saw Saul and he was fallen on his spear, and he lifted himself up and asked me to kill him, and I came over and killed him." Saul who was ordered to utterly wipe out the Amalekites, and failed to do so, was ultimately killed by an Amalekite. You leave a part of your flesh, you know the liberty, and say, "Well, that's just a part of the flesh I want to hold on to that," it'll ultimately destroy you.

So the Amalekites made an invasion of the land. They took the city of Ziklag. Of course, all the men were off to war in several other cities.

David and his men came to the city, and they found that it was burned with fire; their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were gone. And David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and they began to cry, until they had [no voice left] no more power to weep. David's two wives, Ahinoam and Abigail were taken. And David was greatly distressed; and the people were talking about stoning him ( 1 Samuel 30:3-6 ),

Now you remember David had a rough crew. Everyone who was in debt, everyone who was in trouble, everyone who was fleeing from the law, they all came down to David. He didn't have really a choice kind of an army. He had every renegade and outlaw in the land, that fled to David. So here, when they come back and find that the area had been taken, they're gonna stone David. "So David was greatly distressed; for the men were speaking of stoning him,"

because all of the people were so grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord ( 1 Samuel 30:6 ).

Sometimes that's the only place you can get encouragement. Things are so bad that the only place you can find encouragement is in the Lord. David encouraged himself in the Lord, and that is a marvelous practice, something that we ought to be doing more ourselves, is encouraging ourselves in the Lord.

Now how did he encourage himself in the Lord? Read the forty-fifth Psalm, I think, "Why art thou cast down O my soul? Why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God? He's gonna yet deliver you." You know he sort of talks to himself. We need to talk, "Why am I so discouraged? Why am I so despondent? Why am I so cast down? What's the matter with you, soul? What's your problem? Don't you hope in God? He's gonna yet deliver you. You know you don't need to be discouraged, God's still on the throne." We need to just sort of encourage ourselves in the Lord. God is on the throne, God is in control, God is in control even of this situation, and God is going to work, He's not going to let you down. He just encouraged himself in the Lord. A marvelous practice, and one that we all need to learn, because we're all gonna face tough situations, discouraging situations where we need to be lifted up, and the only place to find that is by turning to the Lord and realizing "Hey, it's not out of God's hands, He's still in control, He's still on the throne, He's gonna work these things out, and Oh thank You Lord." You get strength, you get courage as you look to the Lord and begin to get things in balance, and in the proper perspective.

And so David said to Abiathar the priest, Bring me the ephod. And Abiathar brought the ephod to David. And David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And the Lord answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail you'll recover everything. So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and they came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind stayed. But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred stayed back, they were so faint they could not get over the brook. And they found an Egyptian in the field, they brought him to David, and David gave him bread; and gave him water. They gave him a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten these, his spirit revived: for he had not eaten any bread, nor drunk any water, for three days and three nights. And David said unto him, To whom do you belong? where are you from? And he said, I'm a young man of Egypt, and I'm a servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days ago I fell sick. And we made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the coast which belongs to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; we burned Ziklag with fire. And David said, Can you bring me down to this company? And he said, If you'll swear to me by God, that you'll neither kill me, nor deliver me to the hands of my master, I will bring you down to this company. And so when they had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad in all the earth, [the Amalekites,] they were eating, they were drinking, they were dancing, because of the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah ( 1 Samuel 30:7-16 ).

They took advantage of the fact that the Philistines and Judah had all gone up to have this big battle. So they came in, women and children left, just were able to wipe out these towns, take the spoil and so forth.

So David smote them from twilight even to the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man, except for four hundred guys that got on camels, and rode off. And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, nor sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all. And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they had driven before them, and said, This is David's spoil. And David came to the two hundred men, which were so faint they could not follow David, whom they stayed back at the brook of Besor: and they went and they came forth to meet David, and the people that were with him: and David came near to the people, and greeted them. And then answered all the wicked men the man of Belial, those that went with David, and they said, Because they didn't go with us, we're not gonna give them anything from the spoil that we have recovered, except we'll give every man his wife and children back. And David said, You shall not do so, my brothers, with that which the Lord has given to us, who has preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand. For who will hearken unto you in this matter? but as his part is that goeth down to battle, so shall his part be that tarries by the stuff: they shall part alike. And so it was from that day on, that he made a statute and an ordinance in Israel unto this day ( 1 Samuel 30:17-25 ).

That is, "Those who stay back by the stuff share equally in the spoil with those that go forth into the battle." Now this I believe also is a rule of God today say in the area of missions. You know "if a missionary is out there, how can he go, the Bible says, except he be sent?" So as we send and support missionaries, staying here by the stuff, so to speak, we share equally in the rewards, and the fruit of their ministries. God's law, an ordinance, a statute. They that stay by the stuff share equally in the reward with those that go into the battle.

So when David came to Ziklag, he sent the spoil to the elders of Judah, [the many cities. I like this verse thirty-one.] To those that were in Hebron, and to all the place where David himself and his men were wont to haunt ( 1 Samuel 30:26-31 ).

So in all these areas where David and his men were going around, he sent a lot of the spoils to various cities, and to the people in those cities. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 30". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.