I'll beginning with a bit of context to get y'all up to date...
While on the run from Saul (who wanted to kill him), David and his men had been living in Ziklag among the Philistines. Chapter 29 tells us that they had gone out with the Philistines to war against Israel.
This concerned many of the Philistines (except for Achish—king of Gath who had welcomed David in in the first place) because they feared that these Hebrews would turn traitor and fight for Israel once they were in battle. To satisfy the others, Achish asked David to take his men and return to Ziklag.
Now that we know the background, let's take a look at what these men found when they returned to their homes and families...
And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;
And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.
So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.
And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
// 1 Samuel 30:1-3, 5 kjv
Can you imagine what it would be like to return home to such a sight?! The city was burnt to the ground. Destroyed. Desolate. The mens' wives and children had been carried away captive. Other than the fact that there was no bodies littering the ground, they had no evidence that their families were even still alive.
Not only were they living on the run along with David, they had went out to battle with a country not their own, and while away had lost their wives and children to the enemies.
Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
// 1 Samuel 30:4 kjv
They wept until they had no more power, y'all. They shed tears. They cried. They sobbed. Their hearts were broken, my friends. They had nothing left, and so they wept until they were literally to exhausted to shed another tear, heave another cry.
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters:
// 1 Samuel 30:6a kjv
Just when it seemed like there was nothing left... Not only had David's wives and children been carried away, but now the others were considering stoning him. As if it was his fault!
But they were grieving. They weren't thinking clearly. They just wanted answer, wanted a reason. Wanted to know why.
Have you ever been there? When the bottom falls out and you're just falling, falling, falling... Helpless, with nothing to cling to... Or so it seems.
...but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
// 1 Samuel 30:6b kjv
(Don't you love how God worded that?!) But... David went to the Lord his God. He cried out to God. He lamented. I'm sure he probably asked God why this happened. He was hurt and confused and sick at heart. But he knew where to go for comfort, for answers.
The heartache, the mourning, the heartbroken cries... That wasn't the end of their story, y'all. And the hard times, the dry season you're facing right now isn't the end of your story either.
Lean on Him, friends. That's what He's there for. Run to His open arms and stay there until the storm passes. Because it will pass, it always does. The sunshine is coming. This is just a season, a time of testing, of strengthening you.
And you'll come out stronger for it.
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
// Psalm 34:18 kjv
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
// Psalm 46:1 kjv
Thoughts on this passage? Would y'all like to see a sequel to this post, covering David enquiring of God and the recovery of the families? When has our Lord been near to you through a storm or trial?