1 Samuel 30:1 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;
2 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.
3 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.
4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
5 And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
6 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: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
God’s people have a solemn responsibility to encourage one another. Helping to build another’s godly courage remains one of the most effective ways to influence others. Unfortunately, far too many times, close acquaintances fail to encourage (and all too often discourage) one another. In these times, it is especially important that the individual learns to encourage himself in the Lord. In our passage, David returned to Ziklag only to find it burned with fire. The welfare of the women and children seemed hopeless as the Amalekites had taken them all captive. No doubt it was one of David’s most challenging times. David and his men were greatly distressed and in need of courage. Unfortunately, the men closest to David turned against him rather than supporting their leader during the most trying time. David’s only hope was to encourage “himself in the LORD his God.” Believers today need to follow David’s example. We cannot always depend upon others to receive courage, but we can always depend upon the Lord.
- (For Children): During times when you feel afraid or alone, remember God says He will always be with us and He loves us with an everlasting love. Will you sing “Jesus Loves Me” out loud to encourage yourself right now?
- (For Everyone): Are there times when you are discouraged? Are there times when there is nobody around offering words of encouragement? How do you react during those times? Who should you blame for remaining in a discouraged state of mind?
- How did David encourage himself? What are some ways that you could encourage yourself?
- Ask God to help you find ways to encourage yourself. Ask Him to teach you how to avoid the things that will bring heartache and discouragement so that you can learn to avoid them.
- Ask God to show you when your courage is growing weaker and help to make you a true encourager.