1 Samuel 30:6 (the message)
David strengthened himself with trust in his God.
1 Samuel 30:11-12 (the message)
Some who went on came across an Egyptian in a field and took him to David. They gave him bread and he ate. And he drank some water. They gave him a piece of fig cake and a couple of raisin muffins. Life began to revive in him. He hadn’t eaten or drunk a thing for three days and nights!
My family is almost all packed up for a few days at the beach. I always enjoy taking in the wide expanse of the ocean during the day and the moon shining so bright at night. I feel the magnitude and majesty of Creator in those moments. The others of course are getting sand out of my book, jumping waves and applying sunscreen. Smile…
Before I head out, I wanted to share a thought I had as I read 1 Samuel chapter 30 yesterday morning. David and his men are returning to Ziklag (they are still running from Saul) and find that the Amalekites had raided their homes and captured their wives and children. The men are distraught, of course. So, they set out to track down their families. First I noticed those simple words…David strengthened himself with trust in His God. David found the strength he needed in those first devastating moments by actively putting His trust in God. I can imagine how perhaps he mentally recounted all of the ways God had delivered and spoken to him in the past. God’s faithfulness and power. I imagine how God’s comfort and supernatural strength filled David during his own personal pep rally in why He could and would trust God. Then, well then He moved. He took action.
As they pursued the Amalekites, some of the men grew tired and dropped out. But the ones who continued on came across an Egyptian man who had been left in a field to die and they took him to David. They fed and hydrated the man and as he regained his strength, David found that this Egyptian was an Amalekite slave! The slave agreed to take David and his men to the Amalekite raiders and by the end of the chapter David and his men had rescued their families.
As I read this story, I was struck with this idea of trust and provision. David and his men were in search of their wives and children, not knowing really if they were dead or alive. David needed God to lead the way, to provide a way! As David’s men took time out to be the provision needed by the Egyptian slave, they received God’s provision.
Sometimes we can become so bogged down with our needs, answers to prayer, that we forget to be the answer to someone else’s prayer. I think of it this way…there are people in my life I pray for on a regular basis that they would embrace Christ. Most of the time I specifically ask God to send them a song, a person, an email, something that would touch and stir their heart with a desire to know and surrender to God. I imagine how God orchestrates “chance” encounters (not chance!) so that those I’m praying for will be reminded of or catch a fresh glimpse of God’s love. Now, what if I pray those prayers all the while oblivious to the fact that I should be the answer to someone else’s prayer that day? See, I’m gonna rub elbows with someone each day who needs a fresh touch and glimpse of the love and kindness of Jesus. Someone else’s friend or family member is praying for them and I am the answer for that day.
What about other areas of our lives? Health, finances, marriage and children, jobs, questions of purpose and direction, etc? Might you be facing a challenge right now? Might you have a need? Perhaps you are waiting on God’s provision? Could I just encourage you this morning, as I am encouraged, to follow David’s lead in the scripture above? First, remember God has given you a way to strengthen yourself! If you are tired and burdened, it’s okay to tell God about it! But don’t stop there! Actively remind yourself, peruse your mental list, of all of the ways God has been faithful to you. If you are new to Jesus-living, read your Bible and take notice of how God comes through and provides for His people and understand He loves you just the same. Secondly, be the provision you desire and need in someone else’s life. I don’t mean in even exchanges…smile…I just mean meet someone else’s need, whatever it is! Your heart will be blessed and your own load lightened as you do.
Like David, we may find provision for our need as we become the provision for someone else.