So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive.
Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. 1Samuel 30:3 - 4, 6; [NKJV]
Davidís flight from Israel was necessitated by several attempts of King Saul to terminate his life. For so many years, David hid himself in caves, wilderness, and deserts, going about from one neighbouring town to the other in search of refuge and protection. His search for a place of refuge brought him to the land of the Philistines where Achish the king of Gath gave him and the six hundred men with him, the city of Ziklag to inhabit. So David and his men dwelt in the land of Ziklag.
The Philistine armies were preparing for war against the Israelites; they encamped in Aphek with all their hosts, ready for battle against the Israelites. As a mark of loyalty and appreciation to Achish and the Philistines who had hosted him and his men for about two years, David and his six hundred men offered to support the army of Philistine against the Israelites Ė their own flesh and blood! While Achish the King of Gath did not have any objection to this, the lords of the Philistines strongly kicked against the idea, they doubted the sincerity of David and his men. Following the blunt refusal of the lords of the Philistines to join them in battle against Israel, David and his men were ordered to return to Ziklag, the city where they dwelt.
On arrival at Ziklag however, David and his men discovered that their city had been attacked by the Amalekites. The Amalekites apparently took advantage of their absence to attack the city. They looted the whole city and took captives their wives, sons and daughters. Absolutely nothing was left behind by the enemies as the whole city was set on fire.
It was a pathetic situation for David and his men who were now left with nothing but the ruins and ashes of the burnt city. Every one of them was deeply grieved and greatly distressed; they cried uncontrollably and wept sore until there was no strength in them again to weep! The situation was so bad that all the men out of indignation and bitterness of soul thought of stoning David to death as they imagined how painful life would be for them without their wives, sons, daughters and loved ones.
After weeping uncontrollably for several hours without consolation from anyone, David finally encouraged himself in the Lord. He decided it was hi time he stopped weeping. The encouragement that saw to the end of weeping for David did not come from anywhere but himself. The truth is that sometimes in the face of fierce challenges and hardships of life, we may not find the needed encouragement to stand in friends, family members or brethren, but that should not see to the end of the road for us in any way. We too, like David can draw encouragement from the Lord and His unfailing word to stand strong.
Although weeping is necessarily not a sign of weakness. Also it is widely believed that weeping is helpful sometimes in order to release the emotional pressure and stress within. But the truth is that weeping hardly changes any situation! Can you imagine David and his six hundred men weeping profusely until there was no power any more in them to weep! Though they wept so much but their story did not change until Davidís soul was ignited by encouragement he gave himself in the Lord! God is moved not by our tears but by our faith! The lift that our souls need can only come by way of encouragement and not by weeping or crying.
Dearly beloved, you have wept enough! It does not matter what ugly things life has brought to your lot, it is not an end yet; it is just a bend! Be encouraged; stand up on your feet and move forward with courage. If the tears for yesterdayís failures and pains still runs from your eyes, they may not be clear enough to see todayís limitless opportunities and gains! You have wept enough, weep no more!
It was at that point that David encouraged himself in the Lord that the direction he needed to go was revealed to him. Following Godís leading, he and his men went after the Amalekites and recovered all that was lost. The Lord restored unto them all that the enemies have taken away.
The will of God for you is that you will recover all! Stand up with courage and unfailing trust in the Lord. PURSUE, OVERTAKE AND RECOVER ALL! Amen.