As a pastor I spend most of my time in one of two areas. I serve people suffering weakness, like hospitalizations or financial needs, and I spend time responding to conflicts like broken marriages and church disagreements. I was recently encouraged by Dr. Zack Eswine (The Imperfect Pastor) when he shared the story of how David responded to these things in 1 Samuel 30.
In previous chapters David had been fleeing King Saul who was trying to kill him and then he was rejected by the Philistine leaders in 1 Samuel 29 who didn’t approve of him. In the beginning of chapter 30 David and his men were raided and all their wives and children were taken. David’s men were so upset they wept till they had no more strength to weep, and then they talked of stoning David. And the Bible says, “David encouraged himself in the Lord.” As we continue reading, some of David’s men were so overcome with grief they were too weak to go recapture their wives and children, so 200 of them stayed behind. Upon reclaiming all the wives and children and plundering the Amalekites, the 400 who went resented the 200 who stayed back and refused to share the plunder with them.
And David, having strengthened himself in the Lord, was able to “manage well with all dignity” (1Ti3:4) and give grace to them all. Those too weak to contribute were blessed alongside those who worked hard for it. And those in conflict, who were filled with resentment, were blessed alongside those who had been overcome by love for their families. May we strengthen ourselves in the Lord and bless those who are weak and those who are angry.
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