God Wins Again!
1 Samuel 29; 30:1-25; Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 690-694
When God wins, we are winners
“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).
I won! I won!” Mikhail shouted. “I made the final point!” His teammates frowned and turned away. Recess was over. It was time for Bible class. Here’s the story they studied. What do you think Mikhail might have learned?
David and his 600 men marched from the city of Ziklag to help Achish, the Philistine king, fight a battle. But the Philistine princes would not let David and his men help. So they had to turn around and march all the way back to Ziklag.
As Ziklag appeared in the distance, the men were shocked to see smoke rising. While they were gone, the Amalekites had attacked and burned their city to the ground! Their wives, children, and cattle were all gone. All that was left was smoke and ashes.
“It’s all your fault, David,” the men accused. “You should have left soldiers here to take care of our families.”
David was upset too. He had lost some of his own family. Now the men were blaming him. What should he do? David’s first thought was to turn to God. He knew God would show him what to do.
“Bring the ephod,” he told Abiathar the priest. “Shall we go after the Amalekites?” David asked the Lord. “Will we reach them and get our families back?”
The ephod had two large gemstones on it. When the priest asked a question of God, one of the stones would glow if the answer was yes. And that is what happened. “Go,” the priest said. “You will reach them and get everything back again.”
So David and his 600 soldiers set out to find the Amalekites. But when they reached the Besor Ravine, they stopped. Two hundred soldiers were just too tired to go any farther. So David left them there to rest and guard the supplies.
A little farther on, David and his men found an Egyptian lying in a field. A slave to one of the Amalekites, he had been abandoned because of illness. He was weak from hunger and thirst. David and his men gave him some water and food and then asked the man to help them find the Amalekites. So the Egyptian led David to the Amalekite camp.
From a distance they watched the Amalekites eating and drinking, celebrating their victory.
David and his men attacked the Amalekites at sunset. The battle lasted all night and the next day. When it was over, the Amalekites were defeated. Only 400 men escaped on their camels. David and his men rescued everything and every person that had been stolen from Ziklag.
David and the soldiers collected their families, their possessions, and their animals. They gathered things they had captured from the Amalekites and began the long walk back home.
As they neared the Besor Ravine, the 200 men who had stayed behind came out to meet them. But some of David’s weary soldiers were not glad to see how rested their friends looked.
“We’ll give these men back their wives and children,” they grumbled, “but nothing else. They didn’t help us win, so they shouldn’t share the goods.”
“Wait!” David said. “Who won this battle? We didn’t win; the Lord did. He gave us this victory. He protected us. So all will share alike.”
And that’s the good news of God’s grace. When God wins the battle, He shares the victory. We are all winners because Jesus won the victory over sin and Satan.