David’s group of 600 men had recently had a very bad experience. They had marched for 3 days to join Philistia’s army. However, when they arrived at the camp, Philistia’s leaders would not accept them into the army. So, they then had to march back home.
Then, when they arrived back, they had a terrible shock. Robbers had attacked their town, and they had burnt it down. Nothing remained. Their wives and children were all missing.
The men probably felt bitter and angry when Philistia’s leaders sent them home. Now, however, they felt desperately sad. They wept because of the loss of their wives and children, whom they loved. They wept until weakness overcame them.
After some time, the men became angry with David, their leader. Because David had taken them on such a long march, they had been unable to defend their own families. These men had been loyal to David through all his troubles. Now, however, they no longer wanted to serve him. They discussed how they might kill him.
David understood their feelings, because he too was suffering the same troubles. He felt deeply sad that his own wives, Ahinoam and Abigail (1 Samuel chapter 25) were missing. He loved them very much; he would have given his life to defend them.
David, like his men, felt tired and weak. Their bitter feelings upset him greatly. His own strength had gone completely. However, in this terrible situation, David found strength in God.
We may remember how, on a previous occasion, Jonathan helped David to find strength in God (23:16). Now David had nobody but God to help him. Yet God provided the strength that David needed (see Psalm 18:1).
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© 2014, Keith Simons.