In 2 Chronicles 25:6-13, King Amaziah of Judah paid the army of Israel (that is, northern Israel) to fight for him. However, a prophet (holy man) then told Amaziah that he must not allow those men to fight for him. If he did, God would not support him in the battle. So Amaziah sent them home.
The reaction of those men shows us how evil men behave in such circumstances. They became very angry. Although Judah’s king had already paid them, they still attacked several towns in Judah. They robbed those towns and they killed 3000 people.
Philistia’s rulers had disappointed David and his men in a similar manner. They told them to return home immediately before Philistia’s army left its camp for the battle. However, David was a holy man, and his men obeyed him loyally.
David had protested against that decision, and perhaps he felt angry. He could have caused a lot of trouble for Philistia. Every man who could fight had joined Philistia’s army for its battle against Israel. So, nobody remained in Philistia to defend the country from attack. Already, robbers had attacked Philistia while the men were away (30:16). David too could have attacked the country.
David, however, was not a robber and he behaved in an honourable manner. He simply ordered his men to return home peacefully. They went straight to Ziklag in Philistia, where their wives and families lived. They intended simply to carry on their normal activities there while they waited for Philistia’s other men to return from the battle.
However, they had a great shock when they reached Ziklag. Robbers had attacked it and they had destroyed the town.
Next part: The Amalekites attack Ziklag (1 Samuel 30:1)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.