"I desire to do Your will, O my God."
- Psalm 40:8 NIV
When I had a major decision to make recently, and I sought the Lord about it, He reminded me of a passage in Scripture that describes David’s course of action in a serious situation. David and his army had been away, when a band of Amalekites raided their homes and set them on fire. All of the women and children were taken captive and carried off. (See 1 Samuel 30:1-2) At this horrifying discovery, “David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.” (v. 4) But David’s troubles didn’t stop there. The Bible goes on to say: “David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters.” (v. 6) How David responds to this series of disturbing events is what the Lord wanted me to focus on. Scripture says: “And David inquired of the Lord, ‘Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?’” God’s response to His faithful servant is: “Pursue them… You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.” (v. 8) The result? “David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken… Nothing was missing.” (1 Samuel 30:18,19 NIV)
The first thing I took note of in this passage was that David’s situation was serious, and it demanded immediate attention, especially since people’s lives were at stake. Yet David still paused long enough to seek the Lord’s wisdom and guidance. The second thing that impressed me was that David must have had strong desires of his own in the matter. His own loved ones were in peril, and there’s no doubt that he desperately wanted to jump on his horse and go after them without delay. Yet he didn’t allow his emotions to sweep him away and cause him to do something rash. He put his own feelings on hold while he “inquired of the Lord.”
The fact that David was fully equipped to act on his own, but didn’t, may have struck me the most. Here was a man who many scholars consider the most fearsome and accomplished warrior of all time hesitating to rise to action when his own loved ones were at risk. God Himself called David “a man of war” who had “shed much blood.” (1 Chronicles 28:3) Yet his determination to seek the Lord before he took action shows why God also called him “a man after My own heart.” (Acts 13:22 NIV)
Finally, David did not allow threats from his own men to manipulate him into making a hasty decision that he might regret in the end. Instead, he focused on what the Lord would have him do in the situation, and he resolved to follow His God.
At the end of this passage, David declares: “[The Lord] has protected us and handed over to us the forces that came against us.” (1 Samuel 30:23 NIV) Because David consulted the Lord and followed His lead, God protected him and his loved ones, and enabled him to defeat his enemies. When you and I follow David’s example, we will have all the help of Heaven on our side, and we will gain the victory in Christ!
Prayer: Lord, teach me how to live a surrendered life before You. Give me a heart like David’s when he declared, “I desire to do Your will, O my God.” (Psalm 40:8) Thank You that as I determine to seek You and Your guidance and direction, I will experience life at its very best!
- J. M. Farro