Ziklag experiences… Everyone has them.
We all have days when trouble comes in threes right after amazing victory.
We all have days when we are attacked from all sides. This is life!
We all have days when the people that we trust fall away from us in the battle.
We all experience those moments of betrayal when we hear people murmur and question our decisions.
These are Ziklag days.
As you read the narrative, put yourself in David’s sandals. Questioned, doubted, David became a scapegoat for all that was evil, unjust and wicked in the world. What a horrible place to be! But David had a strategy for this day in Ziklag. For the people who doubt the relevance of biblical narratives, I would invite them to cross into the unincorporated village of Ziklag and look into the eyes of God’s anointed one- David of Bethlehem.
What are some lessons we can learn from this scene in the sordid story of David? There are so many! Here are a three:
To get the victory when no one is in your corner, you’d better learn how to find strength in the Lord.
(Verse 6) The King James Version is strong: “But David encouraged himself in the Lord.” There will be times when we have to preach to ourselves. When all seems to be lost and we’re on the back-alley road of abandonment, we have to know how to encourage and strengthen ourselves.
Not everyone who starts with you in a battle will be by your side at the end.
Not everyone in your world has the capacity to finish. (verse 9) It’s hard to see the people which whom you’ve rejoiced, wept, prayed, and struggled suddenly leave you. It’s just life. It happens. People give up, give out, and lose hope. But this is when you have to say “adios” and keep on going.
To experience the victory, you’ve got to keep going.
Winston Churchill said it best: “Success is the ability to go from one success to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” We can’t lose our zeal for the fight despite what others around us are doing. (What a great lesson for our kids!)
Friend, as you study and/or teach this powerful story, think about times when you personally had a Ziklag experience. What was it?
- A job loss?
- A false accusation?
- A family betrayal?
Perhaps the connection you share with your group will encourage someone who is in the midst of adversity. They just might find themselves in the story. Your willingness to be vulnerable just might bring the Bible to life this Sunday.