David at Ziglag
Bishop George D. McKinney,
Second Jurisdiction, Church of God in Christ
This phase in the life of David
that is mentioned here in the 29th and 30th chapters of 1st Samuel
is an interesting period of his life.
He had been anointed and appointed to be the king
of Israel and yet he was living far beneath
his privilege. He was a fugitive. He was running
from Saul. He had reached perhaps the lowest point of his life and
had joined with the enemies of Israel. And had become accepted, as
it were, by the leaders of the opposition of his people. He even
volunteered to bring his considerable military skills to the
service of the enemy of Israel. A story that
he was refused because there were those who were captives who said
that perhaps in the heat of battle he would have
a flashback and become loyal again to those whom he was connected
by blood, culture and religion.
So he settled for resettlement in
Ziglag. There he took his two wives, his sons and six hundred men.
But before he was in Ziglag he made an excursion to do a little
battle and he had some success in that excursion. When
he returned home, he discovered that the Amalekites had visited
Ziglag and, while the men with David had been away, the
enemy had come in and kidnapped the wives and the children, taken
the spoils and escaped. They burned the city.
So when David returned with his men
there was depression and anger and a sense of total futility and
hopelessness. Here we are in a strange land, the wives and
children of God. Our valuables all gone and, here we arenow, empty
and without resources. It was at that point that David's men
decided that maybe they should storm him. He had gotten us into
this mess in the first place - a rather
interesting reaction, very common for those who are in leadership.
You suffer the ridicule and the anger from those who believe, when
the leader is suffering even more than those who are angry about
the situation. So in that moment of despair David turned and began
to weep. He had a moment of real discouragement - hopelessness.
Then there is this word, "He
encouraged himself" in the Lord. In the work of organizing
there will be moments when it will seem that all of hell has
turned against us and the heavens of brass. There is no answer in
such moments of despair and discouragement, we must remember who
we are. David was in a strange land but he remembered that he was
a son of God, that he was the anointed of God. David was in
the midst of a terrible conflict with whom he was leading and yet
he remembered that it was the Lord who was his strength and his
protection and his guide.
And so with that memory he
encouraged himself. He remembered whose he was. We must keep that
in perspective every step of the way. For the powers that be, the
centers of wickedness, the evil that lurks all around us will
cause us sometimes to even question if God has anointed, appointed
and called us. In those moments we must strengthen ourselves and
encourage ourselves in knowing that he has promised never to leave
us or forsake us. His hand is not short. His
power is unlimited and he will do it every time.
Yes, after David encouraged
himself. He then did something very wise. He began to pray. Isn't
it interesting that sometimes we cry. We complain when we ought to
pray first. But after he have gone through the bitter weeping and
the confrontation with those who were his leaders, then he went to
God and asked God what am I to do. And I think that is what we are
doing when we come together in the organizing effort here. When we
covenant and agree that we are going practice under God's
direction and guidance, we are doing what David did. We are asking
God what should we do next.
Have this in mind. At this point
David didn't know where his wives were. He had no idea whether his
valuables were completely gone forever. He didn't know whether his
sons were dead or alive. He was suffering the worst kind of
experience that a human can experience.
And I began to think in
regards to the parallel of David's situation and our situation in
the cities in our nation. Families are in
deep trouble. Our children are confused. Drugs are not only
ramped that they are used in abundance outside the church but also
in the church. A recent survey showed that 60% of pastors, who
were surveyed, are consuming pornography. Josh McDowell did a a
study not long ago and discovered that the children of the saints
are just as promiscuously sexually as the children of the sinner.
The divorce rate for Christians is about the same as the divorce
rate in the world.
It seems like the devil has
kidnapped our sons and daughters and has broken into our
homes and brought havoc and confusion among the very people of
God. There is no question that something has been stolen from
us. In some of our churches there is no joy, joy being stolen.
Children have been kidnapped.
Integrity has been called
into question. The fullness of the organized enemy and all of his
wickedness - he has invaded the very sanctuary of God, And he has
kidnapped our children, our companions, our testimonies, briefly
our integrity has been called into question.
It was in this kind of moment
in David's life that he asked God, What
shall I do? Shall I pursue? Shall I concede defeat? And that's the
question that we are facing. Do we in
the cities concede defeat because the education system has failed
us in the city? Do we throw in the towel because the prisons
are filling up with our sons and daughters? Do we give up in
despair because many of our churches are
closing and trying to remain open by merging dying congregation?
Do we give up because the power structure is
saying that the churches are no longer relevant? And
that the gospel of Jesus Christ has no meaning for this
And David asked God
what shall I do as we are asking him now what shall we do? In my
sanctified imagination, I hear God saying to us in this meeting,
Go back to Boston, Harlem, San Diego, San
Francisco, Richmond, Los Angeles. Go back organize the churches
and the people of God and through prayerful and anointed ministry
worship and work. Go get your stuff.
God will restore the
testimony. God will restore the joy. Now I am here to testify that three
of my five sons were lost in drugs and promiscuity and rejecting
all of the teaching that we had given them. But
God said, "Go get them." And thanks be to God, we
witnessed them coming back and they are
married for God says if you will obey me and trust me, I'll
make the darkness light before you. what's wrong I will make it
right before you. I'll cause you to be the head and not the tail.
I'll give you triumph out of tragedy. I will bring you out of your
Ziglag, let you recover it all.
So in the 19th and 20th verse
David went as God had told him. He found an African brother about
to die. He happened to have been with the crowd that had raided
Ziglag. And the brother said that, if you protect me, I will show
you where they are. And they found those who had kidnapped
the wives giving a party, really a buugaloo, gettin down. I
suspect those have been a part of the devil's camp think that they
have reason to celebrate.
Listen the story's not over
yet! This is our Father's world. Jesus shall reign wherever the
sun does its successful journey run. His
kingdom shall stretch from shore to shore. We have this mandate
from the Lord. We prayed. We are organizing. Now
let's go get our sons. Whatever the devil has stolen from us, it
belongs to us. Go get your stuff.
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