1 Samuel Chapter 30

- ח ע ם -

David Returns to Ziklag, Finds the City Plundered and Burned

After the Philistines remove David from the battlefield, he returns to Ziklag to find the city burned and raided. All its residents had been taken into captivity. David’s men start protesting, but their leader calms them down and promises that their wives and slaves will be retrieved. This is a pivotal moment for Davidwill God be on his side? David asks Abiathar to consult with God. Whereas Saul was recently told by Samuel that God is not on his side, David is informed that he will be granted divine protection. He therefore sets out to strike Amalek—the very people Saul failed to annihilate. David, who previously saved Abiathar, is deserving of God’s favor.

David encounters a young Egyptian man whom the Amalekites left behind. David feeds the Egyptian, proving through his generosity and empathy that every person has a right to live. Kindness is paid through kindness. In exchange for saving him, the young man leads David to his enemies. As the Amalekites celebrate their recent raid, the Israelites attack them, liberate the captives, and retrieve their stolen items. After the battle, David makes sure that no one is discriminated against. He therefore distributes the spoils equally amongst those who attacked the Amalekites and those who stayed behind to defend Ziklag. David is not tempted by the prospect of material gains; instead, he shares his success with others. 

“So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep” (1 Samuel 30:3-4)

 “And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives” (1 Samuel 30:17-18)

Compassion is striving to love and relieve the pain of others, just as we would wish to relieve our own pains.