1 Samuel 30
1-6 | David discovers Ziklag had been attacked by the Amalekites 3 days prior, the city destroyed but no one is killed; the people seek to stone David for the loss but he turns to the Lord for strength
7-10 | David inquires of the Lord and is assured that he will have victory and complete recovery
11-15 | David is informed of the Amalekites by and Egyptian slave, who promises to bring David to them if his life is spared
16-20 | David’s men are led to the camp, the Amalekite army is destroyed, nothing is lost of all that is David’s
21-25 | Equal portion to those who protect the “baggage” along with those who do the fighting—“they shall share alike.”
26-31 | David sends some of the spoil to the elders of Judah, to the places where they would stay while wandering
David is described as a man after God’s own heart (I Samuel 13:14). One reason for this is seen in how David prepares for battle. In the second section, verses 7-10, we see that before David goes out to battle, he sends for Abiathar the priest to bring the ephod to that he might inquire of the Lord. It would appear that this is referring to the use of the Urim and Thummim to ascertain the Lord’s thoughts regarding a certain matter.
I won’t comment on the means of inquiry here but will reserve that for another article except for this. David made it a common practice to inquire of the Lord through a priest throughout his life from the time he was a general in Saul’s army and throughout his kingship (I Samuel 22:10; I Samuel 23:2; I Samuel 23:4; I Samuel 30:8). This dependence on seeking the Lord in matters clearly shows how he was a man after God’s own heart.
This inquiring of the Lord is important. However, I don’t think it is limited too or can only be done through the Urim and Thummim. Consider the servant of Abraham who is sent to find a wife for Isaac. He prays that God would reveal the woman who should be his choice and then gives the means by revealing her to him, her willingness give him a drink and to water his camels.
Genesis 24:12-14 NASB He said, “O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham. 13 “Behold, I am standing by the spring, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; 14 now may it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’—may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness to my master.”
Also consider how Nehemiah made inquiry of the Lord regarding his plan for rebuilding Jerusalem before going into the king’s presence.
Nehemiah 1:4-11 NASB When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 I said, “I beseech You, O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, 6 let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have sinned against You; I and my father’s house have sinned. 7 “We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. 8 “Remember the word which You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful I will scatter you among the peoples; 9 but if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though those of you who have been scattered were in the most remote part of the heavens, I will gather them from there and will bring them to the place where I have chosen to cause My name to dwell.’ 10 “They are Your servants and Your people whom You redeemed by Your great power and by Your strong hand. 11 “O Lord, I beseech You, may Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and the prayer of Your servants who delight to revere Your name, and make Your servant successful today and grant him compassion before this man.” Now I was the cupbearer to the king.
Nehemiah 2:1-5 NASB And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. 2 So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart.” Then I was very much afraid. 3 I said to the king, “Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?” 4 Then the king said to me, “What would you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 I said to the king, “If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.”
Nehemiah spent days fasting and praying and asking God to fulfill His Word regarding restoring His people and finally asking that he might have favor before the king. Then when the time came and the king asked about his current state of distress, Nehemiah said a quick prayer and presented his plan to the king.
Proverbs and James also speak to directing our plans according to God’s desires.
Proverbs 16:1-3 NASB The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. 2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives. 3 Commit your works to the LORD And your plans will be established.
James 4:13-15 NASB Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”
Consider the words of Jesus in this matter.
Matthew 7:11 NASB “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
Luke 11:13 NASB “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
The key is to be flexible in your making of plans. Be open to new opportunities as they arise. But most importantly, make sure to be wise and discerning in making your choices, praying fervently that God will direct and guide you in your plans.
Lord God in heaven, You are the owner of the universe and all is at Your disposal to grant the wishes of Your people, to give them good gifts. Forgive us when we make hasty decisions without asking Your blessing and give us wisdom as we make plans so that You will be honored in them. May Your will be on earth as it is in heaven, in Jesus’ name. Amen.