I picked up an old journal today and begin looking at some of the things I wrote in it. I think there are some things I wrote there that I would like to share here on this blog. Today's blog post comes from the January 15, 2003 entry. You should read 1 Samuel 29:1 - 30:20 to get the whole story before you read this post.
The story in the passage referenced above tells of how David, after returning to Ziklag (the town where David and his men had been staying) from the battlefield where he had joined the Philistine army, found that the town had been burned. Everything had been stolen, all the women and children had been taken captive. David, before heading out in pursuit of these nasty raiders, paused to "inquire of the Lord" as to whether he should go after them. He asked the Lord "Shall I pursue this troop…?"
It would seem to be a no-brainer that David and his men should chase the Amalekites to recover their families and belongings. What kind of man wouldn't? I know that if my family had been taken captive, I would chase after them single-handedly – just see if anyone could hold me back! However, David had learned a lesson from his sojourn with the Philistines – any action taken without first seeking God's instruction and intent on the matter, often leads to disastrous consequences. When he first moved to Ziklag, David had gone over to the Philistines without consulting God. This had several negative results: 1) He was nearly forced to fight against Israel's army – his own flesh and blood, 2) While living amongst the Philistines (who in reality were his enemies) he was forced to live a life of lies and deceit, and 3) His family and the families of the men who followed him, were taken captive by the Amalekites – vicious, rapacious "Vikings of the desert" who lived by raiding neighboring tribes. So David, this time having learned his lesson, stopped and "inquired of the Lord" before he went out after the bad guys. In the end God intervened, everyone was rescued and everything that had been stolen was recovered.
I guess the big lesson for us in this is that, even when the action we should take seems to be a no-brainer, we still should "inquire of the Lord". Whenever we act on our own, apart from the direction of the Holy Spirit, we place ourselves and those within our circle of influence, in danger of suffering great disaster. We must always, in every situation, "inquire of the Lord".