Morning Light – June 3rd, 2015
Today: [1 Samuel Chapter Twenty-Seven]: Are You in Your Personal Ziklag? In this chapter David becomes discouraged. He is under massive pressure and constantly fleeing for his life. He can see nothing better for himself than to become a mercenary to the Philistine king. All of this in spite of what God said. As a result David spends almost a year and a half in a very difficult place that not only affected him but others around him. In your life you may at some point find yourself in your personal Ziklag. You have turned from hoping and you are just trying to survive. This chapter will give you hope of finding an exit strategy from this place of painful delay to return again to the center of God’s will.
[1Sa 27:1-12 KJV] 1 And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: [there is] nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand. 2 And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that [were] with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.
In the previous chapter David with God’s help steals into Saul’s camp and comes away with his cruse of water and his spear that were kept by the sleeping king. He declares himself from a distance and again shows to Saul that he is not an enemy. Saul again makes the false promise not to harm David and tells David that he can go home. This has happened time and time again and David is tired. He begins to reason within himself about an outcome. He concludes that he will ultimately die at Saul’s hand and that there is nothing better than to escape in to the land of the Philistines. David is discouraged. The verse doesn’t say that God told David this or that Gad the prophet who travelled with David told him this. He is looking at the situation and drawing his own conclusions. In all of this God is silent.
What should David have done? What should we ourselves do when we are discouraged. Discouragement will come. The mind and the heart become weary under pressure and we are tempted to make decisions that may or may not reflect what God’s plan is. What was the last thing God told David? That he will be king. Yet he says “there is nothing better” for him than to run to the Philistines and become a mercenary in service to King Achish of Gath. Again – what was the last thing that God said to him? That he would be king of Israel. But David has dropped into a survival strategy. He is COPING instead of HOPING. Does God get angry with him? There is no record of this. What are the consequences of going to Gath? Isn’t God going to punish David? No – actually God is with David the whole time. He tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us even when we are not making quality decisions. We will see here in this brief chapter that David lives at Ziklag. Ziklag means “winding” (just as the children of Israel went “winding” in the wilderness for 40 years when the trip across to the Promise land could have only been 10 days). Through discouragement and yielding to natural wisdom David has created a delay. We often accuse God of imposing a delay that we ourselves have created by giving in to natural considerations and the pressures of life.
3 And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, [even] David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s wife. 4 And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him. 5 And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee? 6 Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day. 7 And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months.
Achish gives David and his men the city of Ziklag. David doesn’t want to live in the royal city with the pagan king and the pagan king doesn’t want to be around David either. Interesting to note that Ziklag belonged to the kings of Israel from that day forward. It becomes part of the generational testimony of the line of David. It represents the delay that happens when we move from HOPEFUL EXPECTATION to a coping strategy. The passage says that David was there a “FULL” year and four months. Obviously it wasn’t a pleasant experience. In my own life I made some decisions under massive pressure once and spun off into a nine month period that we call “the gap”. During all this time I cried out to God for relief and He kept telling me “what was the last thing I told you”? I would reply “I know but that isn’t helping me now!” The reply from heaven was simply “Do you trust Me? Let Me take it from here…” He never rebuked Me or chastised Me during this time however having made the “coping” decision I was in for the full ride. When David made this decision it affected 600 men and their families. When I made my decision it affected others as well that I loved dearly. My choice under pressure caused others to suffer because I thought God’s promise wasn’t going to come about in My life. In all of that the Lord preserved them and Me until such time as circumstances changed and God gave us an exit out of our personal Ziklag and back into the center of His will. Are you in your Ziklag? Then go back to the last thing you know God told you and camp there. Wait for an exit strategy and take it quickly when it comes.
8 And David and his men went up, and invaded the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites: for those [nations were] of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou goest to Shur, even unto the land of Egypt. 9 And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish. 10 And Achish said, Whither have ye made a road to day? And David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites, and against the south of the Kenites. 11 And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring [tidings] to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David, and so [will be] his manner all the while he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines. 12 And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever.
During David’s time at Ziklag he takes his men and goes against the ancient enemies of the people of Israel. He continues his campaign against the Amalekites (for whom Saul refused to destroy and because of this lost the kingdom by the hand of God). So David even in his place of difficulty is still obeying God. He is still doing exploits. During my time at my personal Ziklag God opened doors of ministry that had been closed for 15 years. I found myself being invited to preach regularly and participated in leadership councils of very influential leaders in the body of Christ in the Springfield Missouri area. I would stand before crowds and preach my heart out with tears running down my face. The people thought it was the anointing causing me to weep but it wasn’t. The anointing was there and God was moving mightily but I was in my personal Ziklag and crying out to God for an exit. Every Ziklag has a King Achish. Achish was the man who sent Goliath against Israel whom David slew. Achish thought that he would enslave David forever. In every coping strategy there is a strong man or perhaps even a person who will think they have triumphed over you. Their highest understanding of God’s will for your life is to be their instrument and live out your life under their thumb. Are you in your Ziklag? Know this that God will not leave you there. Go back to what you know God told you last. Continue to fight God’s battles that He sets before you. Waiting for an exit strategy and when it comes be prepared to act.
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