The following commentary covers Chapters 29 and 30.
fall at Ziklag and God's grace
In chapter 29 God, in His
loving-kindness, brings David out of his difficulty by
means of the jealousy of the lords of the Philistines.
Nevertheless, to maintain his credit with Achish, David
falls still lower, it seems to me, and protests that he
is quite ready to fight against the enemies of the
Philistine king, that is to say, against the people of
God. This appears to me the most wretched part of David's
lifeat any rate, before he was king. God makes him
sensible of it; for while he is there, the Amalekites
strip him of everything and burn Ziklag, and his
followers are ready to stone him.
All this is grievous; but
the grace of God raises him up again, and the effect of
this chastisement is to bring him back to God, for he was
ever true to Him in heart. David encouraged himself in
Jehovah his God, and inquires of Him what he shall do.
What patience, what kindness in God! What care He takes
of His people, even while they are turning away from Him!
David is truly brought
back to God, and rescued from his false position, and he
walks and acts with God. God was, unknown to him,
preparing a very different position for him, and was
purifying and preparing him for it. How dreadful would it
have been, had David been with the Philistines, and taken
part in the defeat of God's people, and in the death of
him whose life he had often spared so touchingly! How far
the child of God may go astray when he puts himself under
the protection of unbelievers, instead of relying on the
help of God in all the difficulties which beset the path
of faith! It is through these very difficulties that
every grace is developed.
And observe the danger the
believer is inif his faith be not simple, but fails
ever so littleof being thrown into the arms of God's
enemies through the persecution of professors. Nature
grows weary, and seeks comfort afar from the narrow path
which leads through the briars. This happens whenever the
people of God, following their own will, confide their
interests to those who seek nothing but their own
advantage in a less difficult position, which is neither
that of God nor that of faith. And the more glorious a
work there is for faith, the more nature grows weary, if
faith becomes weak. Ziklag is taken during David's
absence, but he pursues the spoilers, and recovers all
David, upright and
generous, found, in the difficulty which arose from the
selfishness of his people, an opportunity to institute
that which was conformable to the will of God; and
instead of seeking to enrich himself through his share of
the spoil, he uses it to maintain kindly relations with
the elders of his people, and to prove to them that
Jehovah is still with him.