1 Samuel 30

Today's Passage: 1 Samuel 30

Again, I want to share the map from my last post from the Holman Bible Atlas, because the geography of the region is important to the story we’re reading.

Rewinding the story a little, 1 Samuel 29 says the Philistine forces were at Aphek, way up north on this map, squaring off against Saul’s army. Achish told David to leave as the commanders of the Philistine armies didn’t trust David’s loyalty as they squared off against Saul—that seems wise. The green lines on the map suggest that this conversation happened in Gath, rather than Aphek, but that’s probably not super important. In either case, Achish had given Ziklag (south and slightly west of Gath) to David (1 Sam 27:6) and it’s to there that he and his men returned.

Chapter 30 opens with David’s return to Ziklag, still in exile from Israel. Upon his return the Amalekites had sacked the place and stolen everything, including two of David’s wives. David inquired of the Lord chased after the Amalekites, eventually defeating them and returning all of their spoils.

David chased the Amalekites, but 200 of his men stopped at the “brook Besor” (you can see the Bezor on the map from just south of Gaza, the blue dashed line running southeast). When the victorious army returned, some of the men who fought didn’t want to share the spoils when the 200 who had not fought.

So much in this passage is descriptive—it’s just telling us what happened. David established a statue and rule that those who watch the baggage receive the same spoils as those who fight.  However, in this example we see an act of grace that should ring in our hearts as a reminder for what Christ has done for us. A battle was won that we had no part in fighting, and yet, we are full recipients of the spoils. David goes on to share the spoils with the elders of Judah to allow them to share in the Lord’s victory.

What stood out to you in this passage?
How does Christ’s grace to us in victory encourage you to live for him today?

Written By: Tyler Short

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