God-Hearted #14 — 1 Samuel 29-30 — Become A Pipeline Of God's Grace


  • Theme: God wants use you as a pipeline of his grace; a recipient, but also a conduit, of his mercy.
  • Our story’s background:
    • David, discouraged from years of Saul’s persecution, has lived with the Philistines for sixteen months. He had embraced harsh tactics to provide for his men, telling King Achish that he had raided Israel, when he had actually raided Israel’s enemies. In so doing, he acted as if he had become Israel’s enemy. Finally, Achish invited David into battle against Saul and Israel.
    • God is going to give David grace. David will then extend it to others.

      1 Samuel 29:1-11

      1 Now the Philistines had gathered all their forces at Aphek. And the Israelites were encamped by the spring that is in Jezreel. 2 As the lords of the Philistines were passing on by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men were passing on in the rear with Achish, 3 the commanders of the Philistines said, “What are these Hebrews doing here?” And Achish said to the commanders of the Philistines, “Is this not David, the servant of Saul, king of Israel, who has been with me now for days and years, and since he deserted to me I have found no fault in him to this day.”

  • 1-3 As the Philistines gathered their forces at Aphek, David and his men joined them, passing on in the rear with Achish. When the commanders saw David, they asked about him and the Hebrews with him.
  • 3 Achish was so proud that he had turned David, the servant of Saul, king of Israel to his side.

    4 But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him. And the commanders of the Philistines said to him, “Send the man back, that he may return to the place to which you have assigned him. He shall not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us. For how could this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of the men here? 5 Is not this David, of whom they sing to one another in dances, ‘Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?”

  • 4 For how could this fellow reconciled himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of these men here?: The Philistine commanders (not kings) could not believe the density of Achish’s military mind.
  • 5 They reminded Achish of the song Israel had sung! Thousands, no, ten thousands of Philistines had died because of David!

    6 Then Achish called David and said to him, “As the LORD lives, you have been honest, and to me it seems right that you should march out and in with me in the campaign. For I have found nothing wrong in you from the day of your coming to me to this day. Nevertheless, the lords do not approve of you. 7 So go back now; and go peaceably, that you may not displease the lords of the Philistines.” 8 And David said to Achish, “But what have I done? What have you found in your servant from the day I entered your service until now, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?” 9 And Achish answered David and said, “I know that you are as blameless in my sight as an angel of God. Nevertheless, the commanders of the Philistines have said, ‘He shall not go up with us to the battle.’ 10 Now then rise early in the morning with the servants of your lord who came with you, and start early in the morning, and depart as soon as you have light.” 11 So David set out with his men early in the morning to return to the land of the Philistines. But the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

  • 6-11 Achish, having nothing but good to say about and to David, told him that the lords do not approve of you.
  • 8 For his part, David seems disappointed, saying, ”But what have I done? What have you found in your servant from the day I entered your service until now, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”
    • But this was God’s deliverance!

      1 Receive Grace — God’s Part

  • This is the gospel, the way of the cross, that God has made a way of salvation even when we were in rebellion against him.
    • Romans 5:8 (ESV) — 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • God is still ready to preserve, protect, and rescue you.
    • Jude 24 (ESV) — 24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless…
    • 2 Timothy 2:13 (ESV) — 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.
    • 2 Timothy 4:18 (ESV) — 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
      • Undeserved in every way, David received God’s mercy and grace.

        1 Samuel 30:1-8

        1 Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire 2 and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. 3 And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. 5 David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6 And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God. 7 And David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8 And David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.”

  • 1-2 After a three day trek of around eighty miles, David and his men returned to Zicklag, only to discover the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Zicklag. They had overcome Zicklag and burned it with fire.
  • 3-5 Everything and everyone (wives and sons and daughters) had been taken. David was not immune from the situation, for his two wives were also taken.
  • 6 David was greatly distressed over all this, for the people spoke of stoning him. The most loyal man on the planet had acquired disloyal followers!
  • 6-8 So David strengthened himself in the LORD his God and asked for Abiathar the priest to bring the ephod so he could inquire of the LORD. Amazingly and graciously, God answered him. Fellowship was restored between David and God!
    • Psalm 103:10 (NIV) — 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

      2 Receive Grace — Our Part

  • David had lost everything and everyone at this point.
    • Samuel / Jesse / Saul / Jonathan / Wives / Men — there was no one else David could turn to.
      • Some of this was a trial. And some of this was a consequence.
        • 1 Peter 2:20 (ESV) — 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure?
  • 6 So David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.
    • After losing everything, David revived.
    • Other translations:
      • 1 Samuel 30:6 (HCSB, NIV, NLT) — 6 But David found strength in the LORD his God.
      • 1 Samuel 30:6 (KJV 1900) — 6 but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
      • 1 Samuel 30:6 (NET) — 6 But David drew strength from the LORD his God.
    • We receive God’s grace, but we must also go out and get it.
      • Manna, collected daily: Psalm 78:23–25 (ESV) — 23 Yet he commanded the skies above and opened the doors of heaven, 24 and he rained down on them manna to eat and gave them the grain of heaven. 25 Man ate of the bread of the angels; he sent them food in abundance.
        • Moses: Exodus 16:16 (ESV) — 16 This is what the LORD has commanded: “Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat…”
      • In his book The Discipline of Grace, Jerry Bridges used the illustration of the two wings on an airplane to demonstrate the necessity of both dependence and discipline in our pursuit of holiness. Just as an airplane needs both wings to fly, so our lives need both to get to the holy life.
      • Philippians 2:12–13 (ESV) — 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

        1 Samuel 30:9-15

        9 So David set out, and the six hundred men who were with him, and they came to the brook Besor, where those who were left behind stayed. 10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men. Two hundred stayed behind, who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor. 11 They found an Egyptian in the open country and brought him to David. And they gave him bread and he ate. They gave him water to drink, 12 and they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. And when he had eaten, his spirit revived, for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. 13 And David said to him, “To whom do you belong? And where are you from?” He said, “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago. 14 We had made a raid against the Negeb of the Cherethites and against that which belongs to Judah and against the Negeb of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire.” 15 And David said to him, “Will you take me down to this band?” And he said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this band.”

  • 9-10 David set out with his six hundred men, but some (two hundred) had to stay at the brook Besor because they were too exhausted to cross.
  • 11-13 Continuing on, they found an Egyptian who was in distress due to a lack of food or drink for three days and nights. They fed him figs and raisins and, after he had revived, David inquired of him, learning he was a slave of an Amalekite. His master left him for dead because he fell sick.
  • 14 But the man also reported they had burned Zicklag with fire.
  • 15 David asked the man to take him down to this band, and he obliged, as long as David promised not to kill him or deliver him into the hands of his master.
    • Note: The Egyptians worst days led to his best days!

      3 Give Grace — To Your Neighbor

  • Jesus’ definition of a neighbor.
    • Luke 10:25–29 (ESV) — 25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
    • Jesus then told the story of the priest, Levite, and Samaritan. Two of them passed by the man beaten on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, but the Samaritan stopped, bound up his wounds, brought him to an inn, and paid for his hospice care (Luke 10:30-35).
    • Luke 10:36–37 (ESV) — 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
      • Notice: that his compassion took the form of action.
        • He went to the man in his distress.
        • He tended to the immediate wounds, putting on bandages.
        • He added the good medicine of oil and wine.
        • He himself took him to an inn and there cared for the man.
        • He funded the additional care the man would require, including future care.
      • Jesus is the greatest Good Samaritan.
        • He was outside the religious order of the day, contrasted against it.
        • He was despised and rejected, put to the cross.
        • He went to those who were outcast, beaten, and left for dead.
      • How can we imitate Christ by showing mercy to the beaten, bloodied, and robbed, those left for dead?
        • Not simply an admonition to give to a beggar, for that might not even be the most loving thing you could do for that person, harming at times rather than helping. This would be too low of a fulfillment of this exhortation.
        • Perhaps ask in this way: Who in our society is robbed, stripped, beaten, and left for dead? In one way or another, nearly everyone!

          1 Samuel 30:16-25

          16 And when he had taken him down, behold, they were spread abroad over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17 And David struck them down from twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled. 18 David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. David brought back all. 20 David also captured all the flocks and herds, and the people drove the livestock before him, and said, “This is David’s spoil.”

  • 16-18 Their victory over the Amalekites was so massive that four hundred escapees seemed a small number.
  • 19-20 David won a complete victory over the Amalekite raiders, for he recovered, brought back, and captured all. Everyone said, ”This is David’s spoil.”
    • Such joy! Such celebration! Such a reunion!
      • But…

        21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow David, and who had been left at the brook Besor. And they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. And when David came near to the people he greeted them. 22 Then all the wicked and worthless fellows among the men who had gone with David said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except that each man may lead away his wife and children, and depart.” 23 But David said, “You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the LORD has given us. He has preserved us and given into our hand the band that came against us. 24 Who would listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike.” 25 And he made it a statute and a rule for Israel from that day forward to this day.

  • 21-22 Upon returning to the two hundred men who had been to exhausted to follow, all the wicked and worthless fellows among the men who had gone with David made a proposition. They suggested that, because (the two hundred) did not go with them, they would only receive their wives and children and be forced to depart.
  • 23-24 But David refused this evil spirit, giving credit to the LORD for their deliverance and success. He said, ”As his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike.”
    • 1 Samuel 30:24 (NLT) — 24 …We share and share alike—those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment.”
  • 25 This became a well-received statute, so much so that David made it a rule for Israel from that day forward.

    4 Give Grace — To The Weak And Weary

  • David looked upon the weak and weary with eyes of grace, for in his mind they were guarding the baggage!
  • This is how God is!
    • Gideon was called a mighty man of valor (Judges 6:12).
    • Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau (Hebrews 11:20).
    • Sarah received strength to conceive seed by faith (Hebrews 11:11).
    • By faith Moses forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king (Hebrews 11:27).
    • We are seen as justified and glorified (Romans 8:30)!
  • We are to see the weak and weary, becoming extensions of God’s grace and mercy for them!

    1 Samuel 30:26-31

    26 When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to his friends, the elders of Judah, saying, “Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the LORD.” 27 It was for those in Bethel, in Ramoth of the Negeb, in Jattir, 28 in Aroer, in Siphmoth, in Eshtemoa, 29 in Racal, in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, in the cities of the Kenites, 30 in Hormah, in Bor-ashan, in Athach, 31 in Hebron, for all the places where David and his men had roamed.

  • 26-30 David sent part of the spoil to his friends, the elders of Judah, specifically in the towns of Southern Judah.
  • 26 Friends: Good political move on David’s part. These cities were in the region of Hebron, where David first became king (2 Samuel 2:4). Finally, he is behaving kingly once again!

    5 Give Grace — To Your Flock

  • Who has God entrusted into your care? Who will he?
    • Receive his grace evermore, so that you can give them more grace!


  • Recall: Sea of Galilee vs. Dead Sea
  • Zechariah 4:5 (ESV) — 5 Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.”
  • Zechariah 4:11 (ESV) — 11 Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?”
  • Zechariah 4:12–14 (ESV) — 12 And a second time I answered and said to him, “What are these two branches of the olive trees, which are beside the two golden pipes from which the golden oil is poured out?” 13 He said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” 14 Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”