Perils of desperation
Someone wakes up one morning to the sudden realization that time is no longer on her side. She has wasted lots of it, and lost numerous valuable treasures. She becomes desperate to make up for lost time. She wants to recover all within the shortest possible time. So she begins to splash her hands around in desperation, running helter skelter in a desperate bid to recover all. This approach is a huge error, and will most likely seal her doom and render her losses permanent.
The right approach when time is against you is not desperate haste. Instead, as Job counsels, submit to the Infinite Being Who is both the beginning and end of time. Let His wisdom guide you to total recovery.
“”Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.” ~Job 22:21
In other words, peace with God is far more important than prosperity. Prosperity is a by-product; it should never be the main focus. When you submit to God and are at peace with Him, you will never need to pursue prosperity. Instead, prosperity will seek you out and come to you.
David models this principle so beautifully.
And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David.”
And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.”
~1 Samuel 30:7-8
As important as his family was to him, David didn’t rush off to the rescue. Instead, he submitted to the will of God, to the wisdom of God. This is what it means to surrender.
The reason behind the loss at Ziklag
David understood that he was in this mess because he had moved out of God’s will.
God’s instruction to him was to stay in Judah, and trust in divine protection.
“But the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah”. So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.”
~1 Samuel 22:5
Out of fear, however, David panicked and stepped out of the perimeters of God’s Instructions.
Read 1 Samuel 27:1-4
David’s normal pattern had always been to inquire from the Lord before doing anything. In this case, he clearly derailed from that, and acted on his own.
So, for starters, he should not have been in Ziklag. Secondly, leaving his family and that of his men behind was never a good idea. That was probably why the men wanted to stone him. They must have warned him against his current course of actions.
“David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.”
~1 Samuel 30:6
So, David knew this wasn’t the time to make more mistakes. He gave up his right to choose his course. This is what it means to surrender.
David, a master at Recovery
I refer to David as a master at recovery, not just because the prophecy for this season came out of his story, but also because his life is a testimony of amazing recoveries:
- The kingdom from Saul’s family – (Abner/Ishbosheth): 2 Samuel 5:1-5
- His family from the Amelekites. (1 Samuel 30:18-20)
- The Ark of God from the house of Obed Edom 2 Samuel 6:17-19)
- Solomon from Bathsheba. (2 Samuel 12:24,25)
- The kingdom from Absalom. (2 Samuel 19:40-43)
David made huge mistakes. He wasn’t flawless like Jesus Christ. He lost so many treasures that God put into his hands. But, he managed to recover them all, including one that was akin to resurrection — Solomon.
Thus, it will be wise and helpful to glean lessons on recovery from his life. And an important key to his amazing testimony of multiple recoveries is his peculiar pattern of resigning to the will of God.
David, a model of resignation to God
1 Samuel 23: 1- 5
1 Samuel 23: 7-13
Battle against Saul:
1 Samuel 24:14,15
1 Samuel 26:7-11
1 Samuel 30:7,8
Receiving the kingdom of Judah:
2 Samuel 2:1-4a
Against the Philistines:
2 Samuel 5: 17-25
The death of Bathsheba’s first child:
2 Samuel 12:18-23
Response to Shimei’s cursing:
2 Samuel 16:11,12
The plague offer:
1 Chronicles 21:8-13
These stories reveal an important key to David’s phenomenal testimony of multiple recoveries: His total resignation to the will of God.
Surrender to God, not to fate
You must have made some terrible mistakes in your life and lost valuable treasures that you desperately want back. Nevertheless, if you would, like David, learn to resign to God’s Lordship, you too would record amazing recoveries.
Resigning to God must never be misconstrued as resigning to fate. God is an almighty, all-knowing supernatural person, whereas fate is an abstract concept.
If you can go to sleep on board a trans-Atlantic flight,why is it so hard to trust in the Almighty God?
It goes to show how little we know God; how much we trust in ourselves, others, and technology more than the living God.
One reason we fail to recover is that when the awareness of the loss dawns upon us, we usually get desperate to make up for lost time. Then we lose our trust in God, take matters into our hands and begin to fret and manipulate to our own detriment.
It’s like the little boy that got the lines all tangled up. He needs to give up so a more matured pair of hands can untangle it. David was a master at this. Let us learn from him.