1 Samuel 30:1-2
“Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way.”
The best advice and direction comes from the Holy Spirit. No question about it. You and I who are under the New Covenant are truly blessed to have Him guiding from within. But It wasn’t always so.
David had a vision of our day. He wrote in Psalm 32, ” Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not input iniquity.” What he longed for, we have! We can have the Holy Spirit on the INSIDE.” That would certainly have come in handy, especially when he was on the run from King Saul.
You see, before the cross, God’s people could only have the Holy Spirit “ON” them. We have the Spirit “IN” us because the blood of the Final sacrifice, Jesus, CLEANSES our sins. The blood of bulls and goats merely COVERED sins. That’s what “atonement” means: COVERING.
We have a better deal! We can have both theINdwelling Spirit and power resting ON us. Outside is where the power is.
While all believers have the Spirit inside, most do not have the Spirit resting ON them. Why? This story about David and his man explains it.
In 1 Samuel 30, David and his men, who had been hangin’ out with the Philistines in the remote city of Ziklag, had come back to their homes one day only to find that their town had been ransacked and burned. But the worst part of it was all their loved ones taken captive by the Amalekites.
Let’s pick up the story in verse 3.
“3 So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.
4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.”
Everything and everyone was taken away. Their worst nightmare! David’s men were so distraught they actually threatened to stone him!
What did he do? Let’s continue the story.
“7 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.
8 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.”
Wow! David didn’t dispair; he didn’the run after them like some hot head. He sought the Lord’s advice. No wonder he was called “a man after God’s own heart!”
During this time there was no high priest because King Saul him murdered. Abiathar, the son of the slain Ahimelech who’d been High priest, fled from Saul, taking the Ephod with him. Smart move.
The Ephod was the square woven cloth upon which the breastplate, with it’s twelve precious stones was mounted. It also contained theUrim and Thumim.
David consulted the Ephod in order to get God’s guidance. Looking intently at the 12 stones on the breastplate, which was engraved with the names of each tribe on the surface of each gem, individual letters would light up, acting like a kind of heavenly typewriter. God literally spelled out His message to David so he would know exactly what to do.
Why don’t we have this today? Because we don’t need it. We have the Holy Spirit leading us from within. Being the Spirit of peace, when we experience either peace or the absence thereof, we know whether or not to go this way or that; to do or not do this thing or that. Peace: Go. No peace: No go.
David didn’t have that inner Guide. How he wished he did! The only way he knew the LORD wanted him to “pursue” was by consulting the ephod. God said that they would not only recover all but they would get more: THE SPOILS!!!
God is illustrating two things here:
#1. When a leader needs advice about direction for his people, in order to get sound advice he has to look at the precious stones on Jesus’ heart. They are a picture of the us, Church. He must see them FIRST AND FOREMOST as precious gems in God’s eyes, like those precious stones on the breastplate.
If a leader (so called) DOES NOT see his people as precious stones on Jesus’ heart, HIS COUNSEL IS WARPED; his advice will be skewed as illustrated by 1 Corinthians 13. They are like so much blaring noise.
#2. When the devil, represented here by the Amalekites, attacks you, he’d better think TWICE!
Because if he’s dealing with a believer who has read the “FINE PRINT,” who knows their rights and privileges given by God, the devil will not only lose ALL that he took from you but be plundered of ALL THAT HE HAS!!! God will give you the SPOILS! It would have been better for the devil had he not attacked in the first place! That’s some “fine” print!
Church, get to know your New Covenant outlined in Hebrews 8. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS as a believer, beloved of God. Get your life, your health, your stuff not only restored…..get the spoils, too.
That’s why you need to make sure you’ve read the “FINE PRINT.”