Pastor James J. Barker

Text: I SAMUEL 30:1-19


  1. One of my favorite statements found in Scripture is in the latter part of I Samuel 30:6 – “But David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” 
  2. “David was greatly distressed…” (30:6), “but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” 
  3. “The people spake of stoning him” (30:6), “but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” 
  4. The Amalekites had invaded Ziklag, and burned it with fire, and had taken away the women captive (including David’s two wives), “but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” 
  5. “Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep” (30:4) – “but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”  
  6. David asked Abiathar the priest to bring him the ephod (30:7).  The ephod was a linen garment worn by the priest.
  7. Then David asked the LORD for direction (30:8).   It was David who wrote, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD” (Psalm 37:23), and the LORD was certainly directing David.
  8. God had providentially kept David from fighting against his own country.  You may recall that to escape from King Saul, David fled to Gath in the land of the Philistines.
  9. David was wrong to run to the heathen for help but he was discouraged and backslidden.
  10. In any event, when King Saul heard the news, he gave up chasing after David.   Soon the Philistines were getting ready to fight against Israel, and David, in his backslidden condition, was prepared to join them. 
  11. But God providentially intervened. The princes of the Philistines did not trust David so Achish, the king of Gath told David to return to Ziklag.
  12. If David had not returned at this time he never would have caught up with the Amalekites.  So God definitely had His hand on David.  
  13. The LORD told David to pursue the invaders, assuring David that he and his men would “surely overtake them, and without fail recover all” (30:8).
  14. David and his men took off and found an Egyptian, who explained to David that the invaders were Amalekites, persistent enemies of Israel.
  15. Furthermore, the Egyptian told David he could lead him to them (30:9-15). 
  16. The Amalekites were descended from a man named Amalek. Amalek was a grandson of Esau. 
  17. Therefore, Amalek was related to the Israelites who were descended from Esau’s twin brother, Jacob (Genesis 36:1, 10-12).
  18. Scofield says Amalek was a “type of the flesh in the believer (Gal. 4:29).”
  19. Exodus 17:8 says, “Then came Amalek…”  Mark it down, all of us have to face Amalek at one time or another.
  20. Some of you may have already faced Amalek this morning before you got here!  How we conduct ourselves determines whether or not God will give us the victory over Amalek.
  21. Exodus 17:16 says, “The LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
  22. The battle is the LORD’s, not ours.  He will give us the victory if we do things His way.
  23. “David encouraged himself in the LORD his God” (30:6b).  That is the way to deal with people like Amalek.



1.     The Amalekites were “eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah” (30:16).

2.     The Amalekites were drinking and dancing and having a big party, not realizing David was on their trail.

3.     There were many sinners out drinking and dancing last night who never made it home. 

4.     I saw a card one day: “You may tie your shoes this morning, but the undertaker may untie them tonight.  Prepare to meet thy God!” 

5.     Ecclesiastes 8:11 says, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”

6.     There are many people who love to eat, drink, and dance.  They love their parties and their nightclubs.  But they do not realize the inevitable judgment of Almighty God.

7.     Our Lord said, “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.   They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26, 27).

8.     Do you remember King Belshazzar’s big drinking party?  It was his last drinking party (cf. Daniel 5:1—31).

9.     A few years ago I read an interesting story in the newspaper.  A fire broke out in alley outside a nightclub in Manhattan.  Soon the club was engulfed in flames.

10. Firemen rushed in and saw that people were still dancing to a popular dance song called “Disco Inferno.”  The firemen told the people to evacuate immediately but the music kept playing and they wouldn’t stop dancing.

11. The firemen actually had to beg the people to leave but many refused to stop dancing.  Unfortunately I did not clip that article so I do not recall how many people perished in that fire.

12. I went on line to do some research and was surprised to discover that there have been many people who died while dancing.

13. Eighty-seven people died in a fire in the Happy Land disco in the Bronx in 1990.

14. In 1974, twenty-four young men and women were killed when a fire broke out in a bar in Port Chester.

15. A lady by the name of Judy Acosta was one of the survivors of that fire.  She told a newspaper reporter, “It helped one come to the realization that there is a fine line between life and death.”

16. In 2003, a fire broke out in a nightclub in Rhode Island, killing 100 people.

17. There were many more similar reports on the Internet.

18. But the worst fire of all is the fire in hell and that fire will never be put out.  Our Lord said five times in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 9, that the fire in hell shall never be quenched.

19. I fear for my country when I consider the words of Psalm 9:17, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”

20. Most Americans today are like these foolish Amalekites – drinking and dancing and having a big time, not realizing they were facing imminent danger.



1.     Several times in the Bible, we read: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7).

2.     Job 4:8 says, “Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.”

3.     There are several significant differences between David and Saul.

4.     “David encouraged himself in the LORD,” but Saul walked in the flesh. 

5.     David asked the LORD for guidance and the LORD granted his request (30:8).

6.     However, when Saul asked the LORD for guidance the LORD ignored him (I Sam. 28:6).

7.     When Saul could not get help from God (because of his stubborn self-will and impenitence), he went to a witch (28:7).

8.     And God killed King Saul for it (cf. I Chron. 10:13, 14).

9.     God killed Saul because he asked counsel of a witch that had a familiar spirit (a demon).

10. The Amalekites “were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah” (I Sam. 30:16).

11. But the next verse says, “And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day…” (30:17).

12. The Bible says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27).



1.     The LORD told David, “Thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all” (I Sam. 30:8; cf. 30:18, 19).

2.     We can be certain that all of God’s promises will be fulfilled – “without fail.”

3.     Our Lord said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

4.     “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47).

5.     “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

6.     “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:4, 5).

7.     “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matthew 21:22).

8.     There are hundreds and hundreds of promises like this in the Bible. 

9.     God told David, “Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all” (I Sam. 30:8b; cf. 30:19).   

10. The same God who kept His promise to David is the same God who keeps His promises to us today.



1.     In Psalm 120:1, David wrote, “In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me.”

2.     David may have been referring to the situation at Ziklag (I Sam. 30:6).

3.     At one time or another we all find ourselves in a place of distress.

4.     The solution is to do what David did.

5.     In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me.”

6.     “David encouraged himself in the LORD” (I Sam. 30:6b).

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