Why did David encourage himself in 1 Samuel 30?
David in 1 Samuel 30:1-6 is a great example of how to respond to discouragement. Lets take a close look.
. . . the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negev and on Ziklag, and had overthrown Ziklag and burned it with fire; and they took captive the women and all who were in it . . . without killing anyone, and carried them off and went their way. When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire, and their wives and their sons and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept . . . Now David’s two wives had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite . . . David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God. (NASB) 1 Sam. 30:1-6
Trouble Has Come
The opening verses of 1 Sam. 30 tell us that the Amalekites had made a raid on Ziklag. When they raided Ziklag, they burned it and took the women and children captive. When King David with his army arrived, everyone was grieved over the situation and wept. After David arrived the people appear to have blamed David for the tragedy. The passage does not tell us, but maybe they thought he should have been there earlier. Whatever their reason, they wanted to stone him.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (NASB) Ps. 23:4
David trusted God for his safety and security even in the “valley of the shadow of death.” The key to going through difficult times is trusting God. Verse 17 tells us that God enabled David to rescue his wives and all the captives.
Sometimes the “valley of the shadow of death” can appear to be a terrible financial situation, a divorce, a terminal or discouraging physical illness. Whatever your “valley of the shadow of death” may be, God calls us to trust Him. The Good Shepherd WILL lead you along dark valleys for our own good. But we should not fear because He is with us all the way. King David “strengthened himself” by reminding himself that he needed to trust God. It is easy to trust someone when we know that he/she really loves us. That is why we can trust Him. He loves us very much.
To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood . . . (NASB) Rev. 1:5