Camp Stories

I love reading the Psalms. David is such a real kinda guy. He has his ups and his downs and he doesn't mind letting everybody know about them. He really loves his God and he's not ashamed of that relationship. In our Bible reading we've been going through David's stories and the Psalms and last week I read about his problem at Ziklag.

First of all it is not lost on me that David was the runt of his family, but anointed the next king of Israel. He was invited to live in the palace and his best friend was the king's own son, but he had to run for his life from that same king. He lived in caves and on the lam. He ended up in Philistine country living a double life. He was asked to go to war against the Israelites with the Philistines, but then they decided they didn't trust him after all and sent him back home to Ziklag.

Upon returning to Ziklag, the men discovered that while they were busy trying to make war, their camp had been invaded, burned to the ground, and their wives and children kidnapped. At this realization, all of the men sat down and cried until they were exhausted. As if this wasn't bad enough, all the guys decided they wanted to kill David because they felt he was to blame for their losses. He had lost his wives just like them, but apparently it was all his fault. The Bible says that David found strength in the Lord, however, and he asked Him if he would be successful in pursuing those theiving Amalekites. The Lord said he would be and you know the rest of the story, everybody got their wives and kids and stuff back.

Great story! We sing about it at church, "I went to the enemy's camp and I took back what he stole from me!" Its a story of victory, a story of faith, a story of restoration. I agree with all of those things and have been known to sing a few rousing choruses of the song mentioned above. But this time when I read the story, something else jumped out to me.

These men, these rough, life and battle-hardened tough guys, came home from raiding the enemy to find that their homes had been destroyed and their first response was to cry their hearts out. The Word says that they cried until they had no strength left to weep. David was included in this group and I gotta tell you that it spoke volumes to me.

I know how these guys felt. If there is one place that feels like it should be safe, its home and when that gets messed up, you just lose your stuff. There aren't enough tears. And if these tough dudes could wear themselves out crying, I think its ok for me to do it also. Sometimes when you go through something, it helps to know that the way you're feeling isn't unusual.  Yep, I'll get up in a minute and ride off to the enemy's camp and take back what he stole, but can I have a minute to express my pain over losing it in the first place?


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