Acts 13:22-23 says, “After removing [King Saul], He raised up David to be their king. He also testified about him and said, ‘I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do My will.’ From this man’s seed, in keeping with His promise God brought to Israel a Savior – Yeshua.”[1]

[Read 1 Sam. 30]

In Vs. 1-3 we see that David and his men have returned from Achish to find Ziklag completely destroyed, but with all booty and people gone. Amalek had retaliated against David for attacking them back in (27:6). But what is up with Amalek? Why are they a perpetual enemy? I will read from a teaching we did on Purim some years back. “In Exodus 17:8-16, [which] is recounted in Deut. 25:17-19, we learn a lot about this enemy, Amalek. For instance, they attacked without warning and when they did it was not a frontal assault. Moses recounts in Deut. that they attacked the rear ranks, the stragglers, those who were tired and weary, the women and children. Also, the battles fought against the Amalekites are spiritual as well as physical. In their first battle, Israel won because Moses “held up the rod.” The L-rd reinforces this when He says that He will personally be at war with Amalek. In Exodus 17:15, we see that The L-rd is known as Jehovah-Nisi, which we see from the context is a banner of WAR. This is the same context as Isaiah 59:19, “When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the L-rd will lift up a standard against him.”[2]

I find it amazing that Adonai used the Amalekites to test both kings. Saul failed to fulfil his commission, whereas David fulfilled it. But even David did not entirely wipe out Amalek, and Adonai says in (Exodus 17:16), “For the hand is on the throne of G-d: The L-rd maintains a war against Amalek, from generation to generation.” Yeshua, the Son of David, will ultimately bring total destruction to the spirit of Amalek and all those in agreement with it (see Isa. 63:1-6).

David and all his men are understandably distressed, distraught and heartbroken. I could face the world if I knew my family was safe, but if my family was lost I too would break.  See the song “It is well with my soul.”[3] Not that long ago, Saul was distraught (28:15); see the difference between Saul and David? David strengthened himself in Adonai. He then did as was his habit; he enquired after Adonai for direction. What were his men thinking as he did this? “Shall we pursue?” What if Adonai had said “No”? But David waited for Adonai to respond, whereas Saul had always rushed that part. Notice the personal pronoun in the last sentence of vs. 6? David strengthened himself in ADONAI his God. Through this, the “narrator emphasizes David’s intimate relationship with the One who from the beginning has always been ‘with him’”.[4]

In the process of searching for the Amalekites notice that they find an Egyptian slave who helped in the Amalekite attacks. David restores him to health and grants him immunity in exchange for intelligence and a guide. The attacks that the servant lists are in climatic order showing that the Amalekites end goal was Ziklag. When we talk of David’s mighty men, this story is a great example of just how mighty they were. After trekking 3 days from Achish to Ziklag, they then mourn until they have no more strength, then they chase after the Amalekites, and wage battle against them from twilight until the evening of the next day such that “none of them got away” even though David was only at 2/3 strength. These were mighty men! They defeated a much large marauding horde; so much larger that the young men who escaped on camel were the same in number as David’s total fighting men.

The rest of the chapter is devoted to the spoil that David took (vs. 20). Remember the words of Samuel back in (15:19), “Why then did you not obey the voice of Adonai, but rushed greedily onto the spoil—doing what was evil in Adonai’s eyes?” Adonai is looking for our obedience to His voice, and our trust in Him. We see from this story that the Amalekites are despised for taking spoil, Saul is rejected as king for taking spoil from the Amalekites, and yet David is blessed and honoured for taking the Amalekite’s spoil. What is the difference?

On their return to Ziklag, they meet the 200 who stayed behind. Although there were some “worthless” men who did not want to share, David took charge and, just as Abraham had done after rescuing Lot (Gen. 14:24), shared what Adonai had allowed them to win with all. He treated all the same, those who watched the baggage and those who fought, all received their share of the spoil.

This week is the greatest test that David has been through up to this time, and is a demonstration of his character. Ronald Youngblood writes that, “Chapter 30 is a case study of the qualities that make for strong and compassionate leadership: Persistence, Empathy, Faith in God, Commitment to a cause, Integrity, Decisiveness, Generosity. Saul, disobeying God’s prophet, defeated the Amalekites but lost his kingdom (Ch. 15); David, seeking God’s will, defeats the Amalekites and embarks on his reign (Ch. 30).”[5]

We will close with 2 Scriptures: Isa. 63:1-6 which shows Messiah finally destroying Amalek the grandson of Esau; and Phil. 4:14-17 where we see that those who support partake in the results/credit.

[1] Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are taken from the Tree Of Life Version (TLV), 2014.

[2] Robert Miles, “Purim – Esther, Amalek & Today”, n.p. Online:


[4] Frank E. Gaebelein, 1 Samuel. (12 Vols.; The EBC; Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1992), 3:792.

[5] Frank E. Gaebelein, 1 Samuel. (12 Vols.; The EBC; Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1992), 3:791.