Beginning of the End


David Sent Back to Ziklag

But the princes angrily persisted: “Make this fellow return, that he may go back to the place which you have appointed for him, and do not let him go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become our adversary. For with what could he reconcile himself to his master, if not with the heads of these men? Is this not David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?’” They did not believe that David would fight against his own people. In the heat of battle he could inflict greater harm on the Philistines than all of Saul’s army. BOE 348.5

Achish, calling David, said, “Surely, as the Lord lives, you have been upright. ... For to this day I have not found evil in you since the day of your coming to me. Nevertheless the lords do not favor you. Therefore return now, and go in peace, that you may not displease the lords of the Philistines.” Thus the trap entangling David was broken. BOE 349.1

After three days’ travel David and his band of six hundred men reached Ziklag, their Philistine home. But a scene of desolation met their view. The Amalekites had taken revenge for themselves for David’s invasions into their territory and had surprised the city while it was unguarded. They stripped and burned it and departed, taking all the women and children as captives, and many stolen items. BOE 349.2

In horror and amazement, David and his men stared silently at the smoldering ruins. Then as a sense of their terrible loss burst upon them, those battle-scarred warriors “lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.” BOE 349.3

Here again David was reaping the sad results of his lack of faith that led him to place himself among the enemies of God and His people. David’s followers turned on him as the cause of their calamities. He had angered the Amalekites by his attack against them; yet, too confident of security in the midst of his enemies, he had left the city unguarded. Maddened with grief and rage, his soldiers threatened to stone their leader. BOE 349.4