From Eternity Past


David Sent Back to Ziklag

But the princes angrily persisted: “Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou has appointed him, and let him go not down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the heads of these men? Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul slew 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 the whole of Saul's army. EP 501.1

Achish, calling David, said, “Surely as Jehovah liveth, thou hast been upright, ... for I have not found evil in thee since the day of thy coming unto me unto this day. Nevertheless the lords favor thee not. Wherefore now return, and go in peace, that thou displease not the lords of the Philistines.” Thus the snare in which David had become entangled was broken. EP 501.2

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 avenged themselves for his incursions into their territory, had surprised the city while it was unguarded, and having sacked and burned it, had departed, taking all the women and children as captives, with much spoil. EP 501.3

Dumb with horror and amazement, David and his men gazed upon the smoldering ruins. Then as a sense of their terrible desolation burst upon them, those battle-scarred warriors “lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.” EP 501.4

Here again David was chastened for the lack of faith that led him to place himself among the foes of God and His people. David had provoked the Amalekites by his attack upon 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. EP 501.5