Camping with the Enemy – Your Ziklag might be camping with the enemy of alcohol and you might laugh – for a while. Your Ziklag might be with camping with the enemy of a forbidden relationship and there might be a smile – for a while. Your Ziklag might be camping with the enemy of porn and you will be entertained – for a while. You might be camping with the enemy of drug addiction. You will sleep, or buzz, or rush – for a while. Camping with the enemy provides temporary relief, but camping with the enemy ALWAYS removes worship from your heart and praise from your soul. It’s intent is to destroy you.
DAVID THE KING
By Delbert Young
Camping With the Enemy
Camping with the Enemy
Scriptures: 1 Samuel 23:2, 4, 30:8, 2 Samuel 2:1, 5:19, 23, 1 Samuel 27:1, Proverbs 14:12-13, 1 Samuel 28:1, 30:3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 17-20, 23
How many of us have found ourselves in a not so good place when it came to God? We knew we were just not where we should be spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. We are going to talk about this today. We were actually camping with the enemy if we were not camping with God.
1 Samuel 23:2 he [David] INQUIRED OF THE LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” The LORD answered him, “Go…”
1 Samuel 23:4 Once again David INQUIRED OF THE LORD, and the LORD answered him, “Go down to Keilah…”
1 Samuel 30:8 and David INQUIRED OF THE LORD, “Shall I pursue this raiding party?
2 Samuel 2:1 …David INQUIRED OF THE LORD. “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?”
2 Samuel 5:19 so David INQUIRED OF THE LORD, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines?”
2 Samuel 5:23 so David INQUIRED OF THE LORD, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them…
David was familiar with inquiring of and consulting with the Lord. That’s easy when life is going pretty well, but eventually Saul got into David’s head again.
Saul got into David’s head. That’s the enemies plan. He is after your soul/mind – to drive you crazy and torment you. He wants you to go camping with the enemy. Why? David’s focus became Saul, the enemy, not God and God’s purpose. So, David stopped inquiring of the Lord and DAVID INQUIRED OF HIMSELF.
1 Samuel 27:1 BUT DAVID THOUGHT TO HIMSELF, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.”
Isn’t that what we do when something, or someone, gets into our head – debt, hurt, health, words, employer, spouse, or x-spouse, etc? It torments us one way or another and the only reason it torments us is it, or they, become our focus, not God and God’s purpose. We begin camping with the enemy. Think! You knew better. You inquired of the Lord in the past and did right, but this specific thing has your mind. When this happens, we have a tendency to do what David did. WE THINK TO OUR OWN SELVES NEGATIVE THOUGHTS, FEARFUL THOUGHTS, THOUGHTS NOT FROM GOD, BUT FROM THE DEVIL. When we only talk to ourselves, we only affirm what we want to hear. Eventually, if not corrected, we will do what David did.
David took his men to camp in the land of the enemy, the Philistines. The Philistines knew Saul was out to kill David. So, they put David where they could watch him and not worry about him. David camped in a place called Ziklag. During his time there, David wrote no psalms. There was no worship from his heart. There was no praise from his soul. David thought he was ok, but David was in a bad place.
We do this when something gets into our heads that shouldn’t be there. It could be lust, or debt, or addiction, fear, hate, or hurt, etc. We find ourselves camping at Ziklag. Your Ziklag might be alcohol and you might laugh – for a while. Your Ziklag might be with a forbidden relationship and there might be a smile – for a while. Your Ziklag might be to camp out with porn and you will be entertained – for a while. You might camp out with your drug of preference. You will sleep, or buzz, or rush – for a while. Camping with the enemy provides temporary relief, but ALWAYS removes worship from your heart and praise from your soul. It’s intent is to destroy you.
Proverbs 14:12-13 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.
It’s temporary. God will let you camp out with the enemy for a season, but nothing good is going to happen there. In fact, everything, and I mean everything, is at risk. Let me show you. During this time, the Philistines decided to attack Saul and Israel.
1 Samuel 28:1 In those days the Philistines gathered their forces to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “You must understand that you and your men will accompany me in the army.”
Instead of David fighting for Israel, David backslid and would fight against the people of God. David, the man after God’s own heart, was going to fight with the enemy.
This is where we get when we allow something negative to get into our heads. You find yourself talking negatively about church, about God’s people, about the Spirit, and the things of the Spirit. We fight against the people of God.
Some of the Philistine officers said they feared David would turn on them in the middle of the battle. They were probably correct, for this was the battle in which Saul and Jonathan died. David led his men back to Ziklag to find…
1 Samuel 30:3 When David and his men came to Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.
While David was hanging with the Philistines, the Amalekites attacked. Eventually, camping with the enemy catches up with you. It always puts you, your family, and all you have in jeopardy. It will threaten your marriage. It will threaten your children. It threatens your possessions. You will end up weeping until you have no strength left to weep. Many people have returned to Ziklag only to find all they once had… gone.
Don’t miss the principle. You can camp with the enemy and run with those uncircumcised of heart and mind. The Lord will let you, but when you do, your marriage, your children, your spouse, your possessions, your home, everything can be taken from you. One day you will come home and all will be gone. All you can do now is weep.
1 Samuel 30:6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters…
David was upset over the loss, but he was also upset because people were upset with him. David’s trusted friends were ready to stone David. But, you say, David was the leader. David was God’s man. When you camp with the enemy and because of you things go crazy in the lives, homes, and the children of those who follow you, people come close to stoning you. I don’t care if you are anointed of the Lord and a man after God’s own heart. Your best of friends will question your judgment. David let the people down with his decision to camp with the enemy. It affected everyone, even the children of those who looked to him as the leader.
What do you do when these sort of things happen? You made a bad mistake. You camped with the enemy. Now what? We learn several things from David.
(1) ENCOURAGE YOURSELF IN THE LORD. Let’s read the remainder of that verse.
1 Samuel 30:6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: BUT DAVID ENCOURAGED HIMSELF IN THE LORD HIS GOD.
Other translations say David found strength in the Lord his God. It’s been a long time since we were told David sought the Lord in any way. Isn’t it sad? We let things get bad THEN we encourage ourselves in the Lord. Finally, we find strength in the Lord our God. Well, at least we finally do.
How did David encourage himself in the Lord his God? His focus changed. He was no longer focused on, or tormented by, Saul. David ENCOURAGED HIMSELF… It’s something you intentionally do. David intentionally focused on the Lord his God, not Saul his tormentor. Getting back what he lost was more important than what got into his head. If you want back what you lost, you must intentionally turn your focus to the Lord your God. Encouragement will come.
(2) ASK THE LORD AND DO WHAT HE SAYS DO. While six-hundred men picked up stones and stroked their anger, David sought his God.
1 Samuel 30:8-9 Then David ASKED THE LORD, “Should I chase them? Will I catch them?” And the LORD told him, “Yes, go after them. YOU WILL SURELY RECOVER EVERYTHING THAT WAS TAKEN FROM YOU!” So David and his six hundred men set out…
David asked the Lord what to do and obeyed the Lord. I watch a lot of people get encouraged and strengthened, but I don’t watch a lot of people obey the Lord after God’s encouragement. They never get back what the Amalekites took. They lose their marriages, children, money, and possessions.
1 Samuel 30:9-10 So David and his six hundred men set out, and they soon came to Besor Brook. But two hundred of the men were too exhausted to cross the brook, so David continued the pursuit with his four hundred remaining troops.
David took off with six hundred men to recover what the enemy took. At Besor Brook, two hundred would not go on. Besor is the Hebrew word Besowr and means cheerful; happy; Besor, a stream of Palestine. Church gets like that sometimes. Everyone gets fired up and takes off, but about a third can’t/won’t make the trip. The pursuit to get back what they lost exhausts them. Sadly, they find a “happy place” (they think) and stop.
It’s not easy to do what the Lord says to do. You get tired. You get discouraged. You get angry. There are lots of seemingly happy places tempting you to stop, but how badly do you want your marriage, children, and possessions?
David, the man after God’s own heart, didn’t stop. Encourage yourself and get your focus. Then do what the Lord says do.
(3) LOOK FOR THE UNEXPECTED ANSWER.
1 Samuel 30:11 They found an Egyptian in a field and brought him to David. They gave him water to drink and food to eat
David and those going on with him found an Egyptian the Amalekites left to die in the wilderness. David took him and nourished him. That one Egyptian, that total stranger, took David directly to the Amalekites camp.
Sometimes in life, we encounter one person who says something that points our lives in a direction to recover what the enemy took. You may, or may not ever see him or her again, but it was obviously a divine intervention, pointing you in the right direction. It could be a total stranger, teacher, a book, a sermon, anything. My point is always be on the outlook for your Egyptian in the wilderness. God will divinely provide you with the necessary information you need. Encourage yourself, do what the Lord says, get unexpected information…
(4) FIGHT UNTIL YOU WIN.
1 Samuel 30:17-20 David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. DAVID RECOVERED EVERYTHINGthe Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back. He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, “This is David’s plunder.”
It was a long hard fight. Sometimes, we have the idea that getting back what the enemy took is easy. Just pray it. Just say it. Just go to church. I wish! You fight and fight and you fight until you win. It’s to get your family back, your spouse back, your children back, your possessions back. Remember, that’s what happens when you play a country song backwards. Reverse the negative.
DAVID RECOVERED EVERYTHING THE AMALEKITES HAD TAKEN, INCLUDING HIS TWO WIVES. (We have talked about Abigail, but I haven’t talked about Ahinoam. David, at this point, married three times and that’s for another lesson.
Not only did David recover everything he lost, there were extra spoils. It works that way. You messed up, but you did the right thing. You encouraged yourself in the Lord your God. You asked the Lord and obeyed. You found your unexpected answer that pointed you in the right direction. You fought until you won. When you do that, you go from hated to hero, from nearly stoned to “YEAH! THIS IS DAVID’S PLUNDER! WE LOVE OUR LEADER!” God gives you back more than the Amalekites took. HOW YOU HANDLE YOUR TOUGH TIMES DETERMINE YOUR LONG TIMES.
I have a sad thought. Imagine how after the victory, husbands and dads were finding their wives, sons, and daughters. They were hugging, crying, laughing, and rejoicing. I can’t help but think about the women and the children who began looking for their husbands and dads, but they weren’t there. They asked, “Where is my husband?” “Where is my dad?” Uhhh, well… he was too tired to make the trip. He’s at his “happy place” Besor. How does that spouse feel that his or her spouse didn’t push on to recover them? How does that child feel about their parent who would not push on to get them back?
We’ve all stayed at the Brook Besor in one way or another. Perhaps we didn’t think it involve our family or children, but it did. We were just too tired to fight any more – too tired to get ready for church, too tired to read the Bible, too tired to praise the Lord, too tired to give, too tired to… “Let’s just Besortoday.” Those things always eventually affect our spouses and our children.
When David and his men returned, those who fought were angry with those who stayed at Besor. They didn’t want to share the plunder with them.
1 Samuel 30:23 David replied, “No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the LORD has given us. He has protected us and handed over to us the forces that came against us.
David realized the victory was a gift from the Lord. They would share. David didn’t only share with the two hundred who didn’t fight. The Bible lists no less than thirteen cities all around with whom David shared.
God has given us great lives. Some of us are a little more victorious than others because we pushed on a little more than others. But, shouldn’t we share what God has given us? I am so happy that Jesus shared his victory with me. The least I can do is share my victories with others.
Even David, the man after God’s own heart, found himself camping with the enemy. It cost him big time. He messed up. He had to (1) ENCOURAGE HIMSELF IN THE LORD; (2) PRAY AND OBEY; (3) LOOK FOR GOD’S ANSWER; (4) FIGHT UNTIL HE WON. That’s how any of us will recover what the Amalekites take from our lives. If we will, we will take a step closer to being a man or a woman after God’s own heart.
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