Photo by Serge Krasnov on Unsplash
Victory over the marauders does not have to be complete for it to be a win.
During the time David and his men ran for their lives from King Saul, they moved to the Philistine town of Ziklag, where they lived for over a year. Near the end of David’s time on the run, some Amalekite marauders came into Ziklag while he and all his men were on a mission for the Philistine king, Achish.
After being sent home from the battle, David and his men returned to find Ziklag completely destroyed. The Amalekites looted the town, then burned it to the ground. They took captive all the men, women, and children.
In their utter distress over the loss of their families, David’s men threatened to kill him. He was their leader. They believed the responsibility for what happened fell on him.
David was distressed over the loss of his family as well, but to have the men turn on him?
What to do?
David turned to the Lord and received strength. He asked God if he should pursue the raiding party. Would he overtake them?
The Lord told David to pursue them. God told David he and his men would surely overtake the Amalekites and succeed in the rescue.
David took four hundred men in pursuit of the Amalekite marauders. They found the raiding party and attacked. Although God promised victory, it was not an easy win. David and his men fought from dusk until the evening of the next day.
It was not a complete victory, either. Some of the Amalekites escaped. Still, David did not lament over the ones who got away. Instead, he celebrated and was grateful for what was rescued. None of the people or possessions were missing.
As this story from David’s life shows us, just because victory over the marauders is assured, that doesn’t mean it will be easily fought. Also, David didn’t have to experience complete victory for this battle to be a win.
There are times in our lives we will face marauders of all kinds that threaten, attack, and steal. Some days we will have victory. Some of those victories will be complete. Some will be partial.
In each of the battles we face, one key, I believe, is to do what David did. Go to God first. Seek his direction. Enter the battle in the Lord’s strength. Fight for as long as it takes. And praise God for the victory. No matter its size.
Are you able to celebrate and be grateful for incomplete victories?
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At dawn the next day David attacked them and fought until evening. Except for four hundred young men who mounted camels and got away, none of them escaped. David rescued everyone and everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives; 1 Samuel 30:17-18 (GNT)
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