Day 96: The invisible man (1 Sam. 30-31)

Posted: July 5, 2010 in Uncategorized

David and the six hundred men with him came to the Besor Ravine, where some stayed behind, for two hundred men were too exhausted to cross the ravine. But David and four hundred men continued the pursuit. They found an Egyptian in a field and brought him to David. They gave him water to drink and food to eat – part of a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of raisins. He ate and was revived, for he had not eaten any food or drunk any water for three days and three nights. David asked him, “To whom do you belong, and where do you come from?” He said, “I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite. My master abandoned me when I became ill three days ago. We raided the Negev of the Kerethites and the territory belonging to Judah and the Negev of Caleb. And we burned Ziklag.” David asked him, “Can you lead me down to this raiding party?” He answered, “Swear to me before God that you will not kill me or hand me over to my master, and I will take you down to them.” He led David down, and there they were, scattered over the countryside, eating, drinking and reveling because of the great amount of plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah. 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 everything the 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.” 1 Sam. 30:9-20

The above story is a tasty little morsel tucked into the end of 1 Samuel, the story of an Egyptian slave, a minor character that proves to be a crucial piece to the puzzle for David. It just shows that you never know how God is going to make His plans come to fruition. He is the Master of the little things, indeed.

There’s a lot going on as 1 Samuel comes to a close! David is grief-stricken after his wives are kidnapped by the Amalekites and his town is destroyed (which, with the help of the slave in the above passage, he gets everything back), and Saul and all his sons (including David’s BFF Jonathan) die on the same day, just as God promised, during an attack by the Philistines. Saul’s death is just plain embarrassing. What a truly broken man! After he sees that all is lost, he demands his armor-bearer kill him, but when he refuses, he falls on his own sword and kills himself.  Anyway, I got on a tangent, back to the piece that really stuck out to me tonight.

This Egyptian slave – we don’t know his name from Scripture – was a servant of an Amalekite, cruelly left to die in the desert after he had fallen ill. He was weak, not having eaten in three days. David shows him kindness, takes him in, feeds him and loves up on him. Turns out, he’s a part of the very party that raided his town of Ziklag. Interesting. David sees the opportunity and asks where the raiding party is now, and the slave, because of David’s kindness, gives him the location. The rest, as they say, is history.

Imagine how much harder it would have been if David had either ignored, or even worse, just killed the enemy slave in the desert? I wonder how long it would have taken him to find his wives if he wasn’t king to that invisible, unwanted Egyptian slave? God used even the most “insignificant” person of that time to help David on his way, and that just blows my mind.

Even today, I truly believe God does the same thing in our lives even if we don’t know it. The most random people we meet may end up playing a part in our journey. We may meet our own “Egyptian slave in the desert,” someone who comes completely out of left field, to help us in whatever we are struggling with.

The simple application is this – Treat everyone you meet with love and respect. You never know how God is going to use them in your life to accomplish His plan. The invisible man could be anywhere!

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