With the story in chapter 30, you should be getting tremendous insight into David’s spirituality.
Yes, he struggled with faith, just like we all do. God had promised to make him king, but instead, David was running for his life. In desperation he flees with his army to the Philistines. Either he wasn’t sure God would keep His promise, or he wasn’t sure God could. His deception of Achish had put him in the untenable position of having to fight against Saul in the Philistine army, but the Philistines let him out of that one. Then, returning home, he found his house burned and his family taken as spoils of war.
And it wasn’t just his house. The homes and families of all those loyal supporters who had been with him through thick and thin were also destroyed and captured. They were worn out – a third of them couldn’t continue, and in their grief they all cried until tears would no longer come. Then, his friends turned against him, and David feared he might die at the hands of those who had loved him the most.
Who, at this stage of life, would have blamed David for abandoning his faith and going it alone? It’s surely what countless others have done since then. But David doesn’t. David finds strength in the Lord and goes to God for direction – the same God who has seemed to be so deaf and blind to David’s plight. And God answers and gives success.
In his success, David is magnanimous. He awards equal portions of the spoils to all his soldiers – even those too worn out to go the distance, and he gives gifts to his countrymen who have had the means to help him, but have not.
To be faithful in adversity, generous to those who have failed you, and benevolent to those who have opposed you; this is greatness of character, and a magnificent lesson for all who would, like David, be someone after the heart of God.