But David Strengthened Himself

1 Samuel 30:6 is often quoted to those of us going through great turmoil. But it is indeed a very difficult thing to do as King David did after losing his family and home in the face of imminent insurrection by his men! So how exactly does one “strengthen [oneself] in the Lord”?

Interestingly enough, David did not spontaneously learn this skill. Some time before this, 1 Samuel 23:16 records that “Jonathan went to David at Horeb and helped him find strength in God” (NIV). That is a powerful precedent when examined in further detail! It is not enough for someone to say to another “trust God” or “let your faith sustain you,” or “hang in there, God is still in control.” No, we have to wrap some skin around God and get down in the muck and mire with our neighbor as Job’s friends attempted to do. And this is perhaps yet another reason why we should not, as Paul wrote, “neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:25 NLT). Unfortunately, this is precisely what we tend to do in life’s rough spells. But I think that the encouragement burden falls more upon the helper than the helped because it was Jonathan who took the initiative to travel to Horeb to see David.

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