Pursuit for His Own

“When David and his men came to Ziklag, the Amalekites had… overcome Ziklag, burned it with fire, and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way... David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam… and Abigail… And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God…

“So David set out, and the six hundred men who were with him, and they came to the brook Besor… David pursued, he and four hundred men. Two hundred stayed behind, who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor…

“And David struck [the Amalekites] down from twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled. David recovered all that [they] had taken, and David rescued his two wives. Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. David brought back all… 

“‘As his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike…’ When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to his friends, the elders of Judah, saying, ‘Here is a present from the spoil of the enemies of the Lord.'” 1 Samuel 30:1-2,4-6,9-10,17-19,24-24,26

David, the loyal warrior, was crushed to discover the Amalekites’ raid on his city and capture of everyone there, including his wives. Devastated and heart-wrenched out of love for his own, he was targeted for blame and stoning by bitter fellow sufferers. Drawing strength in the Lord, he pursued and overtook the enemy, retrieving all who’d been taken.

Jesus knows and loves His own by name, and when we’re taken captive by the enemy, He grieves over our captivity, far-country wandering, and rebellion. Many blame Him for their painful loss, the harsh consequences of sin, or their loved ones’ foolish enslavement, but He does not waver from His holy purpose of redemption. Made of mercy and compelled by love, He pursues His own to return us to Himself. And when He does, all who have been a part rejoice together for the lost who has been found. (Luke 15:3-7,10,31-32)

Have we thanked Jesus today for rescuing us from sin’s captivity? Out of gratitude, where have we joined His rescue mission for the lost? We may practically pursue through friendship, teaching, or on-hands ministry, or join the battle by prayer or resource support. Everyone willing and on His side can participate in His efficient, saving work and the praise and joyful fellowship that follows.

When moved by the death sentence that hangs over the lost, how will we respond? Fueled by love and compassion, we can join Jesus in relentless quest for His children in our part of a needy world.

Father, awaken me to the lost around me, break my heart with what breaks Yours. Include me with You in irresistible pursuit, that Your grace abound and love is magnified.

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