In 2 Samuel 30 good king David is living in exile. He returns from campaigning for a Philistine prince who forbids David to fight with the Philistine forces against Saul and the Israelites. On returning to Ziklag David finds the city burned. All people and possessions are gone. His men — battle weary and tired to the bone after a long spring season of fighting everyone in the region — start murmuring against him. David asks God what to do. He is instructed to pursue the robbers. One more time the tired crew has to mount and run hoping to rest after the last battle of the season.
In the meanwhile Saul is busy getting killed at Gilboa along with all his able bodied sons and princes of Israel.
David finds a half dead man on his way. He is the Egyptian slave of an Amalekite warlord. Although the man is half dead by the side of the road, David is likely to surmise his origin from his tattoos, pierced ears, etc. David waits three days (a sign of the Resurrection) and cares for the fallen man. When the former slave comes back to life he starts talking and soon he gives David the clues he needs to find the thieves. David pursues and beats the criminals, recovering all the kidnapped women and children, all his possessions, and the robber’s loot which is considerable.
That, we can call “history,” but what is really happening — if one looks from the perspective of Heaven — goes as follows: Heaven took David away from the sad task of having to fight his own wicked king and his best friend Jonathan. Then he was taken into a test of trust where he was left alone, with no warlord to protect him, no loyal force to rely on. Only God remains and he humbly asks what we ask so many times when we get there: “What’s going on?” God answers “Go and fight” but there is no strength left in the leader or his soldiers. Save for the grace of God goes David, he pursues and finds the last “test”: a man lying naked and sick by the side of the road. David has mercy on the fallen man. In doing so he shows God he has the mettle of kings, a merciful heart. It has been a long time since he was found by Samuel while keeping his father’s sheep. Years of fighting and persecution have prepared him for his final mission. Before the end of the week he finds himself king of Israel.
Canadian poet and writer, Robert Eady comments on our current situation with his usual precision:
“What we have now is a degeneracy so profound it makes one wish not to endure too many more years of life as a pensioned dandelion head. The “drug problem” is several times worse than even the old liquor sloshing of the 1800s. Droves of young people (our future) wallow in cocaine, ecstasy, high-powered marijuana, thump-screech-and-bump rock, internet pornography, and a kind of filthy puritanism whereby grave sins must be committed triumphantly. Being at a provincial park in July is like wandering the cell blocks of the old Kingston Penitentiary. (More lurid tattoos on the skins of one and all than the old swindlers, thieves and murderers of the 1950s could ever have imagined possible.) The way out of all this, of course, is chastisements from God that will change the landscape so markedly that no one will much care, let alone know, what came before. The sins that cry to heaven for vengeance are just that. God, not man, will soon be bringing down the hammer on all the disciples of the Locke Mess Monster and the rest of the agents of the devil who brought us the modern liberal secular state.”
I am sure Mr Eady’s prophecy will come to pass. We find ourselves before the smoldering ruins of a global Ziklag, the kingdom we built in exile, living among enemies. But there is a better kingdom waiting for us at the end of the week. There is only one way to properly arrive at that place: rejected, humbled, battle-weary, tired, thirsty, hungry, out of breath, and on our last bit of strength but happy to see the face of Our Lord.
Then we will see the other side of History and finally understand its meaning.