For Those Who Are Fainting

1 Samuel 30:21-31:13


In 1 SAMUEL 30 we see David going through some DIFFICULT and DARK days

We Saw in our Last study that David was in a Backslidden state /


A) He has been living in the land of the Philistines for 16 months/ Ziglag 


B) Things hit an all time low when the Philistines decide to wage war against the People of Israel

1)    David decides to fight w/ the Philistines against Israel the People of God /

2)    the very people he has been called to lead


C) But God doesn’t let it happen – the Philistine Generals object to David’s presence in their army –

Tell Achish their king to send DAVID  home to Ziglag


D) This was Divine Intervention on the part of the Lord – sparing David from doing something he would ultimately REGRET


Now you would have thought that David would have realized this – but he is so out of touch w/ the Lord that he is only discouraged

A)He heads home to Ziglag bummed out & depressed feeling unwanted / unneeded –


B)There the Lord is really going to get his attention

B) See While David & His men were gone the Lord allowed the Amalakites to attack Ziglag

1) the city is burned to the ground & all their families are taken Captive –


C) SO David & his men travel for 3 days – 25 miles a day – From Gath to Ziglag & when they get there their hearts are filled w/ Horror & Despair

1)    Their city has been burned to the ground & their families are missing / presumably Dead


D) These mighty warriors begin to weep & wail – they weep to the point that they have no more strength to weep – Exhausted by grieve



But Their Grief turns to Anger as someone says –DAVID’S FAULT 

A)If it wasn’t for David insisting we fight w/ the Philistines we would have been here to protect our Families – Lets get David – Lets Stone him –


B) And it is at this Point that David finally comes to the end of himself - & turns once again to seek the Lord

v.6 David Strengthened himself in the Lord


C) It is at this time that David hears from the Lord GO !!  Pursue to go after them – You will recover all – David somehow is able to rally the troops


C) They begin pursuing the Amalekites at an incredible pace driven by a feeling of Desperation /

1) love for families/ The confidence of God’s Promise


c) And this is all after they have marched 25 miles a day for 3 straight days


D) Well as they are Charging – 200 men grow Faint – they tell David we can’t keep up – can’t keep the Pace –

1) So David leaves them at Besor to guard the Supplies


E) Well David & the others go on to victory like the Lord promised & they recover all of their Families - / Livestock - & even more from the Amalekites

1)    But Something happens when they come back to Besor where these 200 men who were guarding the Supplies were waiting V.21


21Now David came to the two hundred men who had been so weary that they could not flow David, whom they also had made to stay at the Brook Besor. So they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. And when David came near the people, he greeted SALUTED them. 22Then all the wicked and worthless men of those who went with David answered and said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except for every man’s wife and children, that they may lead them away and depart.”


What we find here is that there is tension in David’s Army

A) Some of the ones who were Strong enough to Go on say to David concerning the one’s who stayed behind

Give them their wives & kids & tell them to Get lost – we don’t need them anyway !!!


B) Let’s consider this scene & David’s response and make some application to our lives


C) David had 600 men, mighty men – Started off / In distress / Indebt / Discontent / but they have grown into Great Army –


B) Yet at this time 1/3 of his men could NOT go into battle...... 200 of them were simply too weak to press into battle

1)    These were men who loved David / Loyal to David – follow David anywhere – but at this time they just can’t go on


C) Their hands were hanging down their knees were feeble / they are just Burned out – Covered 75 miles in 3 days  - Hectic pace


They were Burned out & they were Bummed out – Still grieving over the loss of their Families

A)They Marched for 3 days – expecting to see welcome home signs –



B) Instead – City has been burned to the ground

1) They had lost their wives and kids/ Presumably dead


C)  Guys What would be your Reaction if you went home this morning, and found your home burned, and your family gone, you knew not where?


D) Sometimes – it is the family struggles, that have a powerful impact upon your marching forth in the Christian life.....

 1)  It can cause you to fall behind your former pace/



And I would venture to say that some of them were Bummed out because of the Change they saw in David

A)Their leader had become a real enigma to them/ Here was a man who had killed Goliath


B) Here was a man that had wiped out hosts of Philistines-Here was a man that was a worshipper of God

  1) Here was a man who a few weeks before spared the life of his arch enemy when he refused to kill Saul in that cave in Engedi


C) But 3 days earlier he was ready to fight w/ the Philistines against Saul

 1) These men probably said to themselves, “How will this end?

2) Will David really lead us to battle against Saul?

The INCONSISTANCIES that they saw in David caused them to be blown out / Perplexed

A)Warning: ANY time that you fix your eyes on man you WILL be BLOWN out/ 


B) Because all of us have inconsistencies

1) Eyes are on me – Howard or whoever – You will be disappointed { Ask our wives


C)  THAT is why we are told in Heb 12:2 we are to be Looking unto Jesus     the author and finisher of [our] faith

  1) We change like the weather... But JESUS NEVER changes


C) He NEVER disappoints... He NEVER disillusions you

1)   We MUST fix our eyes firmly upon Him lest we be BLOWN OUT and  become fainthearted




A)But they did not BACK OUT / Even though they could NOT press on... they did NOT resign and return to their old life


B)But As fainthearted as they were, they stayed COMMITTED to David & SUBMITTED to David


C) They walked with him in his SUCCESSES and they would stay with him in his SETBACKS


APPLICATION: Will you follow Jesus no mater what turns He might take... Not only in times of success, but also in times of difficulty.

A)These men in our text today, though they were fainthearted, stayed LINKED to and LOYAL to and SUBMITTED to the authority of their king.


B) I believe that in this room, there are those who are fainthearted/ caused you to slow down in the Battle

1) But even though you might not be pressing on into the battle, your heart is still with the Lord....


C) You are still committed to the Lord/ Love the Lord


D) You still have that strong desire to serve the Lord – but Physically / emotionally / maybe even spiritually – Feel like you can’t take another step


E) Take Courage – Note what happens next


Consider - The REJOICING of the fainthearted

A)When David came back from the battle, these men were GLAD that he returned.....


AA) They went out to greet him/ I imagine it was Quite a Scene


B) A host of men in the front are driving vast herds of cattle and flocks of sheep, and singing as they march, “This is David’s spoil!”


 1) Then you see armed men, arms filled w/ Stuff  s, and you hear them singing yet another song; “David recovered all! David recovered all!”


C) Then, those worn-out ones that stayed at the brook Besor, hear the singing, & Join in

1) “This is David’s spoil! David recovered all!”


But their rejoicing is momentarily interrupted by the Words of some of the Soldiers who left them behind These men said:  "You were to weak to go and fight.... You get ZIP"

A)It is interesting to me that the HS chooses to refer to them as Worthless men /


KJV calls them sons of Belial or the Devil – Why?


B) Strife division and condemnation are all tools of the Devil -

1)    the Devil – Wants God’s people to feel useless / Condemned & Defeated


C) These "Worthless men" had condemning words BUT Watch what       David, the man after God's heart,  said.

23But David said, “My brethren, you shall not do so with what the LORD has given us, who has preserved us and delivered into our hand the troop that came against us. 24For who will heed you in this matter? But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike.” 25So it was, from that day forward; he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.


C) The wicked and worthless men looked at the spoil and said, “We fought for this spoil and it is ours.”

1) David looked at the spoil and said, “Look at what the Lord has given us.”


D) Note The Difference: One is to say – I did this it is mine –

1) The other says The Lord did this – lets share !



David was the Leader of those who were fainthearted & He was also their Advocate –

He pleads their Unity & He pleads their Usefulness

A)First, he pleads their unity? 


B) David uses the word us  3 times in one verse                   when he speaks of the battle and the spoils


Bb) David said, “. “God has given the spoil, not to you alone, but to us all.

 1) Given to us / Preserved us / Delivered to us those who came against us

C) Paul spoke of a Similar unity in 1Cor.12 The Church ONE BODY – MANY PARTS/ many members w/ different functions

     1) One part of the Body cannot say it is not needed –

            not something else!!


D) So first David gives them a reason to rejoice because he pleads their Unity –

1) They are a part of us – School Church


2nd  he pleaded their USEFULNESS  He said, . 24For who will heed you in this matter? But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike.


A)No army fights well when its camp is unguarded. CHS  It is a great thing for a church to know that its BASES are well guarded by a praying band.


B)While some of us are teaching or preaching in pulpits classrooms /jails / homes others are on the mission field

1) we have great comfort in knowing that a certain number of our friends are praying for us.


CHS To me it is a boundless solace that I live in the prayers of thousands. I will not say which does the better service — the man that preaches, or the man that prays; but I know this, that we can do better without the voice that preaches than without the heart that prays. The petitions of our bed-ridden sisters are the wealth of the church.

C) The kind of service which seems most commonplace among men is often the most precious unto God.



3.) The REWARDING of the fainthearted

A) The FAINTHEARTED got an EQUAL SHARE with those that went into battle


B)APP. The captain of our Salvation..... Our greater than David, the Lord Jesus Christ, would encourage us who are fainthearted today


1) Today He would say to those of us who are faint and faltering today:


 "Do NOT listen to the CONDEMANATION and the ACCUSATIONS of the men of Belial who say that you have no inheritance and no reward"


C) Instead, we should listen to the Son of David who has words of encouragement for those who are fainting



D) Besor = Good news – I have good news for you today Jesus is coming Back !

1) He is coming back, NOT to condemn you, but to SALUTE you – Well done -




Listen be encouraged today Even if you are FAINTHEARTED Jesus is NOT going to leave you or forsake you

A)You who are by the Brook of Besor KNOW this: The Lord is coming back


B)And when He comes back He comes with a SALUTE because you have remained with Him & been loyal to Him, though you may have grown faint

   1) The strong and the fainthearted are ONE in Christ



C) There are times when I grow faint/ But I can rejoice in the fact that I have brothers and sisters in Christ that are STRONG and are SURGING forward

   1) I am JOINED to them/ I am inspired by them



D)We are UNITED together and are blessed together

    1) IF you are fainthearted today, REJOICE in the fact that there are those who are strong - They will be a source of blessing to your life




Turn to 2 Sam. 2:1-3 & What happened to these that were fainthearted?

A)Saul is now Dead & David is now going to be anointed first as King over Judah & then over all of Israel – note what it says v.2


So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. 3And David brought up the men who were with him, every man with his household. So they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.


B) NOTE: every man   was brought up

 KNOW this –

1) Others may condemn you in your fainting, but NOT Jesus


C) Jesus said: "Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden...."

    1) And I will - Give you a speech? - NO

             And I will - Give you a kick? - NO

                                            And I will give you REST


The issue is NOT whether or not we are on the front lines.... Or fainthearted and staying with the stuff

A)What really matters is who Jesus is/ THAT is our confidence- THAT is our blessed hope


B)Today, if you are BUMMED out or BURNED out or BLOWN out...  Do not BACK OUT


C) BECAUSE everyone of us today that KNOWS Jesus and are LOYAL to Jesus will be BROUGHT UP with Jesus into that place in heaven that He has been preparing for us


Quickly look at Ch.31/ celebration ends on a tragic note


i. The events of this chapter happened some 20 years after Saul first heard the announcement of judgment against him from the prophet Samuel. Perhaps Saul thought that time was on his side, because God’s announced judgment did not

happen immediately. But time was against him, because in the 20 years since, his heart became more hard against



ii. At the end of his life, Saul had become so hardened in sin that he did not want to repent. Many people put off getting

right with God until a later time, assuming they will still want to get right with God then. But that is a dangerous,

dangerous assumption, because repentance is a gift from God, and if it is here today it should be received today.

iii. “It is a very solemn thought! No career could begin with fairer, brighter prospects than Saul had, and none could

close in more absolute midnight of despair; and yet such a fate may befall us, unless we watch, and pray, and walk

humbly with our God.” (Meyer)



a.     Saul’s tragic death gave opportunity for the enemies of the LORD to disgrace His name. First, they gave the ultimate insult to Saul; in that culture, to have your dead body treated this way was considered a fate worse than death itself. Second, Saul’s death was used to glorify pagan gods and to mock the living God (to proclaim it in the temple of their idols and among the people).


b. They fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan: You can go to the ruins of Beth Shan today, as the foundations to the city sit high on a hill overlooking the Roman ruins destroyed in an earthquake. It was high on that hill that the Philistines hung the decapitated corpse of King Saul in the ultimate humiliation. 3. (11-13) The valiant men of Jabesh Gilead end the disgrace of Saul and his sons.


a.     All the valiant men arose: In a time of disgrace, loss, and tragedy like this, God still has His valiant men to do His work. The men of Jabesh Gilead took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from their place of humiliation and gave them a proper burial.


i. Glory to God, He always has His valiant men! When one servant passes the scene, another arises to take his place. If

Saul is gone, God raises up a David. If the army of Israel is utterly routed, God still has His valiant men. God’s work is bigger than any man, or any group of people.


b.     The inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead are also recognized for their gratitude. Many years before, Saul delivered their city from the Ammonites (1 Samuel 11:1-11), and they repay the kindness God showed them from the hand of Saul. Upon taking the throne, David rightly thanked these valiant men for their kindness to the memory of Saul, Jonathan, and Saul’s other sons (2 Samuel 2:4-7).


c. When David heard of Saul’s death, he did not rejoice. In fact, he mourned and composed a song in honor of Saul and Jonathan (The Song of the Bow, 2 Samuel 1:11-27). In spite of all that Saul did against David, David spoke well of Saul after his death.