I Samuel 30 Victory For The Remnant.
The Amelekites took the opportunity, with the Philistines being occupied with their battle with Israel, to attack a near Philistine territory, but one that just happened to be where David and those with him had dwelt. When David and his men return they find Ziklag burned and the population gone. Everyone lifted up their voices and wept, “but David strengthened himself in the LORD his God” (v. 6). David’s initial reaction is one of faith, seeing in these events the LORD’s providence, and an opportunity for him to make war against the LORD’s enemies. To confirm his faith he instructs Abiathar to bring the ephod with the Urim and Thummim that he might receive guidance from the LORD (v. 7 Cf. 28:6), and the LORD commanded him to pursue and defeat the Amelekites (v. 8).
David ventured out with 600 men, but at the threshold of taking the battle to the Amelekites, 200 of the men who were to weary to cross the Brook Besor (vv. 9-10). As David and his men drew near to the Amelekites, they take in a single Egyptian. Perhaps in the hopes of gaining some information, they give the man food and water. He was a servant to an Amelekite, but as an Egyptian he had no ethnic ties. All he asked, in exchange for what he knew, was that he might be spared (vv. 11-15). They commence their attack with 400 men, and they defeated the Amelekites. 400 men had fled, so clearly David and his men were outnumbered. They recovered everything that had been taken, plus the spoil (vv. 16-20).
However, even among the remnant with David there were “wicked and worthless men” who did not want to give anything to the men who remained on the other side of Brook Besor, but David would have none of it, because in David’s mind it was the LORD who gave them the victory, therefore he would not act as though it was in their own strength and therefore the possessions of the 200 and part of the spoil would be theirs also (vv. 21-23). It then became a statute that those who guarded the supplies would share in the victory of those who enter the battle (vv. 24-25). To this end David also sent some of the spoilt to the rest of Israel, with those with whom David and his men “were accustomed to rove” (v. 31). David kept the larger picture constantly in view.