to Whom Belongest Thou?

“And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; and had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way. So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. And David inquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all. So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind stayed. But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor. And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water; and they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him; for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights. And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick. We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the coast which belongeth to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire. And David said to him, Canst thou bring me down to this company? And he said, Swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company. And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah. And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, sate four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor anything that they had taken to them: David recovered all. And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before those other cattle, and said, This is David's spoil." 1 Sam. 30:1-201And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; 2And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way. 3So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. 4Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 5And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 6And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. 7And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. 8And David inquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all. 9So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind stayed. 10But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor. 11And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water; 12And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights. 13And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick. 14We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the coast which belongeth to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire. 15And David said to him, Canst thou bring me down to this company? And he said, Swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company. 16And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah. 17And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. 18And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. 19And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all. 20And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before those other cattle, and said, This is David's spoil. (1 Samuel 30:1‑20).
THE picture before us is very simple. David is here a lovely type of Christ in the day of His rejection, as Solomon is of Him in the day of His glory. The Lord Jesus has been rejected here. When the question was put, “Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus, which is called Christ?” The world said, Give us the robber and crucify the Saviour, and further, in order to deny the resurrection large sums of money were given to the soldiers to say He was not risen. But He was, He is God raised Him from the dead, and now does He seek an opportunity of showing vengeance on His enemies? No, no—but God says, “Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
In this chapter we find the Amalekites had burned Ziklag (David's city) with fire, and taken the women and children captive, and David inquires of the Lord, “Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? “And the Lord says, "Pursue; for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all." And we have only to read on to find that it all came true, David did overtake, and recover all. And so every knee must bow to Jesus, every tongue must own Him Lord. Heavenly things, earthly things, infernal things—angels, men, and devils, must all bow down to Jesus, and own His worth. Not one soul can escape. You may fancy you can. You may even say you draw this conclusion from the picture before you of the 400 young men who escaped on camels; but, let me tell you, in the day of the Lord there will be no camels for you to escape on.
You may ask, "Do you know the hour?” No—but God “hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men in that he hath raised him from the dead.” Now we see the wonderful patience of Christ, but the day will come when the Lord will deal with each soul, and find out who is on His side and who is not.
But though the Scripture before us is a picture of graces still every picture has a background. And what is the background here? The dark, awful day of judgment, when you will have to stand before God as a Judge. Oh, unconverted reader, you may wrap yourself round with carnal security, as these men, these Amalakites, did here, for we read, “They were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating, and drinking, and dancing," but what took place? "David smote them ... and there escaped not a man of them.”
What will take place in that day? “Whoa they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." Yes, it is inevitable, for as a thief in the night, when men are deluding themselves with thoughts of peace and safety, the Lord will come, and you will be left to the long dark night of judgment. Thank God, the night of judgment has not yet come for you, but it may to-day. Now is the message of goodness, of mercy—nay, more, of salvation. A free pardon for all your sins is proclaimed, and the greater your need, the greater your destitution, the quicker the grace of God seeks to get at you.
“And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread and he did eat; and they made him drink water." An Egyptian! Yes, and what is an Egyptian? A thorough-going worldling. Egypt is the land where sin reigns, where God is not owned. In plain language, it is the world. And what is the world? The world is a place in which man seeks to make himself happy without God. But he does not succeed. You have not succeeded, my reader. It is true there is pleasure in sin. The Scripture speaks of enjoying "the pleasures of sin," but, mark, it is but "for a season." I should like you to have pleasures that last forever. All your pleasures, unsaved soul, must come to a conclusion in the dark dungeons of hell. You will have left behind you, then, the pleasures of sin, and you will be engulphed in the punishment of sin:
You call yourself a Christian now, but no one could ever mistake you for one. The whole of your present history is linked up with the world, and as for Christ, He has no place in your heart. You are an Egyptian. What do I find in the world? Opposition to God and to Christ.
You may say, “I do not like these things being always brought in." No, you would like them never to be brought in. You would be happier to be let alone, because in the bottom of your heart you are an enemy to God. “The friendship of the world is enmity with God. Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world, is an enemy of God.”
They found this young man in the field, and what is the first thing they do? They bring him to David. And if I could bring you to Jesus now, that is the very thing I would like. You, in all your sins, in all your unbelief.
They brought him to David, and what is the result? Why, the moment he finds himself in David's presence, immediately " they gave him bread and he did eat; and they made him drink water," that is, grace meets the need of the soul, and here we get three beautiful thoughts: First, the need of the soul is met, then the conscience is thoroughly reached, and finally the heart; is captivated with David, and the Master changed, and this is what I would like for you, dear reader.
1.—Need Met
They " gave him bread, and lie did eat and they made him drink water." And what is the first thing Christ does for you when you are brought to Him? He saves you on the spot. He says, “He that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." “This is that bread which came down from heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead; he that eateth of this bread shall live forever." To you, unconverted reader, He says, I went down into death to give you life, I gave my life that you might live. Christ dying on the cross is the only bread for you. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if I die it bringeth forth much fruit." Jesus has gone down into death for you,— death as the judgment of God—and if you believe on Him now, you will find that you shall live forever.
“They gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins." Bread would have saved him, but God says, I will give you everything. If you want security, pardon, peace, whatever your need, you get it all fully met in Christ—God does not only save you, He puts you into heaven in spirit now.
No one told this young man it was David, he knew it intuitively, he knew he had met the very one whose city he had burned; and so the sinner knows when he gets into the presence of Christ. He knows and owns—This is the One I have abused, and that I have re belled and fought against all my life.
What did this young man expect, what could he expect but judgment? And he met with grace, perfect grace; and so will you, dear reader, if you come to Christ.
2—the Conscience Reached
And now we get the conscience touched.
“To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou?" says David. He answers the second question first, and gives an honest answer. “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite." And now what will you say?" I am a poor wretched sinner, I have given all my days to the world." “To whom belongest thou?” Why, you may say," I thought I was my own master, I thought I was doing my own will." What does the Scripture say?
“His servant ye are to whom ye obey." And if you try to get away from the service of your present master you will see whose servant you have been. But, in a day that is coming, how many a soul will tell a tale of desertion like this young man. “My master left me, because three days agorae I fell sick." “He had a bad master," you will say. Yes, and so have you.
The devil will use you as long as he can delude you, and when he can get no more service out of you, he will desert you, and leave you to be damned.
Look at it fairly, face it at once. You have been led, hoodwinked, by Satan. You have been an enemy of Christ, as this young man was of David, but what led him to so open his heart to David? It was grace. The goodness of God leads us to repentance. And now again I ask, "To whom belongest thou? To Christ?” No. Then Satan claims you. You have on his uniform, and as it was said to Peter in Pilate's hall, "Thy speech betrayeth thee," so with you, you have only to open your lips, and what do you talk about? The world, and the things of the world. Unsaved reader, escape now for thy life.
See how grace opens this young man's heart, Not only does he own whom he serves, but he makes a clean breast of his actions, he owns, "We burned Ziklag with fire." It is better to be open with Christ. You may have been sinning grossly and openly, or you may have been indulging in small, secret sins; but, unless you have it all out, you will know what the Psalmist meant, in the 32nd Psalm, when he said, “When I kept silence, my bones waxed old, through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me; my moisture is turned into the drought of summer.” That is, there is no peace, no rest, no comfort to the soul. But, the moment he makes up his mind to confess, he says, " Thou forgavest." I confessed, and, Thou forgavest. Have all out in the presence of Christ, and what will you find? Peace! perfect peace!
3.— the Master Changed
And now there is more. David said, "Canst thou bring me down to this company?” i.e. Would you like to change your master? Will you be my servant? And Christ says the same to you well, there were only two things this young man needed to know before surrendering himself entirely. “Swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company." And will you say to Christ "Swear to me you will not kill me.” Christ kill you! It is Christ that died to save you. “The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost." “The Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Jesus has come to give you life, and liberty, and the assurance of salvation, “He that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life." Christ could not condemn you, if believing on Him, for He took the condemnation that He might not condemn you. He was judged that you might never be. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know theme and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." Ah, there is no fear that Jesus will over give you up.
And now, one word more. “I will bring thee down to this company," says the young man, and. he does so. What does that mean? It just means—I will be your servant—I am ready to do your bidding, and so—first, Christ serves you, and then He gives you the opportunity to serve Him.
The Lord grant that what has been before you in figure, may be the experience of your heart, that so you may be able to say, in the lines of a well-known hymn—
"Christ delivered me when bound,
And when wounded, healed my wounds;
Sought me wandering, set me right,
Turned pay darkness into light.”
W. T. P. W.