Bible Commentary

1 Samuel 30 Matthew Henry (concise)

1 Samuel 30 Matthew Henry Commentary (concise)

Chapter Outline

Ziklag spoiled by the Amalekites.


David overtakes the Amalekites.


He recovers what had been lost.


David’s distribution of the spoil.


Verses 1-6

When we go abroad in the way of our duty, we may comfortably hope that
God will take care of our families in our absence, but not otherwise.
If, when we come off a journey, we find our abode in peace, and not
laid waste, as David here found his, let the Lord be praised for it.
David’s men murmured against him. Great faith must expect such severe
trials. But, observe, that David was brought thus low, only just before
he was raised to the throne. When things are at the worst with the
church and people of God, then they begin to mend. David encouraged
himself in the Lord his God. His men fretted at their loss, the soul of
the people was bitter; their own discontent and impatience added to the
affliction and misery. But David bore it better, though he had more
reason than any of them to lament it. They gave liberty to their
passions, but he set his graces to work; and while they dispirited each
other, he, by encouraging himself in God, kept his spirit calm. Those
who have taken the Lord for their God, may take encouragement from him
in the worst times.

Verses 7-15

If in all our ways, even when, as in this case, there can be no doubt
they are just, we acknowledge God, we may expect that he will direct
our steps, as he did those of David. David, in tenderness to his men,
would by no means urge them beyond their strength. The Son of David
thus considers the frames of his followers, who are not all alike
strong and vigorous in their spiritual pursuits and conflicts; but,
where we are weak, there he is kind; nay more, there he is strong, 2Co
12:9, 10. A poor Egyptian lad, scarcely alive, is made the means of a
great deal of good to David. Justly did Providence make this poor
servant, who was basely used by his master, an instrument in the
destruction of the Amalekites; for God hears the cry of the oppressed.
Those are unworthy the name of true Israelites, who shut up their
compassion from persons in distress. We should neither do an injury nor
deny a kindness to any man; some time or other it may be in the power
of the lowest to return a kindness or an injury.

Verses 16-20

Sinners are nearest to ruin, when they cry, Peace and safety, and put
the evil day far from them. Nor does any thing give our spiritual
enemies more advantage than sensuality and indulgence. Eating and
drinking, and dancing, have been the soft and pleasant way in which
many have gone down to the congregation of the dead. The spoil was
recovered, and brought off; nothing was lost, but a great deal gained.

Verses 21-31

What God gives us, he designs we should do good with. In distributing
the spoil, David was just and kind. Those are men of Belial indeed, who
delight in putting hardships upon their brethren, and care not who is
starved, so that they may be fed to the full. David was generous and
kind to all his friends. Those who consider the Lord as the Giver of
their abundance, will dispose of it with fairness and liberality.

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