Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. I Samuel 30:1-6 ESV
[Jesus said:] “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:1-5 ESV
Has your mom or dad ever had the battery of their car go dead? That can happen if they leave the lights on accidentally, or it can also happen if there is something wrong with the battery. When the battery is dead, the car won’t start. The battery has no power to give to the car. The only thing you can do is to recharge the battery from a battery that is working. Maybe your mom and dad called a tow truck to do this, or maybe a kind friend or neighbor or even somebody who was passing by connected the dead battery to a battery that was working. The dead battery got its life from the battery that was alive. It couldn’t bring itself back to life.
A horrible thing happened to David and his army. When they came back to the town where they were living they found that a raiding army attacked their city. All their wives and children had been taken away by this army, and all their homes and in fact their whole town had been burned down. It was terrible! All the men started to cry for their families, including David. But then the men got angry and upset and blamed David for everything. They were ready to kill David by throwing big stones at him. David was in serious trouble, and he had no power on his own to get out of the mess. He needed to get strength from outside of himself, and he knew that there was only one place to get that strength. He turned to God for help.
Jesus said to his followers that their only source of strength was in him. He compared himself to a vine, and his followers to branches. If you cut a branch off a tree or a grapevine, will it live? No, it will die because it doesn’t have any connection to the life of the plant. It’s the same with our life in God. We don’t have any strength in ourselves, but we are connected to Jesus and have his strength and life. This is important to remember when we have troubles that seem too big for us to handle. It’s most important to know when we remember that we are sinners. We can’t ever earn God’s forgiveness on our own, but God supplies us with all the grace and forgiveness we need through Jesus. Jesus died so that our sins could be forgiven, and he keeps us in him. We can’t have any life with God at all without Jesus.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me life and forgiveness through Jesus. Help me to stay connected with him now and forever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.