Ultimate Response to Failure

1 Samuel 30:1-8 says, “1And 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.”
 
 
1 Samuel 31:1-7 says, “1Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. 2And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul’s sons. 3And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. 4Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. 5And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him. 6So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together. 7And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.” 
 
In 1 Samuel 30 and 31, we find where both David and Saul were faced with naturally what seemed to be absolute impossibilities. In David’s case, he and his army had left the area of Ziklag unprotected, which is why the enemy came in, burned the city, took the spoil and captured their wives and children. His own people blamed David and considered even stoning him, but when he felt alone, he encouraged himself in the LORD, pursued everything that had been stolen from him and recovered all. They even took spoil that had originally belonged to the Philistines! He could have continued to weep and wallowed in his misery, but he followed the voice of God, longing to see his family and people once again. 
 
On the other side, you have King Saul, who was being pushed against by the Philistines. Instead of repenting and seeking God, he saw no way out. He wanted his armor bearer to kill him, but when he refused, Saul took his sword and fell upon it, committing suicide. His armor bearer would then follow suit as Saul, his armorer bearer, three sons and all his men would die that same day together. It is was horrible ending to the first human king of Israel as his own jealousy, hate and disobedience would eventually lead to his own demise. 
 
David and Saul, who were both in positions of leadership, set the example of the paths we can choose when we face adversity and elements of impossibilities. When it looks like we are staring at complete failure, we can either dwell in defeat and brokenness, see no way out and commit spiritual suicide, speaking death to our purpose in God, or we can encourage ourselves in the LORD, pursue our enemy and recover everything! We can transition from playing defense to actually having the ball in our court and advancing God’s kingdom in the earth. We all fail, and we all face circumstances that can appear overwhelming and outside of our control, but our response makes all of the difference. Do we wallow in the hurt and misery, or do we take our rightful position of authority in knowing who we are in God? It is totally up to you, but it is so much better to be like David than Saul.