Ziklag is a place of terror in the Old Testament. It’s a place where your worst fears come true. A place of nightmares. David and his men thought their families would be safe there, but when they returned, all that remained of their camp was smoking embers. Their families were gone, kidnapped and taken to an unknown destination.(1 Samuel 30)
For a while now, it’s been possible to track the way our moral fiber in America has been fraying. You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that we were in trouble. But at a recent AIM training camp, I saw it’s much more serious than I’d realized. I saw fresh, shocking evidence that the enemy has overrun our fortifications and is ravaging our families behind closed doors.
Here it is: In reviewing the confidential applications of 140 young people who had signed up to go on a World Race trip, over half reported that they had been physically or sexually abused. More than half of them! Our children!
Many of these young people respond by cutting themselves. Still others lose themselves in various addictions – Ziklag.
And 70% of young people going off to college leave the faith – that’s Ziklag too.
Those of you parents who have lost a small child in a crowd know something of the sheer horror that David and his 600 men felt. They were crazed with grief and “wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.”
Karen and I once lost Estie in a Juarez slum when she was six – it was a terrible feeling. Losing a child is a parent’ nightmare.
As members of the tribe that Jesus heroically rescued when we were held captive by an enemy whose only design was to plunder and
ravage our family, we need to remember a little tribal history. I say that because, in the big picture, we are all a little like David and
David was terrified and his men were ready to kill him (verse 6). But he did as we in America need to do. He engaged in listening prayer – he inquired of God: “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” (verse 8)
The Lord answered David as he’ll answer each of us, encouraging him to set the captives free. And that’s just what he did.
A few of us have lived a Mayberry RFD life of white picket fences, but as you look around the country, I think you’ll see it’s pock-marked by Ziklags – places where our enemy has snuck into our camp and targeted members of our tribe.
For those of us who are heartsick, living in the Ziklag reality of loved
ones being carted off by the enemy – our children choosing to do drugs,
sleep around, no longer following the Lord – we can’t afford to be
passive. We need to protect our kids even as we challenge them to fight for
We need to do as David did and inquire of the Lord, “Lord, what
is my responsibility here? What would you have me do?”
It’s Jesus passion to set the captives free. He’ll show you what to do.