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You’re living in Ziklag

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…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
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!
That’s Ziklag.
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.
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.

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
his men.

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)

Lord answered David as he’ll answer each of us, encouraging him to set
the captives free. And that’s just what he did.

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

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.

Comments (8)

  • Beautiful timing Seth. These last 3 days God is stiring me to fight for my 3 teens. They “know it all” as far as the bible is concerned. They have had many experiences of feelings Gods presence and KNOW He is real. When sick or worried they dont hesistate to ask me to pray for them because they know God is the answer and DOES answer…..but at the same time none of them have their OWN relationship with God. They do not live according to Gods precepts, they sleep around, they behave like most teenagers who dont know Christ do.

    There is nothing more I can SAY or TEACH them.

    Prayer, is my only answer….to fight for them in the heavenlies.

    Thanks Seth, this is enouraging to hear today.

  • One of the great sermons I heard focused on this 16-month detour of David (& his men) to Ziklag – it was a time of spiritual isolation because he “had thought to himself” that he’d be safer in the camps of the enemy rather than trusting God and asking Him where they should be …

    (I Sam 27:1) But David thought to himself, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.”

    I wonder if that is what we have been doing as parents. Thinking to ourselves about where and how our children will be safe – and totally forgetting that we are living in Ziklag, the enemy’s camp, and it’s still a time of war! As you noted, David did turn around in the heat of crisis and inquire of God and as is His wonderful custom, God was gracious to both hear and RESTORE.

    Can I say here that one of the best things I’ve done to help rescue my teenage daughter out of the hands of the enemy was to send her on a mission trip to Mexico this past summer with AIM…. there are no guarantees, of course, but I felt sure this is what God told me to do and He did some great things in her heart and life. She’s now looking forward to an even longer trip next summer… with a great desire to go on the World Race when she’s old enough. Is she being spiritually formed by these trips? ABSOLUTELY … and I am thrilled to see it happening… So grateful for AIM’s focus and work!!

  • I’m really noticing that in the younger generations too. There is so much devistation, so much brokeness, but they don’t know that it doesn’t have to be that way. They feel trapped, as someone born into poverty with no apparent way of escape.

    More and more, I find young people who really don’t even know about Jesus. We cannot assume that people know who He is, because even if they have heard His name, many have no idea who He is or what He did. Some don’t even know His name.

    It’s no wonder that addiction is so pervassive. Where there is hopelessness, death soon follows.

  • Wow, Jodi. It’s the first time I’ve heard someone else make that point from that passage. I, too, had always looked at that passage and said it all began with David believing the lie…that he would die at the hands of Saul (vs. the truth that GOD said he would be king) and then took the situation in his own hands. That is indeed the enemy’s camp. I understand being worn down and weary from the constant threats. For our children’s sake, it is crucial we persevere in faith and believing the truth. They are watching more than we and they know!

  • Thanks Seth for these insights and the heart prompting your honest reflections. A few nights ago I had the chance to spend an evening with our youngest daughter. She grew up in a privileged home with overt commitments to follow Jesus. She’s been on missions trips, camping excursions, youth events in good churches her entire life. There were many summers of VBS, regular church attendance and more books, tapes and materials than could be easily chronicled.

    An honest conversation though a few nights ago reminded me of what the key variable may be for young people emerging into a culture with multiplied opportunities, disconnection and the wafting smoke of a Satan still bent on his assignment to steal, kill and destroy.

    A key variable is the unshakable, consistent, non duplicitous, humble walk of parents.

    We can’t go anywhere else with our prognostications until we start there. And challenging young people to greatness as is the fabric of AIM and its WR venture stirs hearts that want to be singular but are frequently divided.

  • There are far too many of Ziklags around…many of them disguised or hiding behind white picket fences, I might add.
    It is time to do some major renovations. It’s always best to start by listening and then moving forward, so listen, pray and then let the overhauling begin.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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