top of page

Put Painful Toil & Trouble To Death

put painful toil and trouble to death, graveyard in harper's ferry

So David said to him, “How was it you were not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” Then David called one of the young men and said, “Go near, and execute him!” And he struck him so that he died. So David said to him, “Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed.’ 2 Samuel 1:14-16

I was reading this passage when the Lord opened my eyes to the beautiful truths written in these words. On the surface this chapter looks aggressive and sad. Saul had just died, and the Israelites were scattered from the battle against the Philistines. An Amalekite escaped the battlefield and after killing Saul, brought his crown and bracelet to David because he knew David had been anointed the next king over Israel. David rewards this Amalekite by having him killed.

None of this chapter makes much sense! Unless you dive deeper into the truths of what the Lord is saying. I was hungry for the deeper meaning within these verses, and as I pondered on what was happening, the Holy Spirit revealed the secrets within.

The Meaning of the Amalekite

When the Israelites came into the land to possess it there were giants of many tribes squatting in their inheritance. The Lord promised Abraham the land many years before, but because Abraham didn't go completely into the land of Canaan his descendants had to fight to have their promised land. If Abraham had obeyed the word of the Lord immediately, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and the sons of Jacob, would have been living in their promised land right away!

Instead, we see that Satan has brought squatters into the Israelites inheritance. Does that sound familiar? The Lord's scriptures say that we are promised good health because by Jesus' stripes we are healed. But maybe you have been robbed of good health. Has disease and mental illness, anxiety or depression, robbed you of many good years? Then there are squatters in your land!

Maybe you suffer from poverty, or a lack mentality. You believe that the Lord doesn't want to bless you with a good paycheck from the work of your hands. You believe that He doesn't want you to have wealth. But my Bible says, "You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich." (2 Corinthians 8:9 NLT)

Are you living in debt with a poverty mindset? Then there are squatters living in your promised land!

Every single tribe that Israel fought against represents an enemy that attacks us. Philistine means wallowing in the dust; it's a picture of self-condemnation. Midianite means strife.

So, what was the purpose of the Amalekites? The etymology of the word Amalekite means people that wring, people that lap. And the meaning of the Hebrew word Amal is to toil, pain, sorrow, weariness, wickedness. Amalek can also mean warlike. Saul's entire kingship was marked with painful war and battles. Not once does it say that while he was king the land rested from war. Not once!

Is this your life? Every day, every month, every year is marked with battles? As hard as you try, it seems as though you're always at war? Your heart and mind are littered with the aftereffects from doing battle against the enemy?

There is a better way! Do not be another believer whose life is a constant struggle! I don't want that for you, and Jesus especially wants to see you set free.

When the Israelites came into the land, the Lord told them to completely destroy their enemies. God's heart for His people is that all their enemies would be gone. How do you do that? You go to war! Get into the battle! Not as Saul did, but as David did. Saul never completed the task of completely eradicating the enemy. David does.

In 1 Samuel 15:2 we find a command that God gave to Saul. "Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”

Remember that Amalek means warlike? Amal means toil, pain, sorrow, weariness, and wickedness? The Lord was saying to Saul, go eradicate this enemy which has caused toil, pain, and sorrow for my people. He was saying, they bring war against you. Kill them all, let none live, so that there may be peace in your land.

Instead of obeying God's voice, Saul saved the best of the sheep, oxen, fatlings and lambs (1 Samuel 15:9). Worst of all, Saul spared Amalek's king, Agag. Instead of destroying the people who caused weariness and sorrow to the Israelites, Saul let their king live. The ruler of the enemy, Saul did not put to death.

How this looks in the life of the Christian today:

"I suffer from anxiety and depression. Instead of combatting this enemy which has come against me to rob me of my life, I will take medication to lower the symptoms." The worst of the symptoms might be gone, but the king still lives within your mind.

"I am easily angry, because my father or mother was always angry with me. I blow up at my children or husband, but then I am sorrowful and I apologize. I correct the wrong after the fact." Instead of holding your tongue, stepping out of the room and taking your anger to the Lord, you explode. But you always apologize! The people of Amalek might die when you say you're sorry, but the king is alive in your anger.

"I can't seem to have kids. Maybe God doesn't want that for me." The king is alive and well, making you believe a lie. God says, "No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days." (Exodus 23:26)

Don't let the king of your enemy live! Put it to death! Saul was immediately rejected as king after he disobeyed the command of the Lord. “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you.” (1 Samuel 15:28)

Don't let someone better take your place because you were unwilling to go after the enemy with everything you got. Pursue it and kill it until it's dead and gone from your life.

Be Like David, Put Your Enemy To Death!

In 2 Samuel 1, an Amalekite came to David with Saul's crown and bracelet. It was a demonstration of the changing of the guard, a changing of the kings.

David asks the Amalekite how he knows that Saul and Jonathan are dead. He answers this way, "As I happened by chance to be on Mount Gilboa, there was Saul, leaning on his spear; and indeed the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him. Now when he looked behind him, he saw me and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’ And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ So I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ He said to me again, ‘Please stand over me and kill me, for anguish has come upon me, but my life still remains in me.’ So I stood over him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord.” (2 Samuel 1:6-10)

David then has this Amalekite killed, because he touched God's anointed. Earlier in 1 Samuel we see that God tells David not to kill Saul. The Lord says to David, "touch not my anointed!" David lets Saul live.

When you accept Christ and come into the kingdom of God, you are under the Father's protection. You are His anointed. The Lord protects His anointed, but if you allow squatters into your land, eventually they will kill you. Saul let the king of Amalek live, an Amalekite put the final nail in Saul's coffin.

In verse 15 David kills the Amalekite. I was pondering this in my heart, telling the Lord it didn't make sense that David would kill the Amalekite for putting David's enemy to death. How many times did Saul pursue David to kill him and overtake him? How many times did Saul chase David through the desert until he had to literally leave Israel and live in enemy territory?

And the Lord said this to me, "David put painful toil, sorrow, weariness and wickedness to death before taking the throne." In the desert, David learned to trust in the Lord. He started putting together His army. Do you know what his army consisted of? "And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him." (1 Samuel 22:2)

Are you in distress? God can use you. Are you in debt? God can turn you into a warrior with wealth. Are you discontented? God can make you calm, happy, satisfied and patient. But, you must pursue Him. Pursue Jesus and He will turn your situation around. These men came to David because he was anointed to be the next king. They recognized him as the Lord's beloved. Pursue the Lord's beloved! Pursue Jesus today! He will change your mind, change your heart, change your life and bring you from poverty into wealth. He'll bring you from a place of distress into a place of delight. Pursue the Beloved! He will change you!

Before David took the throne he put his enemies to death. While living in Ziklag he raided entire villages of Geshurites, Girzites and Amalekites. He left none alive, but killed them all. In Ziklag, in enemy territory, David learned to kill the enemy.

Are you in enemy territory today? Has Satan come into your home, into your mind, and into your heart to rob you of your peace and joy? Has he robbed you of contentment and satisfaction? Has he robbed your family? Put him to death! Pursue him until he is dead at your feet!

How do we do this? Do as David did. Pursue the Lord with everything you have. Pursue Him in the desert and in the wilderness. Pursue Him when you are in enemy territory and behind enemy lines. When the water dries up because you're under the hot desert sun, drink from the Word of God by opening your Bible. When the food is gone because there is no manna in the wilderness, feed on the Word of God by listening to sermons. When you're behind enemy lines and Satan has you surrounded, fight back by worshipping the Lord. Fight the enemy with the Word. Fight the enemy by listening to inspired sermons that build your faith. Fight the enemy by praising God in the storm. This tactic is how we pursue the enemy, hunt him down, and destroy him.

Pursue the enemy with everything you have and watch as he falls at your feet. The enemy can't remain alive when the Beloved is in your life.

Kill The King!

Saul let the king live, even though he killed everyone else. Satan will try to convince you to let the king live, that it's ok to keep a few enemies alive as long as most of them are dead.

But we can't afford to let the king live! When the enemy comes to steal your worship, to steal your prayer time, to steal your time reading God's Word, take it back! Ignore the enemy and pursue the Lord!

Do you have an issue today? Do you have an enemy that is squatting in your promised land? Pursue the King of Kings and watch as your enemy fades away before your very eyes.

Saul pursued David and tried to kill him. David didn't even end up having to fight Saul. Saul's own enemy took care of him. Saul allowed the king of toil, pain, and sorrow to live. A lowly servant from the tribe of toil, pain, and sorrow ended up killing him. Any time you let an enemy live, it will end up killing you in the end. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not for many years. Eventually though, your enemy will catch up with you and overtake you.

David didn't have to lift a finger against Saul because Saul's own enemy killed him in the end. In fact, Saul begged his enemy to kill him!

But David saw the Amalekite for who he really was. Toil and pain, sorrow and weariness, are enemies of the Lord. David made sure they would have no place in his kingdom. He put them all to death before stepping into kingship.

When you feel like you need to work hard to receive the Lord's blessings, remember that God wants this enemy put to death. Learn to rest in the Lord instead of working for your blessing. When you are filled with sorrow and heaviness because of a situation, bring your sadness to the Lord and ask that He fill you with His joy. When you are weary from walking in the world, come to Jesus and lay down in His presence and just talk with Him about your struggles. He will strengthen you.

David means beloved. Look to Jesus, to the Lord's Beloved, and He will put your enemies to death. You won't even have to lift a finger.

If you have an enemy today, pursue the Lord with all that you have. Pursue the Beloved with everything in you. As hard as the enemy attacks, turn and attach yourself to God just as hard. The more you do, the more you will see the bodies of your enemies littered at your feet. Satan cannot live where the blood of Jesus reigns.

Make sure Jesus reigns in your house. Make sure Jesus reigns in your mind. Make sure Jesus reigns in your heart. Invite Him into your areas of distress, debt, and discontentment. Bring your enemies to the Lord, and He will slay them for you. Amen? Amen!

With Joy, Jessica


Related Posts

See All

Subscribe to the blog!

Welcome to the Hallstrom Home!

Check out my favorite posts!

Jesus Says You Are Forgiven!

Jesus Says You Are Forgiven!

But have you forgiven yourself?

Trust The Lord In The Wilderness

Trust The Lord In The Wilderness

But what happens to our faith when we go through a wilderness season or dark period? That's what God wants to know. He wants to know if we can follow Him in the valley. He wants to know if we'll remain faithful to Him when things get hard. The truth is, our trust tends to wane when we are led into a wilderness season.

Believing The Right Thing: Turning An Anxious Mind Into A Peaceful Heart

Believing The Right Thing: Turning An Anxious Mind Into A Peaceful Heart

Turn your anxious mind into a peaceful heart

The Blood Leaves A Stain

The Blood Leaves A Stain

The blood of Jesus speaks. The blood of Jesus has a voice. The blood of Jesus declares that you ARE righteous! You ARE sanctified! You ARE holy!

Mourn The Loss

Mourn The Loss

When we mourn things that have happened to us, we work through our sadness and grief. As we mourn, a healing work begins in our hearts and our bodies won't take on our pain.