1 Samuel 23:1-14
23 David was told, “The Philistines are fighting against the town of Keilah. They are stealing grain from the threshing floors.” 2 So he asked the Lord for advice. He said, “Should I go and attack those Philistines?” The Lord answered him, “Go and attack them. Save Keilah.” 3 But David’s men said to him, “We’re afraid here in Judah. Suppose we go to Keilah and fight against the Philistine army. Then we’ll be even more afraid.” 4 Once again David asked the Lord what he should do. The Lord answered him, “Go down to Keilah. I am going to hand the Philistines over to you.” 5 So David and his men went to Keilah. They fought against the Philistines and carried off their livestock. David wounded and killed large numbers of Philistines. And he saved the people of Keilah. 6 Abiathar, the son of Ahimelek, had brought down the sacred linen apron with him from Nob. He did it when he ran away to David at Keilah. 7 Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah. He said, “God has handed him over to me. David has trapped himself by entering a town that has gates with metal bars.” 8 So Saul brought together all his soldiers to go to battle. He ordered them to go down to Keilah. He told them to surround David and his men. He told them to get ready to attack them. 9 David learned that Saul was planning to attack him. So he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the linen apron.” 10 Then David said, “Lord, you are the God of Israel. I know for sure that Saul plans to come to Keilah. He plans to destroy the town because of me. 11 Will the citizens of Keilah hand me over to him? Will Saul come down here, as I’ve heard he would? Lord, you are the God of Israel. Please answer me.” The Lord said, “He will come down.” 12 Again David asked, “Will the citizens of Keilah hand me and my men over to Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will.” 13 So David and his men left Keilah. The total number of them was about 600. They kept moving from place to place. Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah. So he didn’t go there. 14 Sometimes David stayed in places of safety in the desert. At other times he stayed in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul looked for him. But God didn’t hand David over to him.
When I am under pressure or times are tough I find myself leaning one of two ways. I may become frantic, rushing decisions, worrying excessively and trying to solve all my problems by the strength of my failing reason. Alternatively, I may become inclined to throw myself before the feet of God. I cling to Him and pour out all my requests to him.
I see in this section of scripture that the pressure on David has caused him to bring every concern before the Lord. David is looking for God to show him which way he should go. In the midst of extreme hardship David is making wise decisions and living very near to God.
Lord, troubles are a reminder that I need you, stress is a call to prayer. Hard times can put my back against the wall, or they can back me up into your embrace. Lord, I desire the inclination of David, to throw myself before you, desiring your presence and direction. As a church, the body of Christ, may we have the heart of David we see here.
Written by Andrew Mellor