Once again David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him….
1 Samuel 23:4 (NIV)
The story of the outlaw David and King Saul continues. Saul and the army of Israel are on the march looking for David and his rag tag contingent of outcasts. In chapter 22 David had about 400 men, in today’s chapter his numbers had grown to about 600. Whenever there is good intelligence of David’s whereabouts Saul goes after him. David and his men are constantly on the move, camping out from place to place in the remote areas of Judah like the picture in this post. He even wrote a song about this specific period of time. It’s known today as Psalm 54. I would give it a better title like “Backroad Blues.”
Beneath the story line, we continue to see an underlying theme of contrast between David and Saul. Consider that in today’s chapter we find David constantly looking to God for guidance:
- [David] inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” (vs 2)
- Once again David inquired of the Lord (vs 4)
- [David asked ] “Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? Lord, God of Israel, tell your servant.” (vs 11)
- Again David asked [God], “Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?” (vs 12)
Even the song David wrote at this moment in time has, as it’s central lyric, a clear expression of David’s reliance on God’s provision:
Surely God is my help;
the Lord is the one who sustains me
Contrast this with Saul who continues to go his own way. He seeks out spies. He depends on rumors. He seeks out any solid intelligence he can gather about David’s whereabouts. The one thing that that we never read is, “and Saul inquired of the Lord.”
As I look back across my own life journey, I can see God’s hand at work guiding my path. As I have written on more than one occasion, I am nowhere near the place in life I had envisioned when I set out on this faith journey 35 years ago. And yet, all along the way I have actively sought divine guidance in choosing my path. Even my restless wanderings from the straight and narrow path included many conversations with God. I am thoroughly convinced that I am right in the place where I am supposed to be, though I don’t have the time nor space in this blog post to share all of the reasons for my assurance. Buy me a cup of coffee or a beer sometime and I’ll be happy to tell you my stories.
Today, I am reminded of the person I wish to be. I wish to be a person of simple and active faith like David. It’s doesn’t always lead to comfortable places or situations, but I have found that it always leads to a place of inner peace amidst stressful circumstance. I would rather be on the run, hiding in the caves of En Gedi with the assurance of God’s presence, then living in a comfortable palace without Him.
- Leadership Lessons from the King-Elect (tomvanderwell.wordpress.com)
- Striving Against Divine Design (tomvanderwell.wordpress.com)
- A heart like David (qualityandquantity.wordpress.com)
- Of Robin Hood and Corrective Lenses (tomvanderwell.wordpress.com)
- King Saul of Israel (tjjensen.co)
- Confidence in the Midst of Adversity (davidkitz.wordpress.com)
- Thanking GOD In the Midst of ALS (brucepittman.net)