Holy Spirit, help me to grow in understanding, and equip me to meet with faith the challenges I face.
Read 1 SAMUEL 23:1-13
David Saves Keilah
23 When David was told, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors,” 2 he inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?”
The Lord answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.”
3 But David’s men said to him, “Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!”
4 Once again David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.” 5 So David and his men went to Keilah, fought the Philistines and carried off their livestock. He inflicted heavy losses on the Philistines and saved the people of Keilah. 6 (Now Abiathar son of Ahimelek had brought the ephod down with him when he fled to David at Keilah.)
Saul Pursues David
7 Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah, and he said, “God has delivered him into my hands, for David has imprisoned himself by entering a town with gates and bars.” 8 And Saul called up all his forces for battle, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.
9 When David learned that Saul was plotting against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod.” 10 David said, “Lord, God of Israel, your servant has heard definitely that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town on account of me. 11 Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to him? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? Lord, God of Israel, tell your servant.”
And the Lord said, “He will.”
12 Again David asked, “Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?”
And the Lord said, “They will.”
13 So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he did not go there.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening’ (1 Samuel 3:10).
What decisions have you made over the last month? Perhaps you left your job, put your house on the market, stepped down from a church role or joined a political party. And there will have been numerous smaller decisions every day. If you think about how you made those decisions, there will have been a mix of factors: gut feelings, consulting experts and friends, gathering information and weighing up consequences, and probably some prayer. So what does it mean to seek God’s wisdom on our decisions?
Today’s passage gives us two starkly different approaches. Saul still clings to the vestiges of his identity as God’s anointed king. He assumes events demonstrate God’s action on his behalf (23:7), but he doesn’t speak to God directly. In effect, he is operating on a purely pragmatic basis (23:13). By contrast, David constantly inquires of the Lord (23:2,4,10,12). They are in frequent dialogue and David’s trust of God is such that when God speaks, he obeys even when it means overriding his men’s very valid concerns.
We aren’t told how God spoke to David, just that he was clear and direct. That’s not always the case, but if we are God-oriented as a general posture, our decisions will naturally be made in the context of this most important relationship.
As David did, seek the Lord now over any decisions you are facing, in the expectation that he will – somehow – speak.
Father, I know I enjoy comfort more than challenge. By your Spirit, move me forward and create in me a desire to stretch beyond my comfort zone.
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