1 Samuel

1 Samuel - Lesson 22

Chapters 22:1-23; 23:1-14

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  • The testing of David begins

    • He’s fleeing a madman who almost killed his own son

      • And he’s unsafe in his own country

      • He has nowhere to escape, since Israel is surrounded by enemies

      • David is confined to Israel while the king of the nation is determined to kill him

      • Surely the Lord has placed David in a pressure cooker

    • He’s left his best friend, Jonathan, and now he’s headed into the countryside with no one to receive him

      • Last week he visited the priests for a little bread

      • And he had some men following him

      • And now we learn where he goes

    • As we observe his flight, let’s take note of how the Lord works to accomplish something great in this man

      • The Lord carefully balances trial with relief

      • Threat with rescue

      • David’s fears balanced with the encouragement of friends

  • After visiting the priest, David headed to the Philistines, which was a near disaster

    • Now David gains his senses and realizes he can’t depend on Israel’s enemies or on his own tricks

      • He must stay on the run and rely on the Lord

      • So he leaves Gath and returns east into Israel toward an area of large caves

1Sam. 22:1  So David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam; and when his brothers and all his father’s household heard of it, they went down there to him. 
  • David ends up in a cave called Adullam

    • What should we assume about a cave significant to have a name?

      • Certainly, the cave is large

      • This cave exists in a region just south of the Elah Valley where David killed Goliath

      • It’s a region of limestone cliffs with many very large caverns

      • These caves can easily accommodate 400 or more men

    • David flees here in fear and utter despair

      • He has left his life, his power, his family, his best friend

      • He has made a fool of himself in front of Israel’s enemies

      • And he has no plan, no resources and no idea of how he will survive in the face of a determined enemy with all the power of a nation 

      • And in this mindset David writes one of his first psalms

Psa. 142:0  Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer. 
Psa. 142:1  I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; 
I make supplication with my voice to the Lord. 
Psa. 142:2  I pour out my complaint before Him; 
I declare my trouble before Him. 
Psa. 142:3  When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, 
You knew my path. 
In the way where I walk 
They have hidden a trap for me. 
Psa. 142:4  Look to the right and see; 
For there is no one who regards me; 
There is no escape for me; 
No one cares for my soul. 
Psa. 142:5  I cried out to You, O Lord; 
             I said, “You are my refuge, 
My portion in the land of the living. 
Psa. 142:6   “Give heed to my cry, 
For I am brought very low; 
Deliver me from my persecutors, 
For they are too strong for me. 
Psa. 142:7   “Bring my soul out of prison, 
So that I may give thanks to Your name; 
The righteous will surround me, 
             For You will deal bountifully with me.” 
  • This psalm is called a prayer, because that’s what David is doing in this cave…he’s praying

    • He’s planned ways to avoid Saul

    • He’s schemed with the priests

    • He’s made his escape into the enemy's land

  • He’s like so many of us if we were brought through this trial

    • When life comes crashing down, at first we think we have it under control

    • We try to manage it ourselves, planning, scheming, even making  a fool of ourself

    • Not realizing that the whole time the Lord is bringing these circumstances for good purpose

    • And all our scheming is just delaying the process of growth the Lord has planned for our sake

  • Then eventually we come to the end of ourselves

    • None of our plans work

    • All our scheming comes to nothing 

    • We see the foolishness of our feeble efforts

    • And more importantly, we come to recognize that the Lord has brought these events into our life to test our faith

    • And in that moment, we turn to Him

  • It’s confirmation of the old adage that prayer is our last resort when it should be our first response

    • It’s fair to say this was David’s pattern as well

    • It’s confirmation that he’s in the beginning of his testing

    • We see the very immaturity that the Lord wants to expose and correct

  • And so David prays for relief, and in response the Lord sends David support

    • As v.1 told us David is met by a collection of men from his tribe and immediate household

      • This must have been a great encouragement to David

      • He’s sitting in a huge empty cave, fearing for his life and feeling abandoned by the world

      • And then a group of brothers appear and bring him great relief

    • Until he notices who shows up

1Sam. 22:2 Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them. Now there were about four hundred men with him. 
  • If you were picking a kickball team, these guys would all be picked last

  • They are guys with nothing to lose

  • Samuel says they are in distress, debt and discontented 

  • In other words, these guys are as wanted as David

  • So when they hear that the future king of Israel is on the run, they say to themselves, this is my kind of king

    • This collection of rejected, despised have-nots of society have found their refuge with a man who shares their shame

    • Such a beautiful picture of Christ as Paul wrote, speaking of those who find refuge in Christ:

1Cor. 1:26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 
1Cor. 1:27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 
1Cor. 1:28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 
1Cor. 1:29 so that no man may boast before God. 
  • The Lord appears to be giving David cause for encouragement, yet He’s doing it in such an odd way

    • It seems a perfect plan for encouraging a future king yet without giving opportunity for his pride to get in the way

      • Remember that Saul’s downward spiral was propelled by self-importance and pride

      • But the Lord won’t give David any room to make that same mistake

      • His palace is a cave

      • And his subjects are deadbeats and malcontents

      • Not much opportunity for pride under these circumstances

    • Ironically, though, it’s this odd group that becomes the nucleus of support that eventually leads to his crowning as king

      • God will turn this mustard seed of support for David into a kingdom

      • But there’s years of time still to pass and a battle that must be fought 

      • Their enemy will seem quite strong for a time

      • But his defeat is assured from the beginning

      • I’m sure you can draw your own parallel between David and Christ

  • Now that David has his modest army, he decides to leave the caves and be on the move again, for if these men could find him, so could Saul

1Sam. 22:3  And David went from there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and my mother come and stay with you until I know what God will do for me.” 
1Sam. 22:4 Then he left them with the king of Moab; and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.
1Sam. 22:5 The prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth. David and his men go to Moab, the enemy of Israel directly to the east.
  • Since there was no safe place in Israel for an enemy of Saul, it makes sense that David would escort his family out of the country

    • The Moabites might have still had some affinity for his family in light of that connection

    • David’s great grandmother was a Moabite (Ruth)

    • And the country of Moab is also the sensible place to take them

    • David might have also sought refuge in Moab, but notice he has no interest in joining his parents there

      • He says he is is seeking to understand what the Lord will do with him

      • In other words, David seems to understand that the Lord is working in these circumstances and David must submit to it

    • For as long as David remained in Mitzpah, the stronghold, his parents were with him

      • But eventually, the prophet Gad comes to David and encourages him to return

      • Gad was a contemporary prophet with Samuel 

      • But we have no Bible book by this prophet

      • We know of him because Samuel writes of him

      • He appears periodically during the life of David in support of his reign

  • So already we see the Lord raising up a support structure for David, but it’s the kind of structure that leaves no room for boasting

    • Meanwhile, the man who has no trouble boasting is raving over David’s escape

1Sam. 22:6  Then Saul heard that David and the men who were with him had been discovered. Now Saul was sitting in Gibeah, under the tamarisk tree on the height with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing around him. 
1Sam. 22:7 Saul said to his servants who stood around him, “Hear now, O Benjamites! Will the son of Jesse also give to all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? 
1Sam. 22:8 “For all of you have conspired against me so that there is no one who discloses to me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you who is sorry for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me to lie in ambush, as it is this day.” 
1Sam. 22:9 Then Doeg the Edomite, who was standing by the servants of Saul, said, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. 
1Sam. 22:10 “He inquired of the Lord for him, gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.” 
  • Samuel moves back and forth between the story of David and the story of Saul to drive home the contrast

    • As David is humbly submitting to the Lord’s will, enduring deprivation and taking shelter with Israel’s enemies, Saul is doing the opposite

      • He’s sitting securely in his home

      • Under a tree, resting with his attendants surrounding him 

      • But rather than being at peace with his situation, he’s frantic

    • Saul hears David has followers in the desert now, and he begins to mock David and the song that enraged him so much

      • Unlike David, Saul has an endless number of loyal subjects

      • But it’s Saul making accusations that his followers are conspiring against him 

      • He blames them for not revealing that Jonathan and David were in covenant

      • That covenant was struck in secret, so it’s unlikely the servants were hiding anything

      • But Saul’s paranoia doesn’t care about the facts

    • At the end of v.8, Saul is having a full-blown pity party

      • Once again, if anyone in this story had reason to sit on the ground and pout, it should have been David

      • But it’s Saul who’s in despair at this point

  • At this point, the character from the last chapter returns

    • Doeg, the Edomite, the one who noticed David hanging around the priests in Nob

      • Doeg tells Saul he knows that the priests gave David support

      • He got food and a weapon

      • The way he tells the story makes it sound worse than it was

      • It wasn’t as though the priests were seeking to assist David so much as they were fooled by David’s lie

    • And by betraying David, Doeg wins points with Saul and that’s his desire

      • As Doeg expected, Saul reacts in anger to the news

1Sam. 22:11  Then the king sent someone to summon Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s household, the priests who were in Nob; and all of them came to the king. 
1Sam. 22:12 Saul said, “Listen now, son of Ahitub.” And he answered, “Here I am, my lord.” 
1Sam. 22:13 Saul then said to him, “Why have you and the son of Jesse conspired against me, in that you have given him bread and a sword and have inquired of God for him, so that he would rise up against me by lying in ambush as it is this day?” 
1Sam. 22:14  Then Ahimelech answered the king and said, “And who among all your servants is as faithful as David, even the king’s son-in-law, who is captain over your guard, and is honored in your house? 
1Sam. 22:15 “Did I just begin to inquire of God for him today? Far be it from me! Do not let the king impute anything to his servant or to any of the household of my father, for your servant knows nothing at all of this whole affair.” 
1Sam. 22:16 But the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s household!” 
1Sam. 22:17 And the king said to the guards who were attending him, “Turn around and put the priests of the Lord to death, because their hand also is with David and because they knew that he was fleeing and did not reveal it to me.” But the servants of the king were not willing to put forth their hands to attack the priests of the Lord. 
  • The king demands the High Priest appear before him along with his whole household and all the priests of Nob

    • Saul confronts him for supporting David

      • He accuses the priest of conspiring with “the son of Jesse” against him

      • He mentioned the bread and sword but then concludes these materials would be used to allow David to ambush Saul

      • Of course, nothing like this was planned, but Saul is simply imagining the worst in his state of paranoia

    • And the priest is as confused as Saul is paranoid

      • He first reacts incredulously at the idea that David would oppose Saul

      • He says no one is more loyal to Saul than David, the captain of his army

      • But as far as these matters, the priest says he knows nothing of them, which was true

      • He was acting under the deception David spoke to him

    • Saul isn’t convinced and orders the soldiers to kill the priests of Israel

      • The soldiers hear the command but take no action

      • They weren’t convinced there was good reason to take the lives of God’s anointed priests

      • These men had too much respect for the priesthood, so much that they felt Saul’s orders could be ignored

      • Clearly, they saw the command to respect the priesthood to be equal or greater than the requirement to respect the king

  • So what does a Jewish king need when he wants to act contrary to a Jewish law?

    • He needs someone who has no respect nor concern for that Law: a Gentile

      • And in this case, Saul happens to have that Gentile standing by

      • Doeg, the Edomite 

1Sam. 22:18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn around and attack the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned around and attacked the priests, and he killed that day eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 
1Sam. 22:19 And he struck Nob the city of the priests with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and infants; also oxen, donkeys, and sheep he struck with the edge of the sword. 
  • Doeg has no problem killing the priests

    • Or for that matter, the women, children, even infants, oxen and the rest

    • There is no indication that the king expected this response

    • Nor does it appear Saul was upset either

    • Rather, it seems Doeg went well beyond the call of duty, either out of hatred for Jews or simply to impress the king

  • The Septuagint indicates that Doeg killed not 85 but rather 385

    • Josephus also wrote that Doeg killed 300 priests and prophets in Nob

    • It would seem that he wiped out the family of the high priest and the city of Nob

    • Ironically, Saul was unwilling to wipe out the Gentile enemies of Israel, the Amalekites, as God directed

    • But he was all too willing to sin against the Lord by allowing a Gentile to wipe out the Jewish priesthood

  • But one member of the family survives to perpetuate the priesthood

1Sam. 22:20  But one son of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. 
1Sam. 22:21 Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 
1Sam. 22:22 Then David said to Abiathar, “I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have brought about the death of every person in your father’s household. 
1Sam. 22:23 “Stay with me; do not be afraid, for he who seeks my life seeks your life, for you are safe with me.” 
  • The priesthood of Eli is doomed to come to an end one day in the future during Solomon’s reign

    • But for now, it continues through Eli’s family by means of this one refugee

    • Abiathar escapes from Doeg and makes his way to David

    • He must have figured that he would be a hunted man like David, so he might as well align with David

  • Now we can see the wisdom of the Lord in allowing Doeg to attack the priests

    • This is an example of the Lord turning all things to good for those who love him

    • Because of Saul’s sin and the sin of this Edomite, the only priest remaining in the line of the high priests is with David, not Saul

    • David has become the protector of the priesthood and so it will forever be with David

    • And of course, the Lord is using David and Saul to extinguish the line of Eli as He promised to do

  • Nevertheless, David is distraught at the thought he was responsible for the death of the priests

    • David’s blaming himself and though we might be tempted to say he’s overreacting, it’s not far from the truth

      • His decision to go to the priests was a mistake

      • And when he saw Doeg, he admits he knew this man would report what he saw

      • So at the very least he should have stopped Doeg from returning

    • Nevertheless, David isn’t directly to blame for Saul’s actions

      • Saul is a man in full rebellion to God

      • And more than that, he’s psychologically and emotionally unhinged as a result

    • When Paul says the wages of sin is death, he is speaking broadly about the condition of our soul

      • When a person lives in persistent sin against the Lord, eventually the wages (i.e., the return) on that lifestyle take their toll

      • And death is the result

      • A person suffers a slow death socially, psychologically, physically and even spiritually

    • If a person has saving faith, then God’s grace will preserve them from the ultimate penalty of their sin, that is the Second Death

      • But nevertheless, they may still suffer the side effects of sin in this life 

      • This is the state of Saul, a man earning the wages of sin including a deteriorating psyche willing to murder the innocent to obtain what he desires

  • As David reflected on these circumstances, he wrote another Psalm

Psa. 52:0  For the choir director. A Maskil of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul and said to him, “David has come to the house of Ahimelech.” 
Psa. 52:1 Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? 
The lovingkindness of God endures all day long. 
Psa. 52:2  Your tongue devises destruction, 
Like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit. 
Psa. 52:3  You love evil more than good, 
Falsehood more than speaking what is right. Selah. 
Psa. 52:4  You love all words that devour, 
O deceitful tongue. 
Psa. 52:5  But God will break you down forever; 
He will snatch you up and tear you away from your tent, 
And uproot you from the land of the living.  Selah. 
Psa. 52:6  The righteous will see and fear, 
And will laugh at him, saying,
Psa. 52:7        “Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge, 
But trusted in the abundance of his riches 
               And was strong in his evil desire.” 
Psa. 52:8  But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; 
I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. 
Psa. 52:9  I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it, 
And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones. 
  • Now the story returns to David for a time, once again contrasting the increasing rebellion of Saul with the increasing obedience of David

1Sam. 23:1 Then they told David, saying, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are plundering the threshing floors.” 
1Sam. 23:2 So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and deliver Keilah.” 
1Sam. 23:3 But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the ranks of the Philistines?” 
1Sam. 23:4 Then David inquired of the Lord once more. And the Lord answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” 
1Sam. 23:5 So David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines; and he led away their livestock and struck them with a great slaughter. Thus David delivered the inhabitants of Keilah. 
  • We assume David returned from Moab to the large cave of Adullam

    • From there he learns that the Philistines have attacked a Jewish town called Keilah

      • This town is only about 2.5 miles south of David’s cave, so he recognizes an opportunity to help his Jewish brothers

      • The Philistines were raiding the grain storage of the Jews living in the surround area of the Shephelah

      • So David asks the Lord whether he should assist in the defense of the city

    • Notice David starts with an inquiry of the Lord in prayer, asking for direction

      • This is the first of four times David seeks the Lord’s counsel in this matter

      • Interestingly, David’s inquiry of the Lord was by means of the ephod of the high priest who now accompanied him

    • The ephod of the priest contained two special stones called Urim and Thummim, which means lights and perfection or truth

      • These stones could be used to divine the will of God

      • The priest could ask a yes/no question of God and then throw the stones

      • The stones would then reveal the answer in some way

  • Obviously, this was a supernatural provision God made available to Israel so that they might seek His will

    • These stones had been in possession of Saul’s priests, so Saul could have inquired of God at any time

      • But Saul made no effort to know God’s will

      • Because he had no interest in following it 

      • The loss of the priests made little difference to Saul 

      • But the arrival of this priest has now become the means for David to operate with the guidance and direction of God

    • When he asks the Lord whether to proceed into the city, the Lord says go

      • So David tells his men of the plan, but they object to the sense of it

      • They say they fear for their lives enough already, so why take the added risk of going to this battle with the Philistines?

      • At this point, David could have argued the point, but instead he returns to the counsel of the Lord to be sure

      • And once more the Lord confirms His earlier order

    • David’s approach to this situation and to these men is a great example of godly and humble leadership

      • Of course, the first step for every man or woman who leads or ministers to others is to know you are in the will of God yourself

      • And that requires that we ask Him to direct our hearts, which He will do by His Spirit

      • You may be tempted to think those rocks would make that process easier

    • But in reality you have an even greater access to God’s will by His Spirit

      • The Spirit can inform us beyond merely yes and no answers

      • And He speaks to us continually, not merely in special moments when we seek Him

      • The only question is do we listen?

  • So David models the importance of seeking God’s guidance as we lead others, followed next by communicating the orders of the Lord to others

    • We share what God reveals so that His will is manifest to others

      • And more importantly, so that we are on the record with others

      • Accountability to the will of God goes up exponentially when you share with others what the Lord has told you

      • Keep his will a secret, and you are more likely to forget it yourself

    • But then as we share the will of God, we might encounter resistance

      • Perhaps our spouse or parents or friends will question the plan

      • At that point, we may be tempted to argue in God’s favor

      • This response might seem like a demonstration of faith, but it can just as easily be the result of pride

      • Perhaps their counsel is truly God’s will correcting our assumptions or selfish desires?

    • So we need to have the humility to seek the Lord again for confirmation

      • This isn’t an indication that we lack faith

      • It’s simply a reasonable precaution to avoid falling into the pride of mistaking our own voice for God’s

  • Then once we have confirmation, we move out and call upon those who look up to us to follow in support

    • For if we’re sure the Lord has spoken, then we must also have confidence He will bring the rest of the plan together

      • Spiritual leadership is often a matter of persevering in spite of opposition from God’s people, to say nothing of the enemy

      • David’s men need inspiration to overcome their fears and step out in faith

      • And David provided that inspiration without resorting to pride or bravado

      • Humility is an admirable and inspiring quality in any leader

    • Finally, David doesn’t let his men pout in self-pity

      • He tells them it’s time to get busy saving others

      • Nothing inspires us to serve and obey God better than focusing on the needs of others before our own

      • Ironically, when we live a self-centered lifestyle, we are unlikely to obtain the spiritual blessing we seek

      • But when we make serving others the goal, the Lord will take care of those needs

      • As Jesus promised

Matt. 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matt. 6:34  “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
  • Sure enough, as David and his men obey the Lord, the Lord brings a great victory

    • Just four hundred poorly armed men were able to defeat a Philistine army of unknown number

      • They take away the livestock of the army 

      • And they free the city from the attackers

      • So not only has David won a great victory that endears him to the people

      • But in the process the Lord has made a provision for him with the livestock 

      • What a great example of seeking first for the righteousness of God and having all the other needs met in the process

    • Now that David has made a big splash in defending the city, word is going to reach back to Saul who is still search frantically for David

1Sam. 23:6  Now it came about, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand. 
1Sam. 23:7 When it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah, Saul said, “God has delivered him into my hand, for he shut himself in by entering a city with double gates and bars.” 
1Sam. 23:8 So Saul summoned all the people for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men. 
1Sam. 23:9 Now David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him; so he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 
1Sam. 23:10 Then David said, “O Lord God of Israel, Your servant has heard for certain that Saul is seeking to come to Keilah to destroy the city on my account. 
1Sam. 23:11 “Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down just as Your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.” And the Lord said, “He will come down.” 
1Sam. 23:12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will surrender you.” 
1Sam. 23:13 Then David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the pursuit. 
1Sam. 23:14 David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand. 
  • Samuel reminds us that when David went to the battle, the priest Abiathar accompanied him with the ephod

    • This shows us that David intended to continue consulting the Lord throughout his movements

      • And that proves to be a wise move on David’s part

      • Because he will need to consult the Lord again concerning what do to next

    • David has entered this city after the battle and is wondering if this might be a safe haven for him to defend himself against Saul

      • He’s pretty confident that Saul’s army can’t penetrate the elaborate walls of the city

      • But that’s true only if the inhabitants of the city take David’s side in the battle

      • Because David will need their help to defend the city from Saul’s attack

    • Saul also recognizes the opportunity 

      • He realizes this city could be David’s prison

      • And he trusts that if he sieges the city, the inhabitants will give David up rather than rebel against the king

      • So then the question is, who is right in this matter?

      • Will the city defend David or side with Saul?

  • So David seeks clarity with the Lord by means of the ephod again

    • He first asks if Saul will come to attack this city

      • And the Lord responds by means of the ephod that yes, Saul is coming to attack

      • This is probably what David assumed would happen

    • So then David asks the more important question

      • What will happen in the attack?

      • Will the people betray David or protect him?

      • And the Lord tells David that if he stays, the people will betray him to Saul

    • In other words, the Lord is telling David he must flee to save himself

      • This city is not to become a refuge for David

      • It was God’s will that David remain on the run from Saul

      • So David leaves the city

  • This is an important footnote on our earlier analysis of David’s godly leadership

    • It would be natural to assume too much about this victory

      • That since God sent David up against this city and delivered a great victory that therefore the Lord was also prepared to defend David against Saul

      • David could have made that assumption without even seeking the Lord’s counsel

      • After all, why would the Lord have produced such a great victory only to let Saul destroy David in the end?

    • But that’s exactly what would have happened had David made that assumption

      • Which illustrates that we can’t ever assume we have the full picture of God’s will

      • We must continually return to know our next step in His plan

      • Just because He delivers us under one set of circumstances doesn’t mean He intended to grant us victory in everything we face

      • Sometimes, the defeats we encounter in life are the result of walking away from God’s counsel rather than God turning His back on us

    • The Lord is certainly prepared to defend and protect David, but only according to His plan

      • Therefore, David models for us the importance of never getting ahead of the Lord

      • Never presuming too much about the Lord’s willingness to rescue us, whether from life and death or just some temptation into sin 

  • In vs.13-14 Samuel tells us that Saul gave up his pursuit once he learned that David had escaped

    • Further confirmation that as David moved according to the Lord’s will, he would see protection

      • Nevertheless, he was living under harsh and uncomfortable circumstances

      • He was moving around in a harsh wilderness in the hill country

      • Living on the run like this is never easy

      • But at least David’s men had some provision now

    • Remember David’s plight when someone tells you that those who lack comfort or material riches are suffering due to a lack of faith

      • David’s story is proof that such teaching is false

      • David was living in depravation precisely because he was in God’s will

      • This was God’s will for his life, that he would experience this hardship for a time

      • And by this experience, he would grow closer to the Lord