Lately, I have been reading through the story of David from the overlooked shepherd boy to the young warrior king. David handles the process of waiting for the promise very well.
The story begins in 1 Samuel 16 after Saul’s disobedience.
The prophet Samuel anointed David to be King over Israel after Saul instead of Jonathan Saul’s son. It was many years before the promise in 1 Samuel 16 came to pass.
In the wait for the promise David faced many trials, which tested his devotion to God and his belief in the promise God had given. There are a lot of little adventures for David in-between being anointed King and becoming the King. One in particular that has been replaying in my head since I read it is the Story of David son of Jesse and Keilah, a city in Judah (this particular story can be found in 1 Samuel 23). At this point of his story, David has been on the run from King Saul for quite a while. In fact, everyone outside of his small army of men who have helped him have met their death by the hands of King Saul. So, when David and his men reach Keilah, a city under attack by the Philistines, David seeks God about helping Keliah fight the Philistines or staying out of Keliah’s battle with the Philistines.
Let’s pick the story up in 1 Samuel 23:5 - 14:
“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. 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. 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." So Saul summoned all the people for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men. Now David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him; so he said to Abiathar the priest, "Bring the ephod here." 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. 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." 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." 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. 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.” (NASB)
David knew King Saul was pursuing him, yet he stopped to help the city of Keliah out of a jam. He assisted them and then he continued running from his pursuer after consulting God about his safety. What I see in this story of David and the City of Keliah is David was obedient to God. David sought out the Lord’s wisdom and he followed it, even when it did not make sense.
Tell me, what sense does it make to stop running from your enemy to fight a battle that isn’t yours, in a city that is not grateful, for a people who would betray you? Of course he did not know the two latter things before fighting, but one could guess it. In the chapters before this one, you can see how Saul slaughters those who have helped David escape from Saul. Anyways, it makes sense to not help the city. However, it is more important to obey God.
David followed God even when it made no sense. He followed the Lord’s lead. He asked for wisdom and God gave it to him. David put the wisdom to use. David trusted God’s word; he took the Lord’s advice. David believed that God would do what He promised, even though from his shoes it looked like it was a nice dream that would not be a part of reality. In fact, David did what God asked of him, knowing that whatever the outcome God was looking out for him.
David was devoted to God while he waited on the promise.
From this story of David, I see that the love he had for God caused him to believe even when it did not make sense. Probably due to the fact that he knew the One who promised is faithful and His Word does not return to him void. I am learning to trust God in that manner; to have faith in the on who promised, rather than go entirely by what I can logically determine from observation.
I am changing my perspective, trusting that God sees more than I see in every situation I find myself in. And I hope you'll do the same.