David had now become a leader of a distressed group of people, they went about hiding from Saul. The priest Ahimelech's son Abiathar had also joined him, because Saul had killed his entire village.While all this was happening, "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." (1 Samuel 23:1) .The people whit David were afraid and said to David "Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!"(1 Samuel 23:3) . However David enquired of the Lord and answered this call, he took those men with him (about 400) and attacked the Philistines and the Bible says "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."(1 Samuel 23:5). Saul on the other hand was still pursuing David and found out that David was in Keilah. The sad part of this is that, the people whom he saved, were about to give him over to Saul. "9 When David learned that Saul was plotting against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, "Bring the ephod." 10 David said, "O 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? O 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." (1 Samuel 23:9-12) So David had to escape from Keilah and went to the desert of Horesh.There Jonathan came and strengthened him in the Lord.(1 Samuel 23:16)
Lessons I learnt
- Not everyone will return our favor - David helped the people in Keilah from the Philistines, yet when the time came for them to return the favor, they did not, they would hand over David to Saul so Saul would kill him. That did not stop David, he went on, he did not grudge, did not fret.Well if I would have been there, I would surely have not helped and given the people a piece of my mind before I left, but in this experience from David's life I see the verse from Romans 12:21 (Whole Chapter) "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" shining through.
- Whose report will you believe?- David had lots of people around him, who would give him suggestions and thoughts at every task he undertook, but then its so wonderful to see that David always derived his strength and guidance from the Lord. When Saul told David that he could not fight Goliath, David referred to how God had helped him in the past. Now when his followers told him , they were afraid already and to go and fight the Philistines would be a bad idea, David did not listen to them, he quickly asked of the Lord as to what he should do and went as per God's directions.So should we, when others say we're a loser, we should ask our Lord and remember who we are in our Lord Jesus, more than conquerors.
- Priest to God-I noticed one thing here, David asked Abiathar for the ephod, the priests wear, before he enquired of the Lord. David was taking the stand of a priest when he asked of the Lord for direction. It reminds me of who we are in Jesus Christ."1 Peter 2:9 (Whole Chapter) But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. " Then what stops us from enquiring of our Living Lord, regarding our lives? How else can we shine out for Jesus, if we don't know what God would have us do?
- Fellow Believers-Not everyone can encourage you in the strength of the Lord. For David it was Jonathan. Jonathan was practically living out the covenant he made with David, he was helping him escape his father, now we see him go right where David is just to encourage him. I praise God for wonderful friends like Jonathan, who go out of the way to help and strengthen their friends in distress, in need. Blessed are those who have wonderful friends like Jonathan who think of the others more than themselves. Jonathan did not have a friend for himself, but he was so connected to David that he would do anything for him. You could be someone's Jonathan you know or Can we be a kind of Jonathan for those who need encouragement?
Conclusion: In all this, I find that David remained faithful to his Living God. He did as per what God would have him do. I sometimes wonder, what would have happened to the world if all the christians, would just listen to God and take directions from Him for their life. We could have impacted so many lives, couldn't we.