Tuesday, November 09, 2004

David on the Run

(1 Samuel 20-23)

With the little ditty the ladies sing: "Saul has slain his thousands but David his ten thousands," a jealousy seed takes root in Saul’s heart. As his obsession to rid the land of David grows, more and more people feel its ramifications: Jonathan, the priests of Nob, and all their families, (indeed the entire town of Nob is destroyed including women, children, animals), David’s family who must now live in exile. And of course, David - who’s driven from the palace, to sneak around in caves, fields and forests.

Keeping in mind David is one of God’s favorite, it’s almost comforting that God doesn’t do any more for him than He does for us in tight and threatening situations. When David inquired of God whether to stay in the town of Keilah or if Saul would come to find him there, God answered, yes, Saul would come. When David inquired whether the townsfolk would give him over to Saul, God replied, yes, they would. Now, since God knew all that, why couldn’t or didn’t He simply intervene - prevent Saul from coming or change the peoples’ minds. There’s no answer, except, God doesn’t often do that, for reasons known only to Him.

What these things teach me:

1. The "little" sins I allow in my life (think of the smallest thing, say the right to be irritable or grouchy perhaps) can grow to have huge results. "Who despises the day of small things?" (Zechariah 4:10) can refer not only to the beginnings of great projects, but to beginnings of great destructions.

2. If God let even His favorite, David, go through such a tough time - why not me? If only I’d handle it as well as he does - without whining and ever on the lookout for how to help others (ch. 23) even during times of stress.

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