David turned back and scanned the horizon past Keilah when he crested the hill south of town. No dust clouds meant no troupes coming near any time soon. Saul must still be assembling his raiding party. He’ll be here. There’s no doubt. God’s warning was too clear to think otherwise.
David’s men had fanned out in several directions per his request. They were to meet back at the last camp by sundown.
His mind was busy with ideas of where he could take so many people and still remain safe from the king. He knew of several options from his time scouting Judah for forage for the flocks of sheep in his youth.
His thoughts led him to the tabernacle of the LORD. Mobility was wise. If they stayed in one place a battle would ensue for sure. The forest would be a difficult place to move a troupe through, but not a loose band of people.
As David finished his last bite of breakfast one day a skirmish caught his attention. A group of men approached. A familiar voice grabbed his focus. Could it be?
The group broke up when they were in front of him. The man in the midst of them had his hands held high to show he was unarmed.
David’s smile hurt from being so wide. He ran to Jonathon and wrapped his arms around him.
David stepped back and looked into Jonathon’s eyes. “It’s so good to see you again. How did you get here?”
Jonathon placed a hand on David’s shoulder. “Nothing can keep me away from the LORD’s anointed. You know that. I snuck out while everyone was asleep. Saul is coming for you still. I can’t talk him out of it.”
David grasped Jonathon’s wrist. “I know. I heard he was coming to Keilah, so we ran. No place is safe. Is it?”
“He called that off as soon as he heard you left there. He’s scared. We all know you’re anointed to be Israel’s next king. He’s paranoid. You’ll be a great king and I will serve under you. I promise you that. Promise me you won’t cut my descendants off.”
“Don’t worry, my brother, your line will continue if I have any say in the matter.”
“Trust in the LORD for your deliverance, David. He’s your only hope.”
David nodded. “I know.”
Jonathon embraced David. “Of course you do. Why would I ever doubt that? As much as I’d love to stay with you I must get back home. Watch your back.”
David wiped tears off his cheeks. “Will I see you again?”
“At your throne, my king, at your throne.”
David watched as Jonathon blended into the trees.
David stopped as he led his people down a dry riverbed in the wilderness of Maon. The faint sound of armor broke through on the breeze.
He pointed to two young men. “Climb up this hill and tell me what you see.”
The two lads helped each other up the steep bank. Soon after they peered over the other side one of them slid back down.
David caught the feet of the boy and guided him to the ground. “Who is over there?”
“King Saul is leading soldiers–a lot of soldiers. We’re trapped here.”
David looked up. “The LORD will provide a way of escape. Just trust.”
They listened to some shouting from the other side of the hill. The other boy slid down the bank.
He stood and faced David. “Someone just reported the Philistines are attacking. King Saul is going to fight them now.”
David nodded. “He sets a table in front of my enemies.”
1 Samuel 23:14-29 is an interesting chapter in David’s life. It’s during his time of running for his life from Saul.
The last half of verse 14 is the key passage here, “Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand.”
The next thing we know Jonathon pays David a visit while he’s on the run.
The first question that popped into my mind when I read that is: “How did Jonathon get to David when Saul couldn’t?”
You have to look at the back side of the coin of verse 14 for that answer. God did allow Jonathon to get to David.
Yeah, it’s the old God’s sovereignty issue again. God knew David would be encouraged by a visit from his dear friend so he was allowed in while Saul wasn’t allowed to end David’s life.
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The same holds true for your life, too. God is in control of what happens to you.
But–you’re thinking–why do so many bad things happen, then?”
Don’t believe David’s life was all cheery during this time. He had the responsibility of 600 men. Several of them had their family with them. Saul wouldn’t stop at just killing David if he had his way.
Read Psalm 63 to see the living conditions they endured. “A dry and thirsty land where there is no water” doesn’t sound like they had it made in the shade to me.
Even though you’re a child of God your life won’t be all good things. Bad things do happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. The rain falls on the just and the unjust.
The real question you must deal with is not what is happening to you, but how are you dealing with it?
All things are working together to make you more like Jesus. His life wasn’t all rosy, either. Remember?
The man of sorrows, acquainted with grief had his enemies, too.
David recognized Saul as being anointed by God, too. It wasn’t his place to end Saul’s reign so he could begin his.
Just as David trusted God to bring about His plan we must trust God for His timing in our lives, too.
If your circumstances look bleak trust God’s sovereign plan.
He’s up to something good. You’ll be stronger for the kingdom to come.
Just look up.
I’ll see you later. Wade