Archive for February 28th, 2008

David Takes the High Road

A lot has happened in David’s life in the last 6 chapters.

  • After heroically slaying Goliath and
  • the ensuing fame that came with it,
  • David became the son-in-law of the king as well as
  • best buds with the Crown Prince.
  • He valiantly confronted the many dangers from the Philistines,
  • survived several attempts on his life by that psychotic king Saul,
  • bid farewell to his kindred spirit and confidant Jonathan, and
  • then exchanged everyday life for the life of a fugitive,
  • and that for an unknown period of time.
  • Compound this with David’s brief but intense period of backsliding,
  • and his return to the Lord.

How he must have been longing for those days of shepherding!

1 Samuel 22 opens up in that cave named Refuge (Adullam).

O Lord, be my cave of Adullam in times of confusion and uncertainty!

The original motley crew! Rebels looking for a leader to guide them into an overthrow of that fraud of a king.

They may have come looking for David, who was unjustly persecuted, to utilize them to revenge himself upon Saul, but David choose to take the more difficult, yet more honorable road. There was not to be a coup d’état.

  • Men in distress…their lives could scarcely bear the weight of life, nigh onto snapping.
  • Men in debt…men who had not had much success in past, and those failures hampered their future, burdened by debt.
  • Men discontented…or bitter of soul. Dissatisfied with life, and with Saul being their king.

“These are the kind of men who came to David: distressed, bankrupt, dissatisfied. These are the kind of people who come to Christ, and they are the only people who come to Him, for they have recognized their distress, their debt, and bankruptcy, and are conscious that they are utterly discontented. The sheer pressures of these frustrations drives them to the refuge of the blood of Christ that was shed for them.” –Alan Redpath

I wonder if, after having come to David, if they remained men described in terms of 3D’s.

Though David may not have hand-picked these men, I’m sure he was thankful that when he was down and discouraged that God brought people around him to strengthen him.

Lord, You know I could be described in 3D as well. I pray You will transform my life, like David did with his men. To be changed from malcontents to mighty men of valor!

Remember in 1 Samuel 16 when Samuel come to offer sacrifices with Jesse and his family? And David was not even invited to the special visit by the prophet? Or how about the jealous snobbish way his brothers unjustly accused him in 1 Samuel 17?

Well, they seem to have finally gotten on board, his brothers even taking refuge with him in Adullam. And as David prepares for many unknown battles in the future, he first wants to take care of his parents. So he took his parents to Moab where his great-grandmother was from (Ruth 4:13-22).

What wonderful love. The he cares for his parents when he had plenty of problems of his own. I sometimes think that when I am going through trials, I have a license to be unloving and selfish. But David cared about others instead of becoming self-focused in times of trial.

Lord, let me love like David loved. Let me love like Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians 13.

Later in the chapter, Gad visits with David who is holed up in a “stronghold” (perhaps Masada?!). He counsels David to leave his fortress and return to the Judean region where Saul kept his throne.

I’m sure David was hoping Gad was only tricking him and shout “NOT” at the end of all his advice…but David had to learn to trust God in the midst of danger, not merely wait out the years until Saul passed away. “Go to Judah!” I’m sure no one thought it sounded right!

Oh dear Shepherd, where You lead I want to follow. Just make it so clear where it is I am to go. And if it be through the valley of the shadow of death…so long as Thou art with me…I will go to Jerusalem where a raging lunatic seeks my life.

Just one note here on Saul’s manipulative tactics (which are many).
Look at how Saul refers to David as “the son of Jesse” when talking about him to his servants. He didn’t say, “The Man Who Killed Goliath,” or “The Man Who Killed 200 Philistines,” or “The Man Anointed by God.” Akin to name-calling!

Living Word, You have taught that the tongue has the power of death and the power of life…help me spread vitality!

And as Saul’s reckless paranoia continues, he even manages to think himself as a victim. Though he is the one tossing spears around looking for heads to kabob. How often I have tried to hide behind the victim-facade!

Author of Truth, grant me, I pray, heaven’s perspective. Keep me in touch with Your reality and not my fears or my false peace. Let me walk in Your ways.