October 13, 2017
I Samuel 27:1, 2
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
David – “…a man after My own heart…” God said in Acts 13:22, “…dwelt in the country of the Philistines…one full year and four months.” (I Samuel 27:7). We saw in the last blog that the Philistines were inveterate enemies of Israel and Israel’s God! How did David, the great and future king of the Jews end up Dwelling In The Devil’s Dominion? We start again with our featured Scripture, I Samuel 27:1 and 2:
And David said in his heart, “Now I shall perish someday by the hand
of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily es-
cape to the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek
me anymore in any part of Israel. So I shall escape out of his hand.”
Then David arose and went over with the six hundred men who were
with him to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath.
By the time this incident happens, David had been on the run from King Saul (the first king of Israel) for about four years! That’s a long time to have your life hang in the balance because of being hunted by a crazy man with a lot of resources at his disposal! Yes, with God’s help, David had escaped the king several time before:
• I Samuel 18:10, 11; 19:10 – He dodged Saul’s spear at least twice!
• I Samuel 19:11-17 – With the help of his wife, Michal, David escaped Saul’s men sent to bring him to the king – even with orders to carry David to the palace on his sickbed if necesssary!
• I Samuel 19:18-24 – By the LORD’s power, Saul’s soldiers – and even Saul himself – were overcome by the Spirit when on route to capture David in Samuel’s hometown!
• I Samuel 23:6-13 – By God’s leading through the priestly ephod (Urim and Thummim – see Leviticus 8:8; Numbers 27:21), David escaped Saul’s hand in Keilah (a town 15 miles southwest of Jerusalem).
• I Samuel 23:25-28 – With Saul and his army closing in on David and his troops (in the Wilderness of Maon – verse 25), God allowed the Philistines to invade Israel, and Saul had to go and repel them!
• I Samuel 24:2-22 – “…on the Rocks of the Wild Goats…” (verse 2), Saul stopped chasing David for awhile after he spared the king’s life!
• I Samuel 26:1-25 – At “…the hill of Hachilah…” (verse 1), David again spared Saul’s life – and the king stopped chasing him!
You would think that in light of all this, David would be trusting God to continue to deliver him safe and sound! After all, Samuel anointed him to be the next king of Israel! (See I Samuel 16:1, 12, 13). And it was confirmed by Jonathan, Saul’s own son (see I Samuel 23:17), and even later by Saul himself! (See I Samuel 24:20).
But, after being hounded by King Saul for four years and having your life in danger all that time, perhaps we can forgive David for letting his faith slip! In I Corinthians 10:11, Paul tells us concerning all the incidents and examples in the Old Testament: “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.” So what are the warnings we can receive from David’s slip of faith where he ends up Dwelling In The Devil’s Dominion? A few things…
• When the pressures of life crowd in upon us, let us be warned that our faith in God and His care, provision, and deliverance can be shaken enough that we just might make some stupid and faithless decisions! As Paul wrote in I Corinthians 10:12 (the next verse from the one above!): “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”
• Under pressure – and David was under a lot of extended pressure – David began thinking of ways he could get out from the situation of Saul’s pursuit and persecution! I Samuel 27:1:
And David said in his heart, “Now I shall perish someday by the hand of
Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape to
the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me to seek me anymore
in any part of Israel. So shall I escape out of his hand.”
✡ By this time, it seems David was in deep depression! Depression (and I have experienced deep clinical depression in the past) can greatly exacerbate the perception of an already troubling situation!
✡ Even in the best of circumstance, we may think our own ideas are brilliant! But Depression tends to isolate, and cuts one off from interaction with others! Consider:
▸ David said in his heart…. It says in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? ” Because of a sinful nature permeating our being, do not rely on the thinking of your own heart (mind)! We need the input of others – other godly people – to keep us straight!
▸ David said in his heart…. We are not at the wisest by ourselves! It is written in Proverbs 12:15, “…he who heeds counsel is wise.” And in Proverbs 19:20 we are told, “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days.”
• Our faith needs to be strong to face life’s trials, troubles, and temptations!
✞ And our faith is made strong by feeding regularly and abundantly on God’s Word! (See Romans 10:17; Colossians 3:16).
✞ The time to strengthen our faith is now – not when the trials, troubles, and temptations are already upon us!
• Such trials, troubles, and temptations are bound to come according to what Jesus said in Luke 17:1 (God’s Word to the Nations): “Situations that cause people to lose their faith are certain to arise.” So expect the challenges of life to appear – and be prepared!
More on Dwelling In The Devil’s Dominion on Monday.