Memo 1050: God Was With Him

Last week, we saw how David managed to escape from the king of Achish through his madness act. Then he took refuge in a cave while he figured out his next move:

David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him. From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, “Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you until I learn what God will do for me?” So he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David was in the stronghold. But the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth (1 Samuel 22:1-5).

In this week's study, let's examine how God began to establish David's kingdom through this post titled "God Was With Him."

THUS SAITH THE LORD

In this passage, we see the only mention of David's family after Samuel's declaration that David was the next king. Perhaps they were in danger from Saul as well, so they joined him on the run. David then placed his parents in the care of the king of Moab while others heard about David's plight and joined him for a life in exile. What kind of men joined David at first? We are told men "who were in distress or in debt or discontented." That must have been a motley crew, not exactly prime candidates upon which to build a thriving nation.

Then the word of the Lord came to David through the prophet, telling him not to stay in the stronghold but to depart for Judah. This message tells us the Lord was mindful of David's situation, but had no intention of changing the circumstances in which he found himself. That means God had a hand in David's predicament. either permitting it or actually motivating Saul to act as he was.

The lesson is simple: God uses your tough times to prepare you for good times. As I stated in previous weeks, David learned a lot about leadership from Saul: He learned how not to lead. Yet he was also learning much from God's hand, and was a precursor of the truth Paul proclaimed in Acts 14:22: “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God." Paul did not say we may, he said we would go through many hardships. God will not deliver you from hard times; however, He will be with you in them.

MORE OF THE SAME

How intense can it get when you are serving the Lord and He is preparing you for your destiny? We find out later in 1 Samuel 22:

But one son of Ahimelek son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled to join David. He told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. Then David said to Abiathar, “That day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your whole family. Stay with me; don’t be afraid. The man who wants to kill you is trying to kill me too. You will be safe with me" (1 Samuel 22:20-23).

Saul killed the priests because they had helped David and the one who escaped had to take refuge with David to join the others. Yet notice what David told him: "You will be safe with me." That's quite a faith confession for a man who was a fugitive, being hunted by his people's army.

Are you going through tough times? Do you see them as a statement that you have done something wrong or a confirmation that you are on the right path? And are things unfolding in a manner that isn't providing you much relief? If any of that is true, or if things are worse than I can possibly describe, then take consolation from David's story. God was with him, but only to the extent that He told David what to do and where to go. In the meantime, Saul was free to roam about the countryside with seeming immunity from consequences of his evil deeds. Remember that many tribulations are your lot, not because God is displeased, but because He has a plan to develop you for His purpose and He always knows what He's doing. Have a blessed week.