Memo 1052: Entrusted to the Lord
After David narrowly escaped Saul after he rescued the residents of Keilah, he had no time to rest for Saul was soon at it again, bent on wiping out his son-in-law and heir to his throne by God's decree. We read,
After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the Desert of En Gedi.” So Saul took three thousand able young men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats. He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. The men said, “This is the day the Lord spoke of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe (1 Samuel 24:1-4).
These few verses give us some idea of what David was facing so let's look at what we can learn to help us in our own life and leadership journey.
FIVE TO ONE
We learned in 1 Samuel 23 that David had 600 men with him. We learn in 1 Samuel 24 that Saul gathered a fighting force of 3,000 young men who knew how to fight to go looking for David. If you do the simple math, you see that David was outnumbered five to one. That meant there were many men looking for David and, if it came down to a battle, they would have quite a fight on their hands.
It seems that God will always allow it to seem like the forces against you are too great so you learn now to walk according what you see but by what you cannot see:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
How about you? Are you acting based on what you see or on what God promised? David had the promise of God but few men; Saul had a lot of men but no promise. In the long run, the promise won the day because God comes with the promise and we also know what Paul wrote centuries later:
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32-33).
David had the promise but then he started to hear other voices advising him as to how to see its fulfillment, urging him to take matters into his own hands.
THIS IS THE DAY
When Saul went into the cave to rest, he did not know David and his men were also in the cave. it would seem that this was a fortuitous moment when God was delivering Saul into David's hands. David's men reminded him of the promise and urged him to act decisively and kill Saul. David went so far as to deface Saul's robe, a sign of disrespect, but went no further, for he explained to his men, "The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed" (1 Samuel 24:5).
David's values would not allow him to eliminate the man sitting on the throne God promised to him, for he knew he would eventually reap what he sowed. Then when he became king, someone would try to take him out the way he had done to Saul. Therefore, David decided to ignore the advice of those closest to him and to wait on the Lord. When Saul realized what had happened, he seemed to promise he would cease pursuing David, but we know he did not keep his oath. Saul had no values except to maintain power and position at any cost, while David had the power of integrity, and in the long run, that proved to be the deciding factor in his favor.
You don't ever have to seek your promotion. You just have to prepare for its inevitability. What are you doing to get ready, or is your focus how you can help God fulfill His promises to you? Are you cutting corners and dropping hints, or have you entrusted what God has promised to His watchful care? Once again we turn to what Paul wrote: "That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day" (2 Timothy 1:12).
It may seem like God isn't watching or that your day of testing will never end, but it will. Just don't take back what you have entrusted to Him. I can you do that, then one day you will have testimonies like David had of how he was outnumbered and poorly advised, yet God was faithful through it all—as was David. Have a blessed week.