Read 1 Samuel 22
Saul orders the inexcusable act of murdering all the priests and their families at Nob. A warning to all who allow pride and self-will to get out of control. David's escape; protection of the Lord for David, who trusts God (I Sam. 23:2,4,10-12). David protects the Israelites in Keilah; David will not kill Saul since he is the anointed king.
Saul was deceived when he said of David, God hath delivered him into mine hand (I Sam. 23:7). His comment exposes how easily we can be deceived by providential events when we are not in subjection to God and His Word. Such misinterpretations arise not merely from ignorance but from the god of this world (who) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not (II Cor. 4:4). The Egyptian army was deceived in a similar way at the Red Sea when they said of Israel: They are entangled in the land (Ex. 14:3).
It reminds me of a poem written by author John Newton: I asked the Lord that I might grow In faith, and love, and every grace; Might more of His salvation know, And seek, more earnestly, His face. 'Twas He who taught me thus to pray, And He, I know, has answered prayer! But it has been in such a way, As almost drove me to despair. I hoped that in some favored hour, At once He'd answer my request; And by His love's constraining pow'r, Subdue my soul, and give me rest. Instead of this, He made me feel The hidden evils of my heart; Let all the angry pow'rs of hell Assault my soul in every part. Yea more, by His own hand He seemed Intent to aggravate my woe; Crossed all the fair designs I schemed, Blasted my hopes, and laid me low. "Lord, why is this?" I trembling cried, "Wilt Thou pursue Thy worm to death? " " 'Tis in this way, the Lord replied, "I answer prayer for grace and faith. These inward trials I employ, From self, and sin, to set thee free; Blast all thy schemes of earthly joy, That thou may'st find thine all in Me.”
At times, we may think that God does not care; but, our all-wise Heavenly Father often allows us to experience deep distress in order to develop in us a greater faith in Him.
Regardless of circumstances, like David, set your confidence in the unchanging, eternal, Word of God. Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the Name of the Lord (Is. 50:10).
Thought for Today:
The Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them (Ps. 34:7).
By David's refusal to take the kingdom by force or before the appointed time set by God (I Sam. 24:10-13). Christ refused to become King of Israel. When Jesus . . . perceived (knew) that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a King, He departed (John 6:15).
22:4 hold stronghold, safe place; 22:17 footmen guards; 22:18 fell upon attacked and murdered; 22:22 I have occasioned I am to blame for; 23:9 practised mischief planned harm; 23:16 strengthened his hand encouraged his faith; 23:22 where his haunt is where he is hiding; subtilly graftily; 23:26 compassed were encircling; 24:3 sheepcotes where sheep were kept; to cover his feet to take a nap; 24:4 privily unobserved, secretly; 24:7 stayed persuaded, restrained; 24:11 skirt corner.
Pray for Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Official: Sen. Ron Johnson (WI) and Rep. David Wu (OR) • Country: Burundi (6 million) in east-central Africa • Major languages: Kirundi and French • Losing religious freedom • 51% Roman Catholic; 12% animist; 11% Protestant; 1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for more faithful Christian workers (I Thess. 1:2-3).
Optional Reading: Acts 9
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:9