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In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Helped by God (1 Samuel 23:14-28)

The experiences of believers can vary very quickly and we see examples of such in what happened to David after he left Keilah. He realised that in Saul he had a permanent enemy who would continue to try and destroy him. Yet since he was a believer he would anticipate help from God. How did God do so?

First, God arranged for David’s friend Jonathan to come and see him. The author informs us that Jonathan strengthened David’s hand in God. How did Jonathan do this? He reminded David of God’s promises to him about being king and he informed David that when that time came he would serve David loyally. Those statements indicate Jonathan’s faith because circumstances at the time pointed to a different outcome. There is a lesson here about how we can strengthen one another – speak about God’s purposes and promises and indicate that we will serve one another.

Second, God delivered him from false refuges. David had gone to live among the Ziphites. Yet they were not on David’s side and informed Saul that they would help him capture David. The fact that they did not capture David indicates that they themselves were not very strong, so they would not have been much of a refuge in any case for David. David was not aware of their treachery initially and may have assumed that he was safe. But God was looking after David, and let him know that he was not safe there. We are not told how God did this (perhaps through using the ephod that Abiather the priest had). We too can find ourselves in places that we think are refuges, but which are not. God can warn us through his Word or through one of his people about such false refuges, and we should thank him for doing so.

Third, God worked in providence to remove the threat of Saul from David by allowing the Philistines to invade elsewhere in the land. This invasion caused Saul to cease searching for David and go and deal with the Philistines. Yet it is noticeable that God did not arrange for this deliverance until Saul and his men had come very close to where David and his men were, on the same mountain. Sometimes God delays the time of deliverance until almost the last minute. We may wonder why he does this, yet the providential deliverance for David was effective whenever it happened. And it is often the same for us.

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