"Snippets" from David

When People You Help Turn Against You

During a stressful time in David’s life as he sought to survive King Saul’s pressure, God instructed him to go to a city, Keilah in Judah, and deliver the people from the Philistines. The citizens of that city were in a dire situation. The Philistines attacked them during the time of their harvest. They faced future starvation as well as the military threat.

When David told his men that they would to attack the Philistines, the men responded, “Are you crazy? We feel insecure here in Judah trying to defend ourselves against King Saul’s plots. Is it your plan to increase our stress by attacking the Philistines also?”

David inquired of God a second time to see if they should deliver the citizens of Keilah from the Philistine threats and assault. God, again, said, “Yes!” David and his men, went to Keilah. There he and his men achieved an overwhelming victory over the Philistines. The result: (1) the lives of many Israelites were spared. (2) Keilah’s future starvation was not an issue.

Keilah’s people so appreciated David’s deliverance that David and his men made Keilah their temporary residence. When King Saul heard David was staying in Keilah, the king gathered an army to assault Keilah and capture David. Since King Saul recently had destroyed Nob by killing the priests there, Keilah’s citizens were again in serious danger. The question was not “if” King Saul would come, but “when” King Saul would come.

David asked God, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” (1 Samuel 23:12) God answered, “Yes.” David and his men quickly left Keilah to spare the citizens and the city.

Our response may be, “Is that not just like David, in that period of his life, to think of others rather than himself?” That obviously is what David did.

May I point your attention in another direction? Can you imagine how it must have affected David to hear God say, “Yes, they will surrender you to King Saul.” Such would have meant certain death for David and his men. The people of Keilah knew that. Yet, it would mean their survival. So they would trade David’s life to preserve their own.

Just because you do what God wishes you to do, does not mean you will avoid stressful, dangerous situations. Two things are called to your attention. (1) You can do what is right for the right reason and still find yourself in an extremely awkward situation. (2) Those who benefit the most from your efforts can become dangerous to you.

God’s people do not do good because people appreciate their efforts. People of God do good so they can partake of the character of their spiritual Father.

15 March, 2007
David Chadwell

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