July 27, 2011 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Christine Chang, Gracepoint Davis

1 Samuel 21:1-9

“In this first story of David as fugitive, we see two elements emerge that are characteristic of this entire section on David’s adventures as a fugitive from Saul.  First, David becomes much more proactive than he has appeared in chaps. 18-20. He is not content to react to the actions of others, but he asserts himself, often in unconventional ways.  Second, Ahimelech is the first of what will be a growing list of those who recognize David as future king. This recognition is not always explicit, but David’s influence is seen as broadening and his support growing.”[1]

Think about how David’s life has been after he was anointed by Samuel (1 Samuel 16).  What expectations might David have had upon being anointed by Samuel, which subsequent events would have disappointed?

After having been appointed by Samuel, David must have thought that his life would become a lot easier. He was anointed king. It would be very different than being a shepherd of sheep, but he would be a shepherd of people for God. He might have thought about all the benefits of being king and that he would not have to fear because God would be with him. But the reality was quite the opposite. David probably didn’t expect that Saul would be so envious of him and hate him in that way. Instead of living a life where he was secure and settled, David started to live in fear and tried to evade Saul’s attempts on his life. It was a time that David had to trust in God and God used people in his life like Jonathan and Samuel to encouraged him. His life didn’t turn out the way he expected, but David got to experience God being his good Shepherd.

Reflect on the things that David has to do during this time when he’s on the run.  How is God shaping David during this time as Israel’s future king?  What perspective does this give me regarding times of personal difficulty and uncertainty?

During this time as David is on the run, he has to be proactive and provide for himself. He goes to Ahimelech and paints a story so that he could acquire food and a weapon. He uses the leverage of his position to gain what he needs to survive and protect himself. Instead of hiding in fear and waiting for Saul to change his mind or hiding to so that he could stay alive, David takes action and does something about his situation. He even goes to the king of Gath, and acts like a madman in the later verses. God uses this time while David is on the run to shape him to become a person of courage and not of fear. Saul lived in fear of losing his position and turned God’s blessing of being king to an idol in his life. And on the other hand, even though David was fearful, he again and again turned to God and the people God placed in his life to show him that he need not be overwhelmed by fear. Ultimately God was with him and he could face times of uncertainty and danger knowing that God was with him throughout. This picture of God being with David is a huge source of encouragement for me to trust God with my anxieties as I face times of uncertainty regarding job prospects and overall the responsibility of becoming a parent. There are so many ways I could respond to my fears. I could shrink back and be paralyzed with fear, and respond by hiding my feelings and hoping that they go away or the situation will get better. I could ignore my fears and pretend they are not there and just keep letting them grow and grow or I could be like David and be proactive. Instead of allowing my fears of the future and anxieties overwhelm me, I can trust in God and face my fears head on and believe that I don’t have to go through it alone. God’s placed so many people in this church to help me through times of difficulty either through prayer and pointing me back to the truth of God’s promises. Also just having someone just point me back to the reality of how the situation is helps me to recognize that these fears don’t have to be so daunting, in fact, together with so many people God has placed in my life, I can have that kind of courage like David to step forward and be proactive, not letting fears or anxieties take over.

While the situation may appear bleak, in what ways did God provide for David?  How have I experienced God’s timely provisions in the midst of difficulties?

Even though the situation appears bleak for David, God helps to alleviate his fears by providing people and situations to encourage him. In the passage we see how God provides Ahimelech to give food to David and to give the very weapon of Goliath, the one, which he defeated with God’s help. To receive Goliath’s sword must have been very encouraging for David as it probably reminded him of how God delivered his enemy into his hand. Though this enemy seemed so daunting and impossible to beat, God gave David the wisdom, strength and courage to death Goliath. And so in the same way as David is fleeing for his life, God reminded David that He is still with him and will give him the strength to defeat his enemy. God also meets David’s physical needs via the consecrated bread. Even in David’s physical weakness God gives him strength. As I look back to my life, God has provided for me in many times when situations seemed bleak or overwhelming. When my dad was dying of Parkinson’s and then diagnosed with esophageal cancer, the situation seemed very dark and at times very hopeless. But through this time, God comforted my family through his Word and promises of Heaven. God indeed is my Good Shepherd. So many brothers and sisters came to my home and kept me company, prayed with my father, and even sang hymns with my dad. I saw my dad change from someone full of fear of death, to someone at peace with His Heavenly Father. It was amazing that even during this kind of pain, God could work through it for His glory and eventually causing my family members like my grandmas to turn to Him. This is one small splice of how God’s provision is so timely and as I enter the next phase of my life, I trust that God will be with me through it all. It gives me a new perspective towards these “bleak” times in my life, to see that it’s an opportunity for me to turn to God and find strength.

 


[1] Thomas B. Dozeman, The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. II, (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press,1998), 1139.

 

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