Wednesday, November 18, 2020

2020.11.18 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Samuel 23:14–28

Read 1 Samuel 23:14–28

Questions from the Scripture text: Where did David stay and remain (1 Samuel 23:14)? What happened every day? Why wasn’t he successful? What could David see while this was happening (1 Samuel 23:15)? Who was able to find David (1 Samuel 23:16)? What did he do? How? What did he tell David not to do (1 Samuel 23:17)? Why not? Who else knew that David would be king above Jonathan? What did the two of them cut (make, 1 Samuel 23:18)? Who went where? Who came to whom where in 1 Samuel 23:19? What did they report? What did they tell Saul to do (1 Samuel 23:20)? What did they say they would do? What kind of language does Saul use in his response (1 Samuel 23:21)? What does he ask them to do (1 Samuel 23:22-23)? What boast does he make at the end of 1 Samuel 23:23? Where did they go, but where had David gone (1 Samuel 23:24)? How did he know to go there (1 Samuel 23:25)? How was Saul closing in (1 Samuel 23:26)? What stopped him (1 Samuel 23:27-28)? What did they call the rock where this happened? 

Sinners are so good at deceiving themselves. 1 Samuel 23:21, right at the heart of this passage is astonishing: Saul, pronouncing blessing in the name of Yahweh, and talking about compassion. And then he follows that up with talking about how crafty David is. How dreadful to be so blinded by devotion to oneself! But the only antidote to it is for us to be so devoted to God that we are suspicious even of ourselves.

But thinking ourselves righteous and others wicked, when we’re really just serving our own interests, isn’t the only kind of self-deception.

Sometimes, we get hung up on our circumstances more than trusting in God’s Word or in His favor toward us in Christ. In events where we are tempted to feel like everything is against Jacob, the Holy Spirit repeatedly reminds us that God is with him.

“God did not deliver [David] into [Saul’s] hand” (1 Samuel 23:14). Foolish Ziphites, who think in 1 Samuel 23:20 to overcome the living God in this!

“[Jonathan] strengthened [David’s] hand in God” (1 Samuel 23:16). What a strengthening thing it was that Saul’s own son bound himself to David by covenant! But Jonathan knew that there was something that would be even more strengthening to David: the remembrance and reality of the goodness and mercy of God to him!

Finally, as the noose tightens around David at the end of 1 Samuel 23:26, the messenger conveniently arrives. Some days or weeks before, wheels of Philistine invasion were set into motion so that just as Saul approached the rock behind which David hid, he would have to give up chasing God’s servant to go chase God’s enemies. From then on, that rock would be called “the Rock of Escape.”

So, let us always remember that God is for us, and the hearts of Philistine kings are in His hands like water to direct wherever He wills. And, let us serve Him with all our hearts, that we might be protected from the self-righteousness that can so easily mask envy and spite.

Over whose enmity are you tempted to obsess? In what situation do you need reminded that God is for you? 

Suggested songs: ARP46 “God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength” or TPH256 “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”

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