The Crucible // Part 5
Bible Text: 1 Samuel 23:1-13 (NKJV) | Speaker: Parkey Cobern | Series: The Crucible | Tonight, we continue in our study of how God fashions a man/woman of God. At the end of the night, we’ll review what we have learned so far. We have been using David as our primary example of how God creates a man/woman after His own heart. Let’s continue. King Saul, seeing David as a threat to his throne is seeking to kill David causing David to flee for his life. First, David stops at the priestly city of Nob for provisions. From there, he flees to Philistine territory for sanctuary. The Philistines inform their king that David “king of the land” has arrived. David escapes by feigning insanity in front of the king.
From there, David goes to Adullum just east of Philistine territory. David’s family, probably unsafe in Israel meet him there. The Bible goes on to say:
And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him. /// 1 Samuel 22:2
David has gone from “darling” to “deviant” overnight. The prophet Gad tells David to go over to Judah, so he and the people with him go. Saul’s paranoia continues to grow. He kills the entire priestly town of Nob including 85 priests! David tells Abiathar, a priest who escaped the slaughter:
I have caused the death of all the persons of your father’s house. Stay with me; do not fear. For he who seeks my life seeks your life, but with me you shall be safe. /// 1 Samuel 22:22-23
1Then they told David, saying, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and they are robbing the threshing floors.” 2 Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines, and save Keilah.” 3 But David’s men said to him, “Look, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” 4 Then David inquired of the Lord once again.
And the Lord answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah. For I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.” 5 And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, struck them with a mighty blow, and took away their livestock. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah. 6 Now it happened, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, that he went down with an ephod in his hand. 7 And Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah. So Saul said, “God has delivered him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars.” 8 Then Saul called all the people together for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.
9 When David knew that Saul plotted evil against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10 Then David said, “O Lord God of Israel, Your servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake. 11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as Your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.” And the Lord said, “He will come down.” 12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will deliver you.”
13 So David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah and went wherever they could go. Then it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah; so he halted the expedition. /// 1 Samuel 23:1-13 (NKJV)
You may remember last Wednesday that we spoke of David being anointed as a deliverer. He spent much of his life delivering Israel, individuals, and even sheep from the clutches of destruction. It was part of his calling from God. Tonight, we look at this remarkable truth – one that every man/woman after God’s heart learns:
When David worked for Saul, his job was to led a group of soldiers and fight the battles of the Lord. In Keilah, David hears that the enemy has come out to attack and loot the threshing floors. David does a remarkable thing: he doesn’t justify “no response” on his part as a consequence of Saul’s unfaithfulness or as Saul’s “problem”. Wanting to be faithful to his calling and delegated position, David seeks to deliver Keilah! How unusual is that? The discontents with him say, “This is not our problem”. David says, “I have a calling and a position. I must be faithful to it because it came from God and not from man.”
Will you justify your lack of caring, your judgment, your inaction, your bitterness, your selfishness in a position like this one? Or, will you be faithful to fulfill your calling even when others have been unfaithful to theirs? Look at what God’s will was in the situation:
Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” /// 1 Samuel 23:2
Most would not do this out of self-preservation – judgment – you name it. David knew that his giftings and callings were given him by God and that he was accountable to God for using them at His direction.
For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. /// Romans 8:29
One last point: after delivering Keilah, David asked God if Saul would come to attack him. God said he would.
Then David asked said, “Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will deliver you.” /// 1 Samuel 23:12
How ungrateful and treacherous! After David came to fight for them, they would then turn their back upon him and deliver him for death! What does this remind you of? Jesus, son of David would come to deliver humanity, yet they would turn their back upon him and deliver Him up to be killed!
God is using the crucible of life to turn our selfish hearts into a heart like His. We see that heart in David. What will we see in you? What we’ve learned so far:
A man/woman of God is created through knowing:
God is in control of the destiny of their life no matter the circumstances.
The heart must be free of unforgiveness, bitterness, and unbelief so that it can agree with God.
God is looking for those who will worship Him by knowing His Word, praying in His presence, and praising His name.
The possibility of success is determined by the power of God.
Supernatural victories are won through the armor of God not the ways of man.
Words that agree with God set up the conditions for victory.
Life is not always fair but God is good.
Sometimes, the way “up” in the kingdom is “down”.
When God allows a “Saul” to attack you, His target is the “Saul” within you.
1 Samuel 22:2, 22-23
1 Samuel 23:1-13 (NKJV)
Matthew 25:24-30 (NKJV)
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