The Fighter Flees

Psalm 59:17, NIV
“You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.”

You may be quite familiar with the story of David and his courageous slaying of the giant Goliath, which secured victory for Israel against the Philistines. It might seem as if it wasn`t too long after that he became king; after King Saul died in battle. Actually it was a long and hard fifteen years, after killing Goliath, that David was finally installed as king of Israel.

In 1 Samuel 19 we read about David fleeing from Saul, who was doing his best to kill him. Saul even used his own daughter to try and end David’s life. Saul had become jealous and bitter over David`s successes.

I`m personally impacted by how difficult and terrible this time was for David. He was stripped of everything. It was a Job type experience. Everything seemed to go wrong, and there were the murder plots against him by King Saul. Yet David was trustworthy and hadn`t done anything wrong. He was impeccable, faultless, and a good, loyal soldier to the king. So how awful that Saul wanted him dead as much as the Philistines, the enemy!

When David`s best wasn`t good enough, it was time to leave and relocate somewhere else. He was totally alone when he fled to Ramah to see the prophet Samuel. What did David do at this time of terrible hardship? David sought refuge in God and drew close to his people (1 Samuel 19:18).

If you`re disappointed at how your life`s going, and you think God`s punishing you rather than rewarding your obedience, you need to do what David did here. Draw close to God. Don`t go away from him.

When I listen to the stories of many Christians, it seems that the mistake they make, when things go wrong in their lives, is to move far away from God. They stop reading their bibles. They stop praying as much as they used to. They stop seeking fellowship with God`s people. They draw away from God, because they`re disappointed in Him.

It`s too easy for the enemy to lie to us at such times, saying things like `God`s not interested in you. Why don`t you just throw in the towel?` Listen to what Job`s wife said: `Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die`. But how different it was with David. David went to Samuel and poured out his heart to him, telling him what Saul had done.

At this time of year we might be reflecting about the new year and how last year went. Let`s copy David`s example. Even when things become extremely difficult for us, and suffering seems to be our lot, let`s draw close to God and His people.

We shouldn`t be content with anything less than the fullness of the Spirit of God working in and through us, giving us salvation, drawing us close to Him by His Spirit. As David wrote in Psalm 59:17, when he was fleeing Saul, `You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely`.

Prayer: Father, would you help us to look at this passage afresh, and what our heart attitude is towards you, when we go through times of hardship. Thank you for David and his heart after you. Help us to follow his example and to know your presence in difficult times. As we draw near to you, Father, reveal to us, in an even deeper and more intimate way, who you are to us, and who we are in you. Amen.

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