What an amazing God we have and how gracious He is to us to record testimonies of His faithfulness through the Bible. We read about David’s life and we see the difference between living for God and living for ourselves… and the consequences that result.
For the first part of David’s life, things were going pretty well. Sure, he wasn’t the favorite son of his father, and sure, some of his brothers didn’t treat him all that great. But David knew that God chose him and God was with him, and his confidence rested in God alone. It seemed everything he did was a huge success – so much so that it made King Saul very jealous. So jealous, in fact, that the king wanted to kill David.
That’s when David allowed fear to determine his actions instead of putting his faith in God.
This week we see David’s frailty, his humanity, and the effects of his fear. I don’t blame David for allowing fear to enter his heart. I’ve allowed it to enter my heart for much less. But this is what we know: fear is not from God (2 Timothy 1:7). So when fear entered David’s heart, he took his eyes off of the King of all kings – the very one who equipped him to kill a lion, a bear and a giant – and instead he ran.
David literally ran for his life.
Though God had worked through him powerfully before, we see David’s humanity as he takes his eyes off of God and starts taking matters into his own hands.
Sadly we see David turn to everyone but God.
And like David, I’ve done the same thing many times in my life.
First, David loses his job. He had been this amazing solider in Saul’s army, a position that’s gone in an instant as King Saul tries to take his life (1 Samuel 19:10).
Next, David runs to his wife. Who wouldn’t find comfort in one’s spouse? But again, David has to flee as Michal tells him that it is not safe for him to be with her in their home (1 Samuel 19:11-12).
Loss of job, loss of the comforts of your home, and loss of a loved one… all because some crazy lunatic of a king is jealous of you and how God has been blessing you.
Next, David runs to Samuel (1 Samuel 19:18), the one God had used to anoint David and announce his future ruling as king. Now that very blessing is starting to feel like a curse – a curse that is suddenly bringing a lot of heartache and pain into his life.
David then turns to his best friend, Jonathan, and finds that he must leave that friendship for the time being also (1 Samuel 20:42).
One by one, the titles and relationships David ran to for comfort are gone.
Then we come to our verse today. David is desperate. He feels as though there is no one to turn to, so he enters the land of his enemies to find refuge. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? He had previously killed their tens of thousands and their beloved giant, Goliath, and now he returns to them to find refugee from King Saul.
And I wonder how many of us have done the very same thing?
Past destructive relationships or addictions that we once had the strength to end, we now find ourselves running back to in moments of weakness.
Here we find David, our beloved hero, acting like a madman: saliva running down his face and fearing for his life.
That’s what is chasing David from relationship to relationship and comfort to comfort, instead of stopping and turning to God. He allows fear to chase him, exhaust him, and now lose his dignity in front of the very people he had shown God’s power at work as a young man when he killed their giant (1 Samuel 17:46-47).
And I believe that God, in His love, allowed David to painfully go through this season of his life so that David would learn to fully rely on God for his safety and his provisions.
It’s a hard lesson to learn. It’s much easier to trust in friendships, titles, statuses, and bank accounts for our security and not turn to God. But it’s only in God alone where we can find the safety our hearts and minds are seeking.
Sweet friend, take heart. God can do amazing things in our lives where we can show the world His glory as we slay our own giants. But be encouraged if you’ve taken your eyes off of your Savior and have been running from person to person and thing to thing to find the love or safety you are seeking. You are human, and if a man described as “a man after God’s own heart” can fall into the fear trap, you’re in good company. We all have.
But let’s not stay there.
Confess your sin of turning to others instead of turning to God. Commit to leaning on God and His Word, and find your strength and rest in Him.
Don’t allow anything or anyone to become a substitute for God in your life. And read this truth over and over again until you have it memorized in your mind and etched in your heart: Isaiah 41:10… “Do not fear, for I am with you.”
“Human crutches paralyze the walk of faith.” – Chuck Swindoll
Let’s learn from David and place our complete trust in God.
Let’s talk: What causes you to fear and what do you do to combat it?
Love God Greatly!
Week 3 Challenge: This week when fear grips your heart, recite Isaiah 41:10 and speak God’s Word into your heart and mind!
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