Tuesday, June 14, 2011

cat & mouse life

And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.
1 Samuel 23:14

David is playing hide and seek against Saul and his army. And somehow, every time that Saul closes in, God provides a way out for David. Three times in this chapter Saul has almost closed the net on the fugitive David, only to have his efforts thwarted. God is clearly teaching both men something really important.

David is learning to trust the Lord. It helps that David is protecting the last surviving member of the Israeli priesthood in his company. David is consistently inquiring of the Lord. That communication with God is key to his survival right now. David has not let the pressure of being hunted down keep him from focusing his heart on God.

Saul is learning difficult lessons in the sovereignty of God. He is chasing a delusion that is so strong that he thinks God wants to give David into his hands. But each lead that looks like the way to get David, becomes a place for David's escape. In fact, when Saul's army is just perhaps a few hundred yards from capturing all of David's forces, an urgent message from the Philistine battle front forces Saul to call off the pursuit to protect the nation elsewhere. God is showing Saul who his real enemy is, but Saul is not really listening.

The wild thing about this cat & mouse lifestyle on the part of David, is that many of the most powerful Psalms we have today were written during this episode of David's life. There was a lot of downtime in the hiding. There was a lot of emotional and spiritual tension when Saul was suddenly hot in pursuit. And David's answer for it all was to act shrewdly while simultaneously focusing on God for help, protection, and perspective on his troubles. This is great insight into how to handle stress.

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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