Bible Readings for September 3rd
David’s stay with the Philistines from 1 Samuel 21 until now is one of the stranger storylines in the narrative of 1 Samuel. It is strange that the Philistines would have even allowed David to stay in their midst at all—and remember that David had pretended to be insane in order to seek asylum among them (1 Sam. 21:13)—but it is stranger still that the anointed king after Yahweh’s own heart must spend all this time among the uncircumcised Philistines. Nevertheless, we learn two important principles from this story.
First, David stays with the Philistines out of necessity to preserve his life (1 Sam. 27:1). It would have been far easier for David simply to murder Saul when he had the opportunities to do so in 1 Samuel 24 and 26. Yet, because David chose what was faithful instead of what was easy, he remained in an awkward living arrangement with his sworn enemies.
Many times, we find ourselves in difficult situations not because of any disobedience in our lives but rather because of faithfulness to follow Jesus wherever he might lead us. So, we might support our families through an unfulfilling job, or we might remain in a joyless marriage. In those cases, the easy thing to do would be to walk away and start over somewhere completely different, and yet faithfulness requires us to stay where God has placed us. Be encouraged to press on as you read this chapter from David’s story.
Second, David redeemed his time for the sake of the kingdom of God. Despite the fact that David could not reign openly as king, he nevertheless took every opportunity to do what he would be doing as king anyway—driving the Philistines out of the land of Canaan that Yahweh had given Israel as an inheritance (1 Sam. 27:8–12).
In our own situations, we may find it frustrating that God has put us in ordinary—and perhaps even boring—circumstances rather than in positions of great influence. We would do well to remember, though, the example of our Lord Jesus. The crown prince of heaven chose to enter this world in poverty, and he labored thirty years in obscurity as a common tradesman. But, like David, Jesus was faithful in the small things he received.
In what way is God calling you to faithfulness rather than the easy way out of your circumstances? Remember the promise of the gospel in the challenging places of your life: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). In Christ, God has a purpose for your life, and even when specific situations you face are not good in themselves, God will nevertheless work all things together for your good and for the glory of Jesus Christ and his kingdom.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.