David was sidelined. That was a rare occasion to be sure, and David had to be a bit distressed by it. But after seeing a slight tantrum, we see an obedient David doing what the king asked. By tantrum, I’m sure it wasn’t like an out-of-control toddler, but rather a more defiant teenager, wondering why there is a curfew!
There is likely another path that God wants to David to take, and this time it doesn’t involve his military prowess. After all, he would be attacking his own people. The Philistine leaders were probably right in making that recommendation to the king. A very strong recommendation, almost a condemnation if he did let David stay and fight.
I’m sure you can think of a time in your life when you felt like you were perfect for the job, and then you got passed over for some reason. At least David knows the reason. And, if he’s true to himself and the facts, his might could do a lot of damage to the Philistines should he turn on them.
If the message Saul received from Samuel is correct, we already know the Philistines will defeat the Israelites in battle. Now we know that David won’t necessarily be the one that defeats them. Some might want to say that David was sneaky and deceitful, having lived among the Philistines as a spy gathering intel for his people.
The Philistine king, up to now, had been a fan of David. He even tried to convince the leaders that David would not be a threat. But, he did have to take precautions. One might wonder if the Philistines would have won the battle that day had David “played on their team.” It would have certainly been an interesting twist to the David/Saul saga.
Sometimes we play the what-if game in our lives, too. When we face a big decision that will alter our direction in some way, I love to include God in the equation. I want him to weigh in HEAVY so that I can have the assurance I’m on the right path. There have been plenty a wrong path that I’ve taken in my life. I much prefer the right path!
I think of our move to Mexico to become expat missionaries; we didn’t see that coming! But God has his way of using us when we least expect it. We certainly didn’t ask for it directly. When we ask God to use us as he sees fit and we end up leading worship for an expat church with a mission focus, we just have to say, “Okay, God.”
When the answer is “not this time,” shouldn’t that be our response, too? “Okay, God.” David obeyed the king. The passage simply says, “So David and his men headed back into the land of the Philistines, while the Philistine army went on to Jezreel.” How do you think David felt? Did he feel rejected, useless, angry, etc.
When we are obedient, we can have a peace that passes understanding. What direction is God calling you to take?
Let’s pray …
Thank you for how you have changed the course of my life from time to time. When I look back to the transitions, I know it was you leading the way. I love that your Spirit lives within me aiding me in all I say and do. Help me not to rush ahead and wait for YOUR time. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.