For the past several weeks, it feels as if I’ve introduced my messages in the exact same way every Sunday. It seems that every week I tell you, ‘When we last left David, he was hiding out from Saul who was determined to kill him.”
That’s been the running theme for about the last six chapters as we’ve been reading through the book of 1 Samuel.The details of the story change from chapter to chapter, but the basic premise remains the same. “Good and faithful David is running for his life from jealous, selfish King Saul.”
And this morning, nothing has changed. Today we are going to read through the second half of 1 Samuel chapter 23, and that’s the exact plot line again. “Good and faithful David is running for his life from jealous, selfish King Saul.”
And just before we get into today’s message, maybe that’s a question that we should ponder: Why does the author of 1 Samuel put so much emphasis on this time of David’s life? Why is it important that we see this same story play out time and time again? Is it showing us David’s faithful and loyal character? Is it reminding us of God’s goodness and protection? Is it warning us through the life of Saul of the consequences of turning away from God? Or on a grander scale, is this all somehow foreshadowing the life and person of Jesus Christ?
God’s chosen to include all these stories in his divinely inspired Word for a reason, so what do you suppose that reason is?
Well, I’m actually not going to answer that question for you today, but I’d challenge you to think about it and maybe even do a little research on your own. The point of these Sunday morning sermons isn’t just for me to dispense all the answers to you, but for me to challenge and encourage you to get into the Word of God yourself. At the end of the day, you’re the one who is responsible for your relationship with God, and so I’d encourage you to make it your habit to study the Word of God for yourself.
But on that note, we do want to take some time to look at God’s Word together this morning, so let’s jump right into our passage.
So as I mentioned before, “When we last left David, he was hiding out from Saul who was determined to kill him.” Or more specifically, according to verse 14…
14 David now stayed in the strongholds of the wilderness and in the hill country of Ziph. Saul hunted him day after day, but God didn’t let Saul find him.
15 One day near Horesh, David received the news that Saul was on the way to Ziph to search for him and kill him.
1 Samuel 23:14-15
And we’ll pause here just for a moment. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but it sure seems like David has a good communication network in place. David never seems to get caught by surprise, because he’s always hearing of Saul’s plans before Saul gets a chance to carry them out. That was the case earlier in this chapter when Saul was planning to come and capture David at Keilah. Somehow David got wind that Saul was coming for him, and God confirmed that, and so David took off before Saul had chance to besiege the city and capture him.
Now again, while David is near Horesh, David heard the news that Saul was on his way to search for him and kill him. Now I don’t know if maybe there is someone among Saul’s men that is tipping off David – sending out secret messages to warn David of Saul’s plans. The Bible doesn’t say so specifically, but that certainly wouldn’t be impossible. Jonathan, for example, had previously warned David though a secret code that Saul was determined to kill him. We read about that back in chapter 20. So its quite possible that Jonathan or some other person close with Saul was sneaking out information to David.
Or it could be that David just had lots of loyal supporters throughout the country. Remember, the people of Israel, generally speaking, loved David. He was a national hero! The women sang “Saul has killed his thousands and David his ten thousands!” So perhaps it was the people of Israel who kept David informed of Saul’s movements.
But however David got his information, we can be sure that God had a hand in it somehow. We see from verse 14 that although Saul hunted for David day after day, God did not allow Saul to find him. God was at work, watching over David, protecting him, and keeping him safely out of the hands of Saul.