The first five words of this chapter tell us all we need to know about where David is headed. These words here:
Then David said to himself,
This is where the trouble begins. This chapter would tell a different story if it had a different beginning. Oh how I wish this chapter started with ….
“Then David sought the Lord”
Because I am just a little tired of people seeking their own hearts for counsel. It is a recipe for disaster.
Humans have this amazing and simultaneously ridiculous ability to convince themselves of anything.
I am tired of the destruction. I am tired of the pain. I am tired of the consequences that so many are left to deal with when one person decides to follow their “heart” instead of following God. Because I have seen it over and over again, and that is just in the last 3 weeks. I am not talking about one instance or one mistake. I am talking about 3 separate situations. 3 circles of devastation. 3 families reeling.
They say that things happen in threes. I hope “they” are right, whoever they are. Because four might just push me over the edge.
But back to David:
“Now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape into the land of the Philistines. Saul then will despair of searching for me anymore in all the territory of Israel, and I will escape from his hand.”
David felt like he had no choice but to follow his feelings. He acted powerless. So for protection he ran to the Philistines. Seriously David? I mean, you don’t have to be a Bible scholar to know that the Philistines are not who he should be running to for protection. Did David forget his famous standoff with one giant of a Philistine? And now he is running to them for protection. How embarrassing.
I came to the Word this morning tired. Tired of people choosing self over sacrifice. Tired of people choosing to be a victim of sin instead of a victor over it. I came to the Word of life seeking the character of God. Seeking encouragement. But the Bible is not a book of inspirational quotes. It is real.
David had forgotten those words of truth spoken over him by his now wife Abigail. I wonder how she felt. Read again what Abigail spoke over him just 2 chapters ago.
The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because you fight the Lord’s battles, and no wrongdoing will be found in you as long as you live. 29 Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my lord will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God, but the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling. 30 When the Lord has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel, 31 my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord your God has brought my lord success, remember your servant.”
He had received those words then, but forgotten them now. Now he acted out of fear. What was he doing???
In the last chapter David showed that his fear of God was greater than his fear of man.
Now that has changed.
But David was tired too. He was tired of fighting. Tired of running. Tired of believing.
And I can relate.
However, I have something that he did not. I have the Holy Word. I have the Holy Spirit. I can see example after example of what happens when one follows their own heart versus following God’s heart. And you can too.
Not to mention we have that scene in the garden of Gethsemane, “Not my will but Yours.” This is the gospel: aligning our heart with the will of God, and not the other way around.
So I refuse to seek my own heart for counsel. The heart is deceitful and wicked. Who can know it?
Instead I will:
Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Isaiah 55: 6-7
Read what John Piper wrote in his blog about seeking the Lord:
Seeking involves calling and pleading. O Lord, open my eyes. O Lord, pull back the curtain of my own blindness. Lord, have mercy and reveal yourself. I long to see your face.
The great obstacle to seeking the Lord is pride. “In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him” (Psalm 10:4). Therefore, humility is essential to seeking the Lord.
Through my own exhaustion I pray. I confess my own pride. And I ask that God would have mercy on us, and that He would reveal Himself. And I rejoice in the truth Isaiah proclaims!!
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.