Thursday, October 6, 2011

Don't Ask, No Tell

"Therefore David inquired of the Lord"
1 Samuel 23:2
"Once again David inquired of the Lord"
1 Samuel 23:4
"Lord, God of Israel, tell your servant"
1 Samuel 23:10

So today, an observation from the book of 1 Samuel.  The life of David is one of lessons for us.  David is the ultimate in both the "do's" and "don'ts" of faith and choices.  Chapter 23 is a very inspirational chapter in the book of 1 Samuel.  David, at this point, was fleeing from the jealous anger of King Saul, who had once been favored by the Lord, but by this time had been rejected by Him.  So David was on the run from Saul, from city, to forest, to cave, to city.  In the midst of this, he was informed that the Philistines were robbing and fighting the citizens of Keilah.  So David inquired of the Lord, "Shall I go and attack the Philistines?"

I'm in awe at this.  David's own life was being threatened, but he stopped to ask the Lord how He would have him serve the city of Keilah.  His concern was not for himself.  I can't even count how many times I have become aware of a need, but not even bothered to ask God if there is something He would have me do about it.  "My calendar is too full.  I need to concentrate on my ministry.  My kids need me.  It wouldn't be fair to my husband for me to take that on..."  All of which may be true, but I make the decision without even asking Him.

But David knew that Saul was not going to succeed in his quest to kill him.  David had promises from God that were yet to be fulfilled, and he trusted in that.  So in verse 2, David inquired of the Lord.  David's men protested that they were afraid to take on the challenge of rescuing Keilah.  So again in verse 4, David inquired of the Lord.   And the Lord answered him the same:  "Go."  So David did, and verse 5 tells us that David and his men saved the people of Keilah.

Now, unfortunately, Saul heard that David had gone to Keilah, and decided this was his chance to kill David.  David heard Saul was plotting, so in verse 10, David went to the Lord to ask Him what to expect from His plan.  God told him.  In verse 12, David asks for clarification.  God gave it to him.  David kept moving as God guided, and in verse 14 we learn that:  "Day after day Saul searched for Him, but God did not give David into his hands."

There are two things I take away from this chapter, to apply to my life.  First:  David repeatedly coming to the Lord.  Second, David saving a city from the Philistines while on the run for his own life.  And I'm forced to ask myself:  Do I bring my questions and concerns before the Lord as David did?  Or do I make my decisions based on the circumstances I see and the little He has revealed to me?  Do I ask God what to expect, and what His plan is for me?  Not often enough.  Do I assume He is a God of mystery and He is not going to tell me anything?  Do I take refuge in a cave or forest, calling it "protection" and ignoring the needs around me, even though He has His hand of protection around me?  Or do I acknowledge that His protection extends to wherever He sends me. and obediently go out into the world to do His work?

I know that asking God questions is not always going to get us clear answers.  He answers in His own way, and sometimes that's with clarity and direction.  Other times it's with "Be still and know that I am God."  But we can't know His answers if we don't ask the questions.  Inquiring minds want to know.

~ "ask God to fill you 
with the knowledge of His will 
through all the wisdom and understanding
 that the Spirit gives" ~
Colossians 1:9

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