While David was certainly a man after God’s own heart, he was not a perfect man by any means. The Bible is unapologetic in revealing to us the accounts of David that show his sin struggles. Yet another way God graciously reveals to us that His Word is true and can be fully trusted is that it’s raw and real. A fictional story of a hero like David would have surely omitted many of the faults we see of him in Scripture. Our passage today is one of those times in scripture we see the chinks in the armor of David.
David has been on the run for his life from Saul for some time at this point. Understandably, he is exhausted and coming to a breaking point. He has tried to reconcile with Saul and even spared his life when he had the chance to take it because of his reverence for the Lord. But, we see in our text today that David is getting discouraged and begins to allow this to drive his thinking and actions. He is driven from Israel and enters the land of Israel’s enemies (Philistines) and reach out to their king for sanctuary. This leaves us kind of scratching our heads. What is going on with David? I believe that the answer can be found in verse 1 as God gives us a view of the struggle that was going on in David’s heart.
Then David said in his heart, “Now I shall perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of seeking me any longer within the borders of Israel, and I shall escape out of his hand.”
We see is that in the midst of this struggle with Saul, the first place David seeks counsel is from his own heart. There we see that his heart’s reply is, “FEAR! I’m going to die, Saul will never rest until he kills me, and I must flee from my homeland and seek security from the enemies of the Lord.” We see a huge truth here in David’s life that directly applies to ours. We cannot look to our own hearts and rely on our own emotions and feelings to direct our lives in a God honoring direction. Look at what Jeremiah the prophet says:
Jeremiah 17:9 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Had David sought the Lord instead of his own understanding he would have certainly been reminded of the faithfulness of God’s hand time and time again in his life. He would have also been reminded of his identity as God’s anointed King over Israel. Had David surrendered his heart to the truth of God’s character and faithfulness, as well as, the calling God had clearly placed on his life; he wouldn’t have been driven out of fear, he would have been driven by his faith.
Each one of us is in the midst of a struggle of some kind right now in our lives, and we have the same tendency as David displays here which is to look to our own hearts for counsel first instead of God. We must realize that our hearts are sick, diseased, and prone to sin which leads us in a direction that is not honoring to God or good for us. No matter what you’re going through today, what decision needs to be made, what temptations you face, you need faith to face it and not fear. The only place you will find faith is from being reminded of the character and faithfulness of God in your life and the high calling he has placed on your life. Be reminded of the gospel today and let your heart believe truth so that your life will honor God make your path straight.
By: Matt Mofield