"Saul was on one side of the mountain, David and his men on the other. David was in full retreat, running, with Saul and his men closing in, about to get him. Just then a messenger came to Saul and said, ‘Hurry! Come back! The Philistines have just attacked the country!' So Saul called off his pursuit of David and went back to deal with the Philistines. That's how the place got the name ‘Narrow Escape.'"
I Samuel 23; 25-29, The Message
"God always provides a light through every one of His tunnels."
Is there a challenge in my life right now where I need God's deliverance?
"The life of the believer is a conducted tour, and the skillful Guide was Abraham's guide and ours. He knows the end of the journey which is in view, and He knows the best way to arrive there."
"Nothing lies beyond the power of man (or woman) if it is within the will of God."
James E. Crowther
He had a spear thrown at him by an angered King Saul. He was let out a window by his wife Michal in order to save his life. He was warned by his best friend Jonathan, Saul's son, that he had a target on his back and finally in desperation, David retreated to the wilderness where he lived like a vagabond in caves and mountains and desert havens running from the king who threatened to kill him.
With this narrative as a background, I needed to remind myself and maybe you, too, that David had already, at this point in his life, been anointed by the prophet Samuel as the next King of Israel.
I had to roll this thought around in my head for a while. And I asked myself, "Would Dorothy be willing to follow God exclusively in the desert, into the cave and up over the mountains, when in fact, I knew I was to be crowned king?" This is an interesting question for if we go back in time and remember Moses, after living in Pharaoh's palace for forty years, he decided he didn't agree with God's timing and conceived a way to take the deliverance of Israel into his own hands. Moses started his personal revolution by killing an Egyptian only to be betrayed by the very people he was attempting to help. The result in Moses' life was a forty year job change, herding sheep in Midian. And it was God's perfect preparation for Moses' forty year promotion (if you want to call it that), herding a bunch of grumblers from Egypt to Canaan.
Now, in I Samuel 23, we see history repeating itself as David, like Moses, was told by God he was the chosen leader of Israel. Yet, it seems that just as in the life of Moses, who waited eighty years to really be in the place God needed him, it took God some time to get David from the pasture into the palace.
It's a good thing for you and me to be reminded of the way God works for to be honest, I think His pace seems too slow. At least in my own life.
How about you? Are you in the desert? Perhaps worn out climbing up a mountain? Or do your troubles have you locked in a cave? And is King Saul in hot pursuit blocking your escape?
For all of us, there's a King Saul who stands in our path or chases us down or tries to wear us out. And the ultimate goal of King Saul is to make us doubt that our Father's guiding hand is really leading us.
When David felt he couldn't take much more, he heard that King Saul had found out where he was and was leading a charge to capture him. After several years on the run, in the worst conditions possible, I know I might have asked God what in the world He was doing. And this is what we find David doing all through I Samuel 23. The worse things became in his life, the more he went to God for advice and guidance. Instead of complaining and doubting if God were leading him, David chose to make certain that every moment of the day, he stayed within the will and way of his Father. I love these words penned by G. B. Duncan, "The will of God is not something we are just to understand; it is something we are to undertake."
I want to tell you what I appreciate about this statement. The fact is that there are many times in my own life that I don't understand what God is up to. I'm certain when David was being chased by King Saul, he wondered to himself, "How is God going to get me out of this mess and on the throne when I'm about to be killed."
But a strange thing happened out there in the wilderness. Out of the blue a messenger arrived informing King Saul that the Philistines were attacking and with this foreign enemy threatening his rulership, King Saul took off and David was free.
This is how quickly our Father can change things. In one moment there's no hope. In the next, safety is just one step ahead. But the key for David, as it is for everyone of God's daughters (and sons, too!) is to keep in constant communication with our Father, walking every moment of everyday within the protective covering of His will and way. As Paul Rees so correctly noted, "To understand the will of God is my problem; to undertake the will of God is my privilege; to undercut the will of God is my peril."
"Anoint and cheer our soiled face
With the abundance of Thy grace:
Keep far our foes, give peace at home;
Where Thou art Guide no ill can come."
"Sunshine let it be or frost,
Storm or calm, as Thou shalt choose,
Though thine every gift were lost,
Thee thyself we could not lose."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.