Daily D – 1 Samuel 23:14
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. 1 SAMUEL 23:14 (NLT)
Camping in a secluded spot under the stars resets our perspective. Listen to the whip-poor-wills repeat their songs. Watch for shooting stars. Soak in the silence. Roughing it now and again relieves us of certain pressures. Baptized in the beauty of the night, breaths come slower and fuller. Tension relaxes.
I like camping. My bride’s idea of roughing it, however, is a Motel 6.
David and the four hundred men who gathered around him, which soon became six hundred, lived in the great outdoors for a long time. Their lodging included forests and caves. While this is okay for a short while, soon a Motel 6 sounds pretty good. They do, after all, leave the light on for you.
David was on the run from his father-in-law, King Saul. Saul the Tall held the title, but he knew it was slipping away. David was next in line, but that was a reality for a distant day. Now Saul sought David with murderous intent. No campsite became home for long.
Why were they in this predicament? In part because Saul chose to do God’s will his own way. He was impatient. He stepped beyond his role, intruding into space reserved for priests and prophets. He may have been the originator of the saying, “Sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.” Before you play that card again, remember how it worked out for Saul the Tall.
There is a fundamental difference we observe in the lives of Saul and David. Saul wanted God on his side. David wanted to be on God’s side. There is an important shift here. Saul’s way led to jealousy, treachery, destruction, and death. David’s way led to praise, thanksgiving, perseverance, and success.
Saul did things his way. He and Frank Sinatra sang from the same sheet of music: “I did it my way.”
David did things God’s way. David still has more enduring hits of praise and worship than Frankie Hollywood.
Saul was determined that David’s unending camping trip would end in shed blood and death. “(B)ut God didn’t let Saul find him.” Nothing Saul attempted succeeded in his attempts to kill David. Everything David did honored God, served Israel, and saved lives.
A couple of lessons are self-evident. First, rather than asking God to be on your side, get on God’s side. Second, do God’s will God’s way. One other, obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Sam. 15:22). Permission really is better than forgiveness.
I will do God’s will God’s way.
Our Father, you are the focus of the story, not me. I am to align my life and attune my heart to you. The good life is found in the security of being in the right place doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. I will follow you as you lead me into this most blessed estate. Amen.
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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.