The master of double-speak, and quick of wit, David put himself in needless jeopardy by fleeing Judah for Gath. He decided that Saul’s hatred would eventually make him a casualty. A strange conclusion given God’s anointing as king-apparent and his many deliverances I Samuel 27:1. David’s decision issues a warning to us. We too can separate ourselves from grace by fixating on life-problems, not God’s Presence.
Carrying Goliath’s sword with him to Gath certainly created the illusion in which David took refuge. Who but a mentally-disturbed warrior would carry back to Gath the weapon of their conquered champion?
David’s mistaken perception has lessons for Christian disciples. First, believers in Jesus never need worry that he will sooner or later fail to protect us or provide for us; sooner than later if we engage in risky service. I visited with a Christian man who exercised his faith in a street ministry. In the crisis of debate, discussion or exhortation he quoted scripture completely separate from context. He admitted it but declared, “When you’re in the street, you use any scripture the Holy Spirit gives you.”
Good point. We can sit in our study and quietly look at scripture in context. But if we’re in the streets, encountering people and problems foreign to our experience, will Jesus fail to help us, even if we’re out of context? Will he fail to defend his own name when a disciple sincerely witnesses, even in ignorance?
Second, who but a spiritually-filled, spiritually-committed man would command the evangelism of the world to 11 disciples only recently recovered from the shock of his death by crucifixion? When at the time, Matthew 28:16-20, they had no qualifications to confront their own people, let alone a fiercely pagan Gentile world.
Third, who but Jesus, having lived in self-denial all his years, would demand self-denial as the first requirement of every believer? But there it happened, on one of the shoulders of Mt. Hermon. Immediately upon accepting the confession of Simon Peter that he was the Christ, the Son of God, Jesus undertook their education in his NATURE: suffering and dying followed by RISING AGAIN.
All of which petrified the Twelve. And when Simon essayed to correct him, Jesus lashed out against his effrontery. Then...flinging the gauntlet at every generation of believers, as he DIED to SAVE, every disciple would necessarily DIE to SELF! Forget being religious, moral or “spiritual”. Self-denial remains the basis of all discipleship. And, to this day, that demands the most vigorous kind of spiritual adventure. Fini