Have you ever been in a situation, been faithful and been trusting God, but so much time passes that you just sort of lose hope, lose focus and sort of wander off? Currently, I am reading through the Bible - yes, it is taking me a while since I keep stopping to do Bible studies at our church - but I just finished up I Samuel which focuses quite a bit on the story of David before he became king. In fact, the book ends with Saul's death.
Well, toward the end of the book, in I Sam. 27:1, I read this verse, "Then David said to himself, "now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape into the land of the Philistines. Saul then will despair of searching for me anymore in all the territory of Israel, and I will escape from his hand."
David sounds pretty down. Interestingly, if you go back a chapter you see that David once again had the opportunity to kill Saul but chose not to. He chose to leave it up to God to remove the man He had placed in charge. Once again, you see Saul call David "my son" and say how David is a much better man and would end up being the king.
Yet, David had heard it all before. He had heard Saul say how sorry he was; he had heard Saul say that David really was the right person for the job; he had heard Saul call him blessed and his son and that he would no longer try to hurt David anymore. In the past, despite Saul's words, his behavior didn't change. It wasn't long before Saul's jealous rage overroad his moments of lucid sanity. David had lost hope that anything would be different. Saul was in the prime of life and could be expected to live a long time yet. David did not see any light at the end of the long tunnel he had entered, starting when Samuel had annointed him to be the next king.
David thought there was nothing better for him to do than to go to the land of the Philistines - the arch enemy of Israel. They were the very peoples whose champion David killed. It was this victory that made his name known throughout Israel, that brought him into Saul's sites. Yet, David felt there was nothing better for him to do than to go among his enemies. He went in and King Achish gave him Ziklag and David went in and wiped out all the inhabitants, including the women and children. In past chapters, you see David asking God what he should do next. That isn't mentioned once in this following chapter. David was operating on his own - out of fear and desperation and probably exhaustion. You can only run so long, I guess.
Which brings me to the question - who or what is the Saul in your life? Is there a person who keeps apologizing and saying they will change but never do? Is there a person or situation that you have been praying about for a long time and feel God has given you a yes, yet nothing seems to change or get better? Do you ever feel that continuing to be faithful is yielding nothing and you may as well quit trying because there really isn't anything better than this? You wonder if things might be better if you just switched sides.
It's interesting to me that David is the one that penned the words in Psalms 27:13, "I would have despaired unless I saw the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Obviously, David got his hope back. He came out of the land of the Philistines and ruled Israel for many years. In fact, it is only a few chapters later that we see Saul has been killed in battle, opening the way for David to ascend the throne. God did fulfill His promise to David, even when it seemed all hope was lost and things would never be different.
So, whatever you are going through, whatever you are waiting on - keep hoping. God always comes through.
"How blessed is the man who finds help in the God of Jacob; whose hope is in the Lord his God." Psalms 146:5
~ Blessings, Bronte