We remember David as the mighty giant slayer when he was yet a lad, but few remember the time when he actually backslid from the will of God for over a year.
David has fled from the presence of Saul, King of Israel. God has rejected Saul from being King, and Samuel under the Lord’s direction has anointed David to be King of His chosen people. Twice Saul has tried to smite David to the wall with the javelin, so David flees and is on the run. I Samuel 22:1 records that David escaped to the cave “Adullam” which means: ‘resting place’ (Young’s).
It is here that David is seeking the face of the Lord. Seeking His rest. No doubt reminding the Lord of His anointing, His promises, and how He had delivered Him from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear, even from the hand of the giant Goliath. Now he seeks rest from the Lord, provision, deliverance, and a word of direction.
David takes his father and mother to the King of Moab saying, “Let them be with you, till I know what God will do for me (I Sam. 22:3)” I want you to notice that David is seeking the Lord’s will. He’s not doing anything on his own. If we would do as David did, seeking the Lord’s will in our life we too would hear the voice of the Lord. Because the Lord heard that effectual fervent prayer of David, and it didn’t come overnight. He had a season of crying out to the Lord. The Lord is faithful to answer, and sent the prophet Gad with an answer, a word of life, a word of edification. “The prophet Gad said unto David, abide not in the hold (Adullam resting place); depart, and get thee into the land of Judah (verse 6)”. The Lord wanted David in the Promise Land, a land that floweth with milk and honey! There He was going to provide for Him, protect Him, and make Him into the man that He needed for just a time as this. Isn’t that the truth? As long as we stay within the “borders of the church” we can’t be wrong. The Lord will provide, build, and give us success and prosper our work in the Lord. Glory to God.
In chapter 24 we find David and his men in the wilderness of “Engedi”, which means: fountain of God (Young’s). “And Saul sought David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats.” How can a desert place of rocks and wild goats be a fountain of God? This is the same God that provided the children of Israel manna and quail, made the bitter waters sweet, made water come out of the rock not once, but twice! Jesus said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink…out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (the Holy Ghost).” The Lord told Paul, “my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” When we seek God where no one else can help, God will come on the scene to provide and satiate our thirst!
This is exactly what God did for David when he was hiding in that cave and delivered Saul into his hands, but he would not lift his hand against the Lord’s anointed. Saul, after recognizing that David had spared his life, said to David “Thou art more righteous than I (24;17)…swear now therefore unto me by the Lord, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my Father’s House (24:21). Behold, I will make them to come and worship (give honor) before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee”, is a reality come to pass to David and will be to us, if we act the same way as David. Hallelujah!
In Chapter 26, Saul is seeking David once again. This time in the wilderness of “Ziph”, which means: refining place (Young’s). Though God delivered David in En-Gedi from Saul, He wanted to refine him. A faith that is not tested is not faith. I Pet. 1:7. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory…” God was going to make David a vessel of honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. God will use the circumstances of our life, the wiles of the enemy that God might be glorified in us. In 26:6 David said, “….who will go down with me to Saul to the camp?” David did not order someone else to go. He was going to confront his enemy himself and see the salvation of God! Talk about your faith being refined. David’s faith was growing in leaps and bounds, “Let’s do this!” David and Abishai went down into most of the camp. The Lord had caused a deep sleep to fall upon Saul and his army. Still David was sensitive not to strike at the Lord’s anointed, but only took his spear and cruse of water. Saul is again confounded by David and Saul confesses to David, “I have sinned. (26:21)….blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail (24:25).” Here was King Saul in repentance and prophesying to David blessings, greatness, and victory! This is what God will do for us if we allow Him to refine us and confront the enemy! Ps. 34:19, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, He might receive the Promise (Heb. 10:35-36).” After all that the Lord had done for David in delivering his enemies into his hand, God had not failed him once! Yet David cast away his confidence in the Lord and was now going to trust in himself. In chapter 17:1 “And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines.” This is the beginning of the backslidden state of David. David is no different than those in the church that say, “I’m going back to the world. I don’t have the problems in the world that I’m having now. I’m out of hope!” And turn their back on God, His Kingdom, and all that has to do with Godliness. They forget where they came from, how God had mercy on us. They go back to the world (the land of the Philistines) deceived. The enemy has blinded them, is going to make them 7 times worse, and take all that they love because the devil is going to get paid after he’s allowed you to have some status in his land. Ouch!
In chapters 28:1-2, “….Achish said unto David, know thou assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to battle…. (David was now serving the king of Gath. No man can serve two masters) and David said to Achish, surely thou shalt know what thy servant can do.” David was now boasting of his abilities, no more humility of how the Lord had worked and delivered. We are at the end of his back-slidden state, “A full year and four months (27:7)”. The Philistines are gathered for war against God’s chosen people and David has joined in with them to fight the people of God. Isn’t that just like a backslider, fighting against the people of God, don’t want to hear about Jesus and what He’s done for you, “Just miss me with that.” And low and behold, the Philistines don’t want David to fight with them. 29:4, “…make this fellow return…” So they returned into the land of the Philistines and as the world’s fate would have it, without God and His divine protection 30:3-4,6 says, “So David and his men came to the city, and behold, it was burnt with fire, and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters: were taken captives. Then David and the people that were with him lift up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep….and David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: But David encouraged himself in the Lord His God.” This is the first time that the Lord is mentioned since he backslid. You can imagine what he was going through. He lost both of his wives, and all of his friends wanted to kill him. He was all alone. To whom could he run to, but to the Lord in repentance. I’m reminded of the prodigal son and how his father was waiting on him to give him the best, eat and be merry. 30:8 says, “And David inquired at the Lord, saying shall I pursue after this troop? Shall I overtake them? And He answered him. Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.” How good is the Lord to us, even as we repent in sincerity and truth, He responds with a word of comfort and edification, “Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.” 30:18-19, “And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives, and there was nothing lacking to them, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor anything that they had taken to them: David recovered all.” Glory
“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.” (Joel 2:25).”
In the battle between the Philistines and the children of Israel Saul was killed and David returned to the Promised Land, a land that floweth with milk and honey, and was crowned king.
“For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36
– Miguel Valdez, Soledad, CA