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escape by jet April 17 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: 1Samuel 21:1-15; Psalm 34; Psalm 56; Psalm 133; 1Samuel 22:1-5; 1Chronicles 12:8-18

Escape and Deliverance

What are some situations from which people would like to escape? Perhaps they would like to escape an embarrassing situation, a situation of high stress or temptation, or perhaps, as in the Biblical account of David, to escape a life threatening situation. When is it best to flee?

In our last chronological Bible study we saw King Saul's jealousy of David become life-threatening. This was because he was jealous of David's success.

Saul sent men to David's house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David's wife, warned him, “If you don't run for your life tonight, tomorrow you'll be killed.” So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped. (1Samuel 19:11-12, NIV)

An observer might argue, if God is on your side, why should you ever have to flee? Perhaps David wondered the same thing. However, many times God uses a man or a woman to give good counsel or help, and the wise man listens and obeys.

Nevertheless, David's escape was a low point in his life. David was a hero, having defeated Goliath the giant Philistine soldier, who defied the armies and God of Israel. After that, David had fought great military battles and always with great success because the LORD was with him. David even became son in law to King Saul and a personal best friend of Jonathan, the king's son. Everything was looking good for David until Saul grew into a jealous monster. Now David was a pursued man. What happened? Had God, who had given him these great victories, deserted him? We may feel like that from time to time. After great victories where we feel on top of a mountain, it is common to fall into the valleys of disillusionment, discouragement, depression, and despair. When we are physically weak, we, too, can become spiritually weak. That is also when we are most vulnerable to Satan's attacks. He loves to defeat us.

When David was weak physically, he did some things that might be considered uncharacteristic of him. First, David ran to Nob, one of the towns that were given in which priests might live. The tabernacle had not yet found a resting place in Jerusalem. It moved around and apparently was in the town of Nob at this time. David lied to the priest when asked about his purpose for coming and why he was unarmed. David and his small band of men were hungry and looking for help anywhere they might find it. The priest gave them the day old consecrated bread, which they gladly took. After this, David escaped to Gath, the territory of the Philistines. Perhaps he thought that would be a safe place where Saul would not dare pursue him. However, the caption above Psalm 56:1 says this Psalm was written on the occasion of David being seized by the Philistines in Gath. Shrewdly, he acted insane in the presence of the king, and they let him go. David was operating by his own wits and acting out of fear. When we are in trouble we need to pray for direction from God when we make our escape.

Psalm 34 is traditionally said to be written in reference to the time of David being pursued by King Saul, when he sought help and refuge in Nob, the territory of Gath of the Philistines. David wrote,

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame [unlike the time when David let his spittle run down his face to appear to be insane before Achish, king of Gath].

This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.

The LORD redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him. (Psalm 34:4-8; 17-19, 22, NIV)

After Gath, David then escaped to the cave of Adullam (in a hill country, a stronghold for defense), where his family joined him. They encouraged him, but it was not safe for them to be with him so he left them in Moab. Apparently, David was in danger at Adullam, however, because the prophet Gad told him not to stay there but to go to the land of Judah. Even in our weakness, God shows himself strong. God was lifting David up from the miry clay of discouragement and disillusionment, and leading him to a land where he would eventually become king (David reigned first in Hebron of Judah). God also gave him a valiant and powerful band of warriors to lead, some even from Saul's family tribe of Benjamin (they must have realized Saul's insanity). If we have been unjustly treated, God can also bring us out of our spiritual woes if we will look to him for deliverance. Though weak and discouraged, God gave David new hope, new assignments, and protection until the time was right for him to be king. We, like David, must learn that even when we are weak, God is strong. He is our fortress and deliverer.

Lessons to live by:

•  Listen to counsel; sometimes it is best to escape.

• When Christians are physically weak they can become spiritually weak. That is also when they are most vulnerable to Satan's attacks. He loves to defeat us.

•  Believers, we need to pray for direction from God when we make our escape.

•  God is gracious to those who are unjustly mistreated.

•  We Christians, like David, must learn that even when we are weak God is strong. He is our fortress and deliverer. Is he yours? (more...)

Today's Bible memory verse:

Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” (NIV)

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