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boxing ring April 23 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Psalm 86: 1Samuel 27; 1Chronicles 12:1-7; 1Samuel 28:1-2; 1Samuel 29; 1Chronicles 12:19-22

To Fight or Not to Fight?

Boxers fight, families fight, and even friends fight. When do we need to face our opposition and when do we need to escape? This is often a difficult thing to determine. Hopefully, today’s Bible study will help us answer that question.

The Need for Escape

Because of King Saul’s hot pursuit of David, David seeks refuge for himself, his family, his army and their families. He fears to stay in the land of Israel because one day he believes he will be destroyed. He wonders, “what will happen to my family? Will they, too, be destroyed? What will happen to my army?” One reason for escape is for the preservation of those who are counting on our leadership. Are you a father or mother, the owner of a business or a leader of an organization? What would happen, if (out of pride) you decide to stay and tough out the conflicts which might destroy you? What would happen to your family or your associates? Would they survive? This is something which must be considered. David escapes to Philistine territory. He settles in Ziklag with his armies, his family and their families; he finally has some peace, even though he is in enemy territory.

Preservation

Escape does not always mean peace, and we may have to fight for preservation. David is in a tenuous situation, living in enemy territory, so he deceives the Philistine king. He makes his presence in the country seem more palatable by “attacking Philistine enemies,” and even his own people (they think). In reality, David attacks Israelite enemies, completely destroying them, leaving no one to tell a different tale, and then gives a false report to Achish, the Philistine ruler, that he has been attacking Israelite cities. By feigning loyalty, he gains the trust of King Achish. Achish trusts David and says to himself, “He has become so odious to his people, the Israelites, that he will be my servant forever.” (1Samuel 27:12, NIV). While we can not condone lying, acts of service and respect can help us survive in hostile environments.

During the time of his refuge in Ziklag, notable Israelite warriors from the tribe of Benjamin (Saul’s tribe) defect and join David’s troops (1Chronicles 12:1-7). Shortly thereafter, many generals from the tribe of Manasseh also defect from Saul and join David, so he now has a great army. This must have encouraged David, knowing God still cares about his preservation and will bring him to rule Israel one day. If God has acted to preserve you, give him praise.

Now that David has gained respect from King Achish, the king wants him and his army to join his Philistine army in a fight against Israel. David is caught between a rock and a hard place; he wants to appear loyal, but he does not want to fight against his own people. Fortunately, God solves the problem for him by providing a means of escape; the Philistine leaders are afraid David and his men might change sides during the conflict and lop off some Philistine heads to re-gain favor with King Saul. King Achish is forced to send David and his army back home to Ziklag. Sometimes God provides us a way to escape. 1Corinthians 10:13 says,

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (NASB’95)

There was wisdom in escaping the battle; David would not have to face King Saul, Jonathan, and his own countrymen in the conflict. God had other plans for David’s army; for when he was sent home he had to rescue his own family (more about that in tomorrow’s Bible study).

Lessons to live by:

  • One reason for escape may be for the preservation of those who are counting on our leadership.
  • Escape does not always mean peace, and we may have to fight for preservation.
  • Acts of service and respect can help us survive in hostile environments.
  • If God has acted to preserve you, give him praise.
  • God sometimes helps us to escape conflicts.
  • Do you know God? Do you want him to be your savior and defender? He offers you forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life. He can help you (more...)

Today’s Bible memory verse:

1Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (NASB’95)

praying girl Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

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