1 Samuel 23:4 Once again David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him.
This particular story is an excellent illustration of the reason for David’s successes. Simply put, He asked God. Today we would tend to think that his method of doing so was very superstitious, but it was one that was prescribed by God to Moses. Verse 6 gives us the parenthetical information that “Now Abiathar son of Ahimelech had brought the ephod down with him when he fled to David at Keilah.” The ephod in question was a priestly garment that had a pocket containing two stones that could not be distinguished by feel. One of them indicated a positive answer and the other a negative. The priest would express a yes/no question to God, put his hand in the pocket, and pull out one of the stones. Whichever stone came out was taken as God’s answer to the question. Our “modern” minds would treat that as pure chance, but that ignores the reality that God created the universe, and “chance” is an illusion. However, the method of inquiring of God is merely coincidental. What is important is the choice to ask and the commitment to obey. This verse is the second time this particular question was asked of the Lord, because the answer the first time seemed too risky. God was faithful to give the same answer, and David acted accordingly. God hasn’t given us quite as simplistic a method of inquiring of Him, but the principle is still valid. Too often we want to know God’s will for us but we fail to come right out and ask. What is actually worse, we often fail to have a solid commitment to do whatever He indicates. If our hearts are committed to obedience, He will guide us, by one means or another.
This is certainly valid for me, and indeed quite timely. We have been in turmoil over the land next door to the church, wanting to have it to build an elder-care facility, but all sorts of things getting in the way. A particular solution seems to be opening up at this point, but it is not one we would have chosen at the outset. I am not to “settle” for something, but trust that God is in control and seek to be obedient to Him. There are many important issues ahead, and today could well be pivotal. I am to seek God, rather than any particular outcome dictated by my mind. That can be difficult! Joy Dawson expressed it as “dying” to the issue at hand. If I am dead, I don’t care how things turn out! My focus is to be on God, His kingdom and His righteousness, rather than on any desired outcome.
Father thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the emphasis in the message yesterday on dying to sin. Self-centered willfulness is certainly sin! Help me be quiet enough before You to hear what You are saying, and active enough to be fully obedient to what You tell me, so that Your will may be done on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!