David Becomes Discouraged
April 12 - Nº 102 1 Samuel 26 – 27
Saul had promised David that he would stop trying to kill him. But, when someone told the king where David was living, he couldn’t help himself. He began pursuing David again—this time he set out with 3,000 of his best warriors! David learned about Saul’s plans and sent scouts to find where his army was camped. David decided to check things out for himself. He found that Saul and his commander named Abner were sleeping in the middle of the camp surrounded by all their men. David’s nephew, Abishai (see 1 Chronicles 2:16), volunteered to sneak into the camp with him. God had caused a deep sleep to come on everyone in the camp. David and Abishai were able to creep right up to where Saul was lying. They noticed his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abishai was excited. “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands,” he whispered. “Let me pin him to the ground with his own spear.” “No, David answered. “God anointed him as king of Israel. Let God decide when his reign is over. But we will take his spear and water jug.” They left camp without anyone knowing they had entered. When they were a safe distance away on top of a hill, David yelled down to the camp, “Hey Abner, listen to me. Aren’t you supposed to be the best fighter in all of Israel? Shouldn’t you have guarded the king better? Someone came into your camp to destroy him, and you didn’t protect him. Look around. Where is the king’s spear and water jug? You should be executed for doing such a poor job!” By then, Saul was wide awake. He recognized David’s voice and yelled back, “David, my son, is that you?” “Yes, it is,” David replied. “Why are you pursuing me? What have I done to you?” Saul realized that once again David could have easily killed him but had chosen not to. “I have sinned!” he exclaimed. “Come back, my son, and may God bless you,” Saul begged. “You will do great things for Him. I will not try to harm you anymore.” Wisely, David did not trust Saul. But sadly, despite all that God had done for him, David began to question God’s plans. After years on the run, he was weary and discouraged. He thought, “Eventually Saul is going to capture and kill me. The best thing I can do is escape to the land of the Philistines. Then maybe Saul will stop searching for me.” So, David took things into his own hands. He led his 600 men and their families into Philistia. He asked the Philistine king, Achish, to give them a small town to live in and call home. Achish liked David, especially since they shared a common enemy (Saul), so he gave him the town of Ziklag. During that time, David and his men raided many enemy villages. They killed a lot of innocent people in the process. David lied to King Achish about the villages he was destroying. He said they were Jewish settlements, but they were not! He was lying to gain the king’s approval. David’s decision to take things into his own hands led him into situations God never intended for him to encounter.
When you become discouraged, do you turn to God, or do you try to solve things on your own like David did? Discouragement is one of Satan’s most powerful weapons. It causes us to take our eyes off God’s goodness and focus on our problems. When we feel discouraged, we must find others who will help us renew our trust in God.