“Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is with those who uphold my life. He will repay my enemies for their evil. Cut them off in Your truth.” Psalm 54:4–5
For months David and his band of about six hundred men have been running from King Saul and his army.
At one point they had heard that the Philistines had been raiding the area around the city of Keilah so David and his men went to that area and defended the people, driving away the Philistines. David must have hoped that such actions would have bought his band a small amount of loyalty from the citizens of Keilah but it didn’t. Someone told Saul that David was in Keilah and God told David that they would deliver him and his men to the king so David and his men left and went to the wilderness of Ziph.
Saul hunted David in the wilderness of Ziph and during this time David must have begun to feel very discouraged. His band had grown over the years and now he was responsible for the leading and provision of all of them, and this had to be accomplished while they were playing hide and seek with Saul whose fondest desire was to murder them.
But God doesn’t leave us without encouragement if we’ll accept it. There in the wilderness of Ziph David received a visitor. His best friend Jonathan, King Saul’s eldest son, briefly came for a visit. In this visit Jonathan assured David that God was with him, his father would not get his way, David would one day be king over all Israel.
This is the last visit scripture records these two friends being able to have together.
The Ziphites, like the people of Keilah, offered to deliver David up to King Saul but when Saul and his army got there David had moved his men to the Wilderness of Moan. Saul followed and had managed to completely encircle David on a small mountain but before he could attack Saul got word that the Philistines were invading Israel and he had to leave.
Because of this deliverance from Saul David and his men called that place the Rock of Escape.
God’s people ought to find in the stories of David encouragement and assurance. At times their enemies have sought to destroy God’s faithful followers but God has always preserved a remnant and he has promised that his remnant will be preserved and will prevail until the end. God will protect his remnant just like he did David.
O God help us to see that even when everyone seems to be working against us you are always there fighting for us. Send us your encouragement. Send us your help.