“And the Lord answered him and said, ‘Arise, go down to Keilah. For I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.’ And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, struck them with a mighty blow, and took away their livestock. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.” 1 Samuel 23:4–5
When Saul had commanded that the priests of God be murdered not all of them were slain. One of the sons of Ahimelech the High Priest escaped with the high priest’s ephod and sought refuge with David, and David, feeling responsible for the death of the priests because it was his lies that had brought them to Saul’s attention, welcomed Abiathar the son of Ahimelech to his growing band of men.
At about this time a report came to David that the Philistines were attacking a village along the the border of Israelite and Philistine territory and robbing their threshing floor. So David inquired of God, through Abiathar the priest, asking if he should go down and attack the Philistines and God todd him to go down and save the village of Keilah .
The men with David, however, were afraid to go down and fight the Philistines. It was one thing to have Saul chasing them but to have the Philistines and Saul hunting them was more than they thought they could handle.
So David inquired of God again and God again answered, “Go down. Attack the Philistines. I will give them to you.”
So they went down and struck the Philistines at Keilah, defeated them, took their livestock and saved the people of Keilah.
Then Saul heard that David was in Keilah and prepared to attack him there and David inquired of God as to whether Saul would come down and whether or not the people of Keilah would deliver him to King Saul and God answered, “He will come down. They will deliver you up.”
So David and his men left Keilah. It appears that they may have split up at this point because the accounts record that they “went wherever they could go.” It makes sense that this may have been necessary because David’s band had grown to more than six hundred men.
Just like with David so it is for you and me; blessings and trials come to us at the same time. God uses us to fight injustice and we’re happy and at the same time injustice falls upon us causing us to have to retreat from the place of our success.
It’s tempting at times like this to think that God expects too much and provides too little. The truth is we’re not unreasonable for thinking this way, but we are wrong. We don’t know what God is preparing us to do in the future. We don’t know what challenges we’ll have to face and the kind of strength and abilities those challenges will demand of us. But God does, and the path he leads us down will prepare us to meet them with all the faith, courage, and knowledge necessary to be victorious over them.
We need to learn to see that in the trials we face today God is preparing us for great victory in the battles we’ll face tomorrow.