“So David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. And David was in the Wilderness of Ziph in a forest. Then Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God.” 1 Samuel 23:15–16
David is hiding in the wilderness of Ziph, and everyday Saul is hunting David, .
But in the middle of all the hiding and hunting David received a visitor. Jonathan, Saul’s son and David’s friend. Jonathan must have noticed that David was becoming discouraged because what he had to say was specifically calculated to encourage David.
“Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that.” 1 Samuel 23:17
Now Ziph is a village in Judah, south of Bethlehem about thirty miles, and David is from Bethlehem, also a village in Judah, and you’d think that he might have been able to count on a little loyalty from others of the tribe of Judah when it came to helping him stay hidden from Saul. But this was not the case. In fact, the people of Ziph sent a message to Saul telling him that David was hiding among them.
Saul was thrilled but knowing that David wouldn’t be easy to find asked them to discover exactly where David was before he came down to try and capture him.
But David had heard that the Ziphites had sent messengers to Saul and had moved his men from the hill of Hachilah, where they’d been hiding, to the wilderness of Maon. Word of this was sent to Saul and the hunt was on. Saul’s army tracked David trying to surround him and David and his band were kept continuously on the move to avoid capture. Then came the day when Saul and his army were on one side of a mountain and David and his men were on the other. David must have felt like he was about to be caught when suddenly Saul and his army packed up and left.
They’d received an urgent message that the Philistines were once again attacking and they had to stop chasing David and go and fight a real enemy.
After that David and his men began calling that mountain “The Rock Of Escape.”
The Bible tells us that we all have a Rock Of Escape. Jesus is our rock. We’ve all been infected by sin and have rebelled against God. The consequence of our rebellion is death but Jesus came and took our place and now God is chasing us trying to assure us of the good news that we are saved.
Thank you Jesus for coming and being our Rock Of Escape.