A Word From Grace: Monday Edition - What Are You Waiting For?

As mentioned in my post last week, much of the book of 1 Samuel contains stories of David on the run. God had anointed David as the future king, but Saul was still on the throne and defending his right to rule. Saul knew of David’s anointing, but rather than step aside, he continually sought opportunities to kill David (thus eliminating the threat to his rule).

This is the context for 1 Samuel 23. David and his small band of followers are in hiding from Saul, but they get word that the Israelite town of Keilah is being attacked by the Philistines. David seeks God, asking if he and his men should go to the defense of the besieged town. God says go, but David’s men initially say no, “Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!” David again inquires of the Lord, and again receiving the command to go, David musters his forces and heads to Keilah where they successfully beat back the Philistine invaders.

The Story of God Bible Commentary points out that David’s move to defend Keilah is the action of a good king and David takes this action despite having yet ascended to the throne. David would have been well within his rights to leave Keilah to its fate, making the excuse that it was really Saul’s responsibility to defend it (which it was!). Instead, David does what is right despite his lack of position. He doesn’t wait to be made king.

Like David’s men, we often make excuses for why we shouldn’t do something and much of the time our excuses are pretty legitimate. For example, maybe God is leading you to teach in kids ministry, lead your family in devotions, or share the gospel with your neighbor, but you hesitate because you aren’t so confident in your knowledge of the Bible or our ability to think on your feet. Or, maybe your work culture is toxic, but you’re low on the totem pole, so you just keep silent or join in the grumbling rather than leading by example. We can think, “I’ll wait until I know more,” or, “I’ll wait until they ask me,” or, “when I’m the boss, things will be different.” These concerns are somewhat justified, but God may be calling us to act now.

Ultimately, under our concern is the question of how much we really trust God. David, seeing a need before him, asked God if there was a way for him to meet it, despite it not being his responsibility. Then, he trusted that God would give him what he needed to see it through. David may not have known all the outcomes. He may not have been fully equipped by human standards, but he knew his God and he knew that God was good.

Application – Grab your journal or a piece of paper, and write down your answers to the following questions (consider discussing your answers with your spouse or a believing friend):
  • What are some needs you see around you? In your family? In your neighborhood? At work?
  • How might God want to use you to meet those needs? Take a few moments to ask God for his answer to this question.
  • What’s holding you back from engaging as God is leading you?
Follow David’s example. Trust your concerns to God and then don’t wait. Take faith-filled risks to meet the needs around you as God leads.

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