the Second Sunday of Lent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel.”
1 Samuel 23:1-13
In the passage which we shall now read, we shall see an instance of David’s patriotism. Although he was persecuted in his own country, he did not cease from loving his nation, but took a deep interest in all that concerned it. When he found that the Philistines were plundering the granaries of Keilah, he marched with his little army against them.
1 Samuel 23:1-2
Here we see the deep religiousness of David: he would do nothing till he had waited upon God. O for more of this holy caution.
1 Samuel 23:3
Brave as they were, they judged this to be a rash enterprise, for they would have two enemies to fear the Philistines and the soldiers of Saul. David listened to his men courteously, but he was not ruled by them. He turned to Ids God again for direction.
1 Samuel 23:5
This was a gallant action, and received a reward as far as the spoil of the Philistines was concerned, but the treachery of the people whom David had rescued from their enemies was disgraceful, and shows how base a thing is human nature.
1 Samuel 23:6
So that when banished from public worship at the tabernacle, the exiled hero was not without spiritual consolation, for the highpriest himself, and his breastplate of righteousness were with him. See how God provides for the faithful.
1 Samuel 23:7 , 1 Samuel 23:8
He ought to have honoured him for the eminent service he had rendered to the state, but malice is as a wolf greedy for the blood of its object.
1 Samuel 23:10
Observe David’s anxiety for the city rather than for himself Saul had destroyed Nob for sheltering him, and he might do the same to Keilah. Generous spirits cannot bear to bring evil upon others.
1 Samuel 23:11 , 1 Samuel 23:12
God so thoroughly knows men, that he can not only tell what they will do, but what they would do under certain circumstances. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Let us always consult his wisdom upon all occasions, and under his direction we shall not err.
Thou art near; yes, Lord, I feel it,
Thou art near where’er I move,
And though sense would fain conceal it,
Faith oft whispers it to love.
Then, my soul, since God doth love thee,
Faint not, droop not, do not fear;
Though his heaven is high above thee,
He himself is ever near!
“God is mine helper.”
1 Samuel 23:19-29
David, for a while, concealed himself in the fastnesses and forests of Ziph. The Ziphites wishing to curry favour with Saul, betrayed the fugitive leader.
1 Samuel 23:19-21
He had come to regard himself as the injured party, and he dared to introduce God’s name into his hypocritical speech; thus showing that he had lost all moral sense, and was under a strong delusion to believe a lie. By a course of sin a bad man may at last convince himself that he is right, and even fancy that God himself is in league with him. The Lord save us from so terrible a state of mind. Saul further instructed the Ziphites how to act, so as to secure David.
1 Samuel 23:22-26
Now, indeed, David was hunted like a partridge on the mountains. Saul, with his three thousand men, chased him, and the treacherous Ziphites beat the bushes before him. It seemed to be all over with the young chieftain, but in his extremity, the Lord interposed.
1 Samuel 23:28
The pursuer and the pursued were within sight of one another, and yet the victim escaped. The memory of this deliverance was preserved in the name of the Cliff of Divisions, given to the rock down one side of which David climbed while Saul was surrounding the hill on the other side, and was suddenly called away by a panic of the Philistine invasion.
At this time David wrote Psalms 54.
Perhaps the Ziphites were a remnant of the Canaanites, and so were “strangers”; at any rate they were enemies to David without a cause. If any treat us in this fashion, our best resort is prayer to God.
O lead me to the Rock
That’s high above my head!
And make the covert of thy wings
My shelter and my shade.
Within thy presence, Lord,
For ever I’ll abide:
Thou art the tower of my defence,
The refuge where I hide.