11 May 2020 - Remaining Faithful Through Our Fears And Failures
Good morning. Today’s devotion is from 1 Samuel 21
Remaining faithful through our fear and failures
David was running for his life from King Saul because King Saul was paranoid and sinfully vengeful. (1 Samuel 20:30-31). After realizing that Saul was out to get him, David fled to Nob to meet Ahimelech, the priest who was presiding over the tabernacle (21:1a). Ahimelech was afraid when he first saw David, and many commentators think he might have feared that the enemies of Israel would be right behind the future king, bringing destruction in their wake (v. 1b).
David lied to Ahimelech about his reason for coming to him, for Saul did not send him out on a special mission (v. 2). David came to the tabernacle asking for food and a weapon with which he could defend himself (1 Sam 21:1-9).
David is known to be a man after God’s heart and one of the giants of faith but he had instances of wrongdoing. This passage is one of them. He elaborated on his lie by saying do not let anyone know anything about the business on which I send you (v.2). It may seem like a small and unharmful lie at that time but David would come to horribly regret this lie. In 1 Samuel 22:22, King Saul ordered the killing of Ahimelech and his family and over 80 persons. David also asked for a weapon and the priest gave David the sword of Goliath (v.8-9).
Why did David lie and asked for a weapon? On a surface level we know that it was because he feared King Saul was after him. a few chapters before David trusted God when he defeated Goliath and 1 Samuel 18:14 said that David had success in all undertakings for the Lord was with him. But on a deeper level one cannot help but think that at this moment, he depended more on himself rather than God. David was so busy running away from Saul that he failed to remember God’s provision and promises in the past. David recalled how God rescued him from lions and bears when answering Saul (1 Sam 17:37) but why did he not recall now when he needed God the most? Instead of looking up to God, we sometimes look around at our problem and our heart fills with fear. David said there is none like the sword of Goliath in v.9 but rather than relying on sword, he should have relied on the same faith he had that killed Goliath.
After realizing that he was indirectly responsible for the death of the priests, he was remorseful (Psalm 34 records this). Despite David’s failure, he repented and persisted in faith. Because of God’s grace, God did not abandon him and David became King as promised. Through David’s life, we can see ourselves and learn from him. He had his struggles and failures but he was obedient and submitted to God’s grace and forgiveness. David prays “Create in me a clean heart” in Psalm 51, written after his adultery. The same God who graciously restored and forgave David is the same God we worship. God isn’t surprised by our failures but we must remain faithful and obedient through our failures. We should always depend on God more than ourselves.
I pray that God would strengthen me to be faithful wherever he has chosen to place me or through any difficulty I am going through. I pray that I will not be plagued by the fear of failure, but live in the joy of knowing that God is sovereign over everything. We pray for a repentant heart and a humility to confess our sins before you. O Lord, create in us a clean and pure heart. Amen.