This post was originally published in 2008 on the way-back blog. It’s been dusted off and edited for clarity and relevancy, but the content is just as applicable today.
Don’t you love when inspiration strikes someone else and ends up knocking you on the nose, too?
I recently heard someone talking about one of the most famous characters of the Bible. You know, the giant slaying, harp playing, adulterous king?
Yeah. That guy. David, the shepherd king. A man after God’s own heart, who composed some of the most beautiful, divinely-inspired poetry ever written. Not a great person because of the good he did, but because when he sinned greatly, he repented wholeheartedly.
You could say he was passionate and sincere about everything he did, even if it was dead wrong. And when he was dead wrong, he was truly and honestly repentant.
Take, for example, his decision to jump ship – take hold of his own destiny, if you will – in 1 Samuel 27-29. I’m going to skim through it here, because two chapters in Olde English is quite a read.
Chapter 27 starts out with David’s meltdown. The Message Bible says:
“David thought to himself, “Sooner or later, Saul’s going to get me. The best thing I can do is escape to Philistine country. Saul will count me a lost cause and quit hunting me down in every nook and cranny of Israel. I’ll be out of his reach for good.” So David left; he and his six hundred men went to Achish son of Maoch, king of Gath. They moved in and settled down in Gath, with Achish.”
David had a promise from God. He had been anointed as a young man by Samuel for his future leadership role. I mean – it was legit. Nobody argued with the prophet and got away with it.
But that promise didn’t turn his life into a great big joyous musical.
So after this aha moment of his anointing, after Goliath was killed by David’s slingshot, after the Israelites started composing odes to David’s prowess, and after he’d clocked in for a cushy new position as the king’s musician, King Saul found out that his days on the throne were numbered, and that David was God’s pick for the task.
Obviously, Saul wasn’t interested in being kicked out of the palace, so he pulled a fast one on our boy, quickly becoming his most powerful enemy.
David already knew that God had a plan for his life and leadership. But the whole plan didn’t seem to be progressing. Instead, he and his family lived in constant fear for his life, skulking from cave to cave, hiding away from his pursuer. So he made a judgment call. He decided to pick up and leave. Even if he wasn’t in the right place, at least he wouldn’t be miserable and have to live in caves and worry all the time.
It worked, too! David settled in the land of the Philistines, chillin’ with the enemy, raiding camps and killing people [apparently, everyone did this, so David can still be a part of our dichotomous ‘Good Guys vs. Bad Guys of the Bible’ fantasy team list] and plundering goods. And Saul left him alone. And the Philistines? They were thrilled to have David and his band of merry men on their team.
If you’re at all familiar with the way things go down in David’s life, you’re probably aware that David did, in fact, become the king of Israel. But not before he learned a hard lesson about choosing his own path.
1 Samuel 29:3 tells us that David’s plan to hang out with the Philistines didn’t work out. The Philistines started preparing to do battle with Saul’s troops, and they had a lot of questions when David showed up to lend a hand.
“The Philistine officers said, “What business do these Hebrews have being here?” Achish answered the officers, “Don’t you recognize David, ex-servant of King Saul of Israel? He’s been with me a long time. I’ve found nothing to be suspicious of, nothing to complain about, from the day he defected from Saul until now”. Angry with Achish, the Philistine officers said, “Send this man back to where he came from.”
David didn’t belong in Ziklag with the Philistines. He knew it. They knew it. God [obviously] knew it. But he tried desperately to make it work. To follow his own plan. And it may have been okay for awhile, but it obviously didn’t end triumphantly.
What did happen is this: once David submitted his will to the plan of the Father, he was back on track to do great things.
As you probably already know, David did fulfill his destiny and calling, becoming Israel’s favorite king and a direct contributor to the family lineage of Jesus.
That’s the thing about running away from the waiting. I’m not here to judge – God knows I’ve grabbed the reins to my wagon and set out on my own a time or ten thousand. But is that trail you’re blazing headed in the right direction, or is it just a detour from your destiny?
Happy Monday, friends!