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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Fear of Leaving the Fortress

1 Samuel 23:1-3

Verse 3 But David’s men said to him, “Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!”

David and his men seem to have been given a priest in just the nick of time as they learn a town nearby has been invaded by the Philistines. The city of Keilah was about 3 miles southeast of the cave Adullam where David and his men had been hiding and about 18 miles southwest of Jerusalem. Saul lived north of Jerusalem and so would not have heard about the invasion as soon as David and his army.

David wastes no time in inquiring of the Lord about going to war against the Philistines. Abiathar’s joining the men was not an accident and David knows that God has provided him the exact person he needed for this time of being on the run. It must have eased David’s mind to know that he didn’t have to leave the hideout to seek out a priest to inquire of God for him.

David’s concern for a town in Judah shows his love of God and His people. Though not yet their king, David was wanting to protect and save the people that would be in his future kingdom. This reveals a part of David’s character that definitely shows his being a man after God’s own heart. He sees the need and is ready to go if the Lord says, “go.” But his men aren’t so sure.

We need to remember what had brought this rag tag bunch of men together. These men weren’t there simply because they wanted to fight with David, they were there because they were having troubles of their own (1 Samuel 22:2) and misery loves company. These men didn’t have a firm grip of their own lives and now David was wanting them to go to battle with him. Sure the people of Keilah were in a bind but was it really their business to help them? What if their own pursuers were to find out they were in Keilah, wouldn’t they be in danger of being captured? What if Saul found out and killed David? What would happen to them if they lost their leader?

These men admit they are already living in fear and don’t want to increase the feeling. We deal with fear when leaving where we feel safe too, don’t we? We struggle to see how God could keep us safe in situations we see as scary. We especially don’t want to put ourselves out there in those positions for someone we don’t know. But God may have us, like He did David and his men, in the right place, at the right time, for His purpose.

Making It Personal

Where do you see fear in your life? Is this fear keeping you from ministering in a way that God may be calling you to? What would it take for you to step out in faith into a ministry opportunity?

Making It Personal Kids

Are there times when you are more afraid than others? In those times is it harder to do what Jesus would want you to do? What is something that would help you obey Jesus when you are afraid?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for Your patience with us when we are afraid. Give us wisdom to see the root of why we are afraid and help us address that issue in our minds and hearts. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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