As a result of David’s need of provisions for himself and his men, God has given him…two more wives (1 Samuel 25:43-44.) His first wife, Michal, had betrayed him and Saul has now given her to another man.
David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and both of them became his wives. 44 Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim.
Then the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding himself on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the east of Jeshimon?” 2 So Saul arose and went down to the wilderness of Ziph with three thousand chosen men of Israel to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph. 3 And Saul encamped on the hill of Hachilah, which is beside the road on the east of Jeshimon. But David remained in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness, 4 David sent out spies and learned that Saul had indeed come. 5 Then David rose and came to the place where Saul had encamped. And David saw the place where Saul lay, with Abner the son of Ner, the commander of his army. Saul was lying within the encampment, while the army was encamped around him. ~1 Samuel 25:43-26:5
So let’s just get this straight…the man needs provisions and God gives him more responsibility. He needs food and God gives him more mouths to feed. Not to mention the fact that he is still in the barren wilderness without the means to obtain what he desperately needs on his own. He simply cannot provide it for himself. His would-be friends, the Ziphites, are still his enemies. Saul, his king who had put away his rage against him for a moment, is now pursuing him full force once again.
I’m confused. What is God doing to this man? My tendency is to pity David and curse God at this point. But the truth is that God is putting David at his mercy in order to gain his full trust and dependence. David already knows how to fight valiantly for God. Now, God is teaching David how to rest in him.
David may have been in desperate personal need. He may have had more responsibility and more people counting on him than ever before. He may have been in the deepest part of the wilderness. But he still knew exactly what his enemy was up to. He knew exactly where Saul was. He goes to the man, not to fight or injure, but to, once again, humble him and reveal his helpless vulnerability (1 Samuel 26:7-12.)
This all sounds quite familiar. God tests every saint in these ways. He did it to his own Son. If you feel like David – in desperate personal need, loaded with responsibility, forever in the wilderness, and plagued by enemies who should, by all rights, be true friends, don’t despair. Jesus endured as much and learned obedience by what he suffered (Hebrews 5:8.)
Nevertheless, the truth is that we have reason to identify with Saul much more often than we do with David. We are Saul. David is Jesus. He always knows exactly what we’re up to. He knows exactly where we are, even when we’re returning to besetting sins, trying to hide from him, and acting as his worst enemies. And yet, he comes to us. He comes not to fight or injure, but to once again humble us and reveal our helpless vulnerability as well as our desperate need of the grace he so willingly offers repeatedly.
Davids, don’t despair. Sauls, don’t hide. Jesus is enough for both of you.