David: Finding Confidence in the Desert

Saul was jealous of David and all his successes, so he pursued him relentlessly for a long period of time. David had his chances to kill Saul and claim the throne that God had promised him, but he refused. He remained a faithful servant of God and waited upon the Lord to rescue him. 

Living in the Desert

It isn’t common knowledge, but there was a time David actually deserted the people of Israel. For one and a half years, David went to live with the Philistines. It is during this time that we can learn valuable lessons about confidence in the desert. We can also gain understanding in the ways God deals with us and changes our hearts to bring us back to Him.

David was tired of running from Saul and decided it was easier to find a place where Saul could not pursue him. David decided to move to Gath, the city that Goliath came from.

One day, David asked King Achish if he could live in a smaller town; King Achish agreed and gave him the town of Ziklag, where David, his wives and 600 men lived. From there, David and his men raided many villages south of Judah. Because David did this time and time again, King Achish thought that David must be hated by the people of Israel, so he would stay in Ziklag and be loyal to him.

There came a time when the Philistines, who always disliked Israel, decide to go to war against them. Because David and his men have proven themselves mighty warriors, King Achish asks them to come out of Ziklag to join him in battle against the Israelites. At this point, God shows David that He can be trusted, even when David doesn’t understand.

  1. Have Confidence in God When I Don’t Understand

“Now it came about in those days that the Philistines gathered their armed camps for war, to fight against Israel. And Achish said to David, ‘Know assuredly that you will go out with me in the camp, you and your men.’ David said to Achish, ‘Very well, you shall know what your servant can do.’ So Achish said to David, ‘Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life’” (1 Sam. 28:1-2).

Because of years of being hunted by Saul, David gets all desperate and agrees to fight with the Philistines against Saul.

There are going to be times in your life when you will feel desperate, but don’t let desperation make you foolish.

King Achish, overjoyed that a great warrior had agreed to join his forces, informs his generals that David will fight with them against Israel. But to his dismay, the generals rebuke David and voice their concerns that David may change his mind in the heat of battle and turn against them instead.

The king brings the bad news back to David, who is waiting with his men, ready to fight against Israel. When David hears what the king has to say, he becomes enraged. He doesn’t understand why all of this is happening to him, but even when David doesn’t understand, God does!

There will be times in your life when God is not going to take sides with you; instead, He is going to take over and you must trust Him.

God’s Sovereign Hand of Protection

What David didn’t know was that the very battle he was hoping to jump into would cause a massacre of Israelites. When the Philistines come to clean up the area, they find the dead body of Saul, the king of Israel, and his three sons — including Jonathan, David’s best friend.

God knew that if David had gotten his way, he would have taken part in a battle where Saul had been killed. Forever, he would be considered a traitor to Israel.

  1. Have Confidence in God When I feel All Alone

Sometimes, God will remove people’s confidence in you in order for you to gain confidence in God.

“Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep … Moreover, David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Sam. 30:4, 6).

Sometimes, God will remove everyone around you and by leaving you all alone, He forces you to change. Sometimes God removes people’s support in order to help us to wean ourselves off of people and to truly start trusting in God.

  1. Have Confidence in God When I Don’t Know What to Do

God is going to build trust even when you don’t know what to do.

“David inquired of the Lord, saying, ‘Shall I pursue this band? Shall I overtake them?’ And He said to him, ‘Pursue, for you will surely overtake them, and you will surely rescue all’” (1 Sam. 30:8).

When his heart returned to God, David was able to rescue all of the people and became one of the greatest kings in history. But in order for that to happen, God had to first take David through an arduous journey through the lonely desert. Only then was God able to exchange David’s soiled heart for the heart of a king. Like David, we have a choice: we can either drop out or seek God. Choose to seek God and you will notice a wonderful renewing process in your heart.

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