The stories found in these 2 chapters are straight-forward but as a reader, I find the situations quite puzzling.
In chapter 23, David saves the city of Keilah. Despite having a ragtag of a bunch of people, they were able to soundly defeat the Philistines.
You would have thought that the people of Keilah would be extremely grateful to David and his men and go all out to protect and provide for them. But no! When Saul heard that David was in Keilah, he prepared his forces to attack David there. And God allowed David to understand that the people of Keilah would turn David over to Saul and so David escaped.
Then we read of the Ziphites reporting David’s location to Saul. This is strange as they are of the tribe of Judah and to betray someone from their own tribe is quite unthinkable.
In chapter 24, we see Saul still pursuing David.
When you consider all the things that David had done for Saul, you wonder how could Saul treat David this way? I mean, no one in their right minds would seek to hurt their benefactors, right?
Why did the people of Keilah or Ziph betray David? Why did Saul not care about what David did in the past.
This was because they saw only their own benefits and not God’s will.
David was indeed very different.
Many people also tend to be like David’s followers, believing that safety is best achieved by isolation or by hiding out from the dangers of the world. But David knew that his safety depended upon his closeness to God.
We should not hide when God calls us to the salt and light of the world, even though risks are involved. Christians are not immune to the injustices of the world, as Ahimelech and his priests discovered. However, no one is safer the one who trusts and obeys God, even during the most dangerous of circumstances.
David is really someone to model after.
When he cut Saul’s robes (1 Sam 24:5), he felt extremely remorseful. Even though this was a trivial matter, compared to the urging of his followers to slay Saul, David felt that his was a grave act as it had been committed against God’s king, and in turn, he had raised his hand against God.
David could behave the way he did because he knew clearly who God is and what his actions would mean. And he considered for the needs of others more than himself.
Saul and the people of Keilah and Ziph behaved the way they did, because they did not really know God’s will and commands. And they only thought of themselves.
Who are we more like today?