Reading through the Bible together
As we read this chapter we ask, “What does this passage tell me about God?”
In verses 2 and 4 David asks the Lord whether he should rescue the people of Keilah (a town in Judah) who were suffering from Philistine raiders, and the Lord told David that he should, and God gave him the victory. Since Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech the priest, had brought an ephod with him it is likely that the Lord communicated with the young priest through the Urim and Thummim stones that were attached to the ephod.
In verses 10-12 David hears that Saul will destroy Keilah in order to get David. The Lord confirms Saul's intentions, and tells David that the people of Keilah will turn him and his men over to Saul. So David takes his men out of Keilah into the Judean desert.
The Lord was guiding David’s movements, even in the lonely wilderness. Verse 14 says that “God did not give David into the hands of Saul.”
The high point of the chapter is the meeting between David and Jonathan in the Desert of Ziph. Jonathan helped David find strength in God and told him that he would be king over Israel, “and I will be second to you.” Like John the Baptist, Jonathan said, “he must increase, and I must decrease.” As it turned out, this was the last time David saw Jonathan.
In the final incident of the chapter, David escaped from Saul when the king was called back to drive the Philistine raiders out of the country. God is not mentioned, but we see the Lord in action by reading between the lines.
The Lord had a plan for David, and in spite of his mistakes and Saul’s aggressions, God was working things out. He has plans for us also, and if we trust Him, He will work things out for us also.
Retired Professor and Missionary