Its always good to keep on enquiring of the Lord when we reach those times in our lives of needing to make important decisions. Our passage today begins with David praying about whether he should attack the Philistines who are pressing down on the town of Keilah. When his men tell him that they are afraid of the battle, David again prays to make sure that he has heard God correctly. Its good also to listen to the concerns of others if we are praying into situations which will affect them. This second wave of prayer gives David a clearer idea of the end result. On-going prayer helps us to align our will with God’s. On the first occasion, he knows that Keilah will be saved. When he presses in, he learns also that the Philistines will be delivered into his hands.
We also learn in this passage that even when we pray and God gives us a victory in a particular situation, it does not mean that things will be easy or that our lives will be straightforward. Unfortunately for David, his decision to go to Keilah meant that he put himself within Saul’s easy reach once more and, after the success of the battle, had to escape to the hills. He learnt that despite saving the people of Keilah, they had no loyalty to him and given pressure from Saul would have surrendered David to him. If we do good deeds for others in order to make their lives better, we should not expect that they will feel obliged to repay us. Our motivation should always be concerned with God’s command to love, not anything we might want or need in return.
When we press on in prayer, however, about a situation, the Lord sometimes gives us something even better than we originally asked for. He kept David safe from harm in the mountains and his great friend: Jonathan sought him out to pledge his support. It’s always good to know that we have friends walking alongside us when life gets hard. Finally, in our passage we see God’s miraculous delivery of David when Saul and his men seem about to discover him and hem him in. Saul receives a message that the Philistines are raiding the land and so he stops pursuing David. David is able then to flee to a safe place in the strongholds of En Gedi. Saved again!
Lord please help us to press in when we pray for the needs of our world, our nation, our families and ourselves.