I was studying David this week and came across a very interesting story. In 1 Samuel 23 David helps Keilah, a city of Judah. Keilah was besieged by the Philistines. David was initially worried about going to help the city because he didn't want Saul to find him. Verse 4 says that David inquired of the LORD and the LORD told him that the Philistines would be delivered into his hand. David was always seeking God's will on these things. He knew it was God's will for him to go down to Keilah to fight the Philistines.
The good news of this story is that David defeats the Philistines and saves the city, but unfortunately Saul finds out that David is in Keilah. Saul responds to this news by saying, "God hath delivered him into mine hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that hath gates and bars." Saul thought that God had delivered David into his hand. So was it God's will for David to be sent to Keilah so that Saul could capture and kill him? Let's look at the rest of the story.
David, realizing that Saul was coming for him, inquired of the LORD again. This time he asked God if the city, which he had just saved, would surrender him over to Saul. God replied that they would surrender him to Saul. Thanks alot, Keilah. Obviously, David then flees to the wilderness of Ziph, where Saul will continue to pursue him later.
As I wrote in the title, somebody is wrong. It can't be God's will for David to be delivered into Saul's hand and for David to be warned so that he can flee. How do we know which one is right? The answer relies on one question, who actually talked to God? Did David talk to God? Verses 10 and 11 read, O LORD God of Israel, thy servant hath certainly heard that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake. Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? Will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O LORD God of Isreal, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. Sounds like he talked to God. But talking to God and talking with God are different. Talking with God requires listening to Him as well. So did God respond? God first answers in verse 11 that Saul will come down and again in verse 12 that the people of Keilah would deliver him unto Saul.
Now let's look at Saul. Did Saul talk to God? Saul says in verse 7, God hath delivered him (David) into mine hand. Hmmm? I don't think Saul talked to God at all. He made an assumption about God. That assumption was that God would do whatever Saul thought was best for himself. Thankfully, we are smarter than Saul. We never assume that God's will is meant to match up with what we think is best for us. Right? Unfortunately, that's not always the case. We do have a tendency to assume we know God's will without consulting Him.
So how do we know if something is God's will? Same way David did; we talk with God. "Thank you, Thomas, but what if He doesn't respond. God talked back to David, but He doesn't always talk back to me." The truth is that most of the answers we are looking for can be found in God's Word. We either don't want to take the time to look for them or think critically about it, or we already know what the Bible says and we're hoping that God will switch things up for us. So whatever the decision may be, God's Word probably already has the answer for it or the principle that you can use to figure it out.
Have you ever assumed you knew God's will? How did that work out for you? We tend to make God's will something of a mystery, but God's Word reveals so much to us. What are some things that God has revealed to you about His will through His Word? Feel free to respond and share on the blog page or the Facebook page.