1 Samuel 23:4-26
Then David inquired of the LORD yet again. And the LORD answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah…
The contrast between David at Nob or Gath and at Hareth and Keilah is most marked.
1. It is God's will he desires to know (ver. 4). Truly David at this time waited only upon God, and his expectation was from Jehovah (Psalm 62). Hunger for Divine guidance is a gracious sign! The Master blessed such (Matthew 5:6). Such a state of heart is preparation surely for larger blessing.
2. Obedience and humble reliance upon God may not lessen difficulties? David's own people oppose his advance upon Keilah. So he and his enter Keilah. All now is well surely! Yes, all is well, but it looked not so. Strange that in obeying God he found more difficulties! Not so if we understand he is in training for the crown. Is this not so of all those who are unto God a nation of priestly kings? Not a murmur escapes David's lips. Into Ziph, a small place at the edge of the Southern desert, David enters, concealing himself in the ravines there. The time spent in Ziph was a time of separation and solitariness.
3. Obedience leading to apparently hopeless disaster. To seek the favour of the king the Ziphites send word to him of David. Deceit generally sets its face toward power. It is well to be on the side which looks like winning at any rate. From their point of view their "part" might be justified. What can we say, however, concerning Soul's reception of these Ziphites? What a whimpering, hypocritical utterance: "Blessed be ye of the Lord, for ye have compassion on me!" How horrid the "forms" of piety when the thing itself is gone! A benediction in the name of God from Saul! Success is with these plotters! They track their prey. Before Saul and his men David flees down the face of the rock into the wilderness. Here truly they are enclosing him in the net they have spread. Strangers had risen up against him, and the oppressor sought for his soul. (Psalm 54:3). Hope began to droop her wings. (ver. 27). Times of deepest distress are hours of God's deliverances. Have we no record indelibly written of God's delivering mercy? — no place called Sela-hammahlekoth (ver. 28), or Rock of Divisions, to which memory leads? Psalm 54, ascribed to this period, tells of calmness of heart during this exciting time, "Behold, God is mine helper" (ver. 4).
(H. E. Stone.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then David inquired of the LORD yet again. And the LORD answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into thine hand.