Scripture: 1 Samuel 23
I. God provides divine guidance in time of need.
A. The only priest to survive when Saul slaughtered the priests was Abiathar. And when he came to David, Abiathar brought the ephod, the clothes that the priests wore which contained the Urim and Thummim which revealed God’s will for Israel that we read about in Numbers 27:21: “And (Joshua) shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the Lord. At his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he and all the people of Israel with him, the whole congregation.”
B. David asked God twice for guidance through the priest (vs. 6), and God gave him the guidance he needed with regard to attacking the Philistines (vs. 2, 4). And God answers yes to both of David’s questions in vs. 11 and 12. David and his men leave Keilah as a result of this guidance from God. God helped David escape from Saul by giving him divine guidance.
II. God provides divine encouragement in time of need.
A. David needed encouragement when he was in the desert. And that is exactly what Jonathan does (vs. 17). Jonathan reminds David that God has promised David that he will be Israel’s king. Jonathan then encouraged David with the promises of God – specifically with the promise that the kingdom of the Christ will be established by God. God will keep His promise.
B. Notice David’s outlook on this scary situation in Psalm 54 which the psalm title tells us was written when David was betrayed by the Ziphites to Saul: “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life… For he has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies” (Psalm 54:4, 7). David was confident because his friend Jonathan had just encouraged him with the certain promises of God.
III. God provides divine providence in time of need.
A. Providence is God’s purposeful sovereignty. God the king of the universe works out all circumstances for His intended ends. A messenger comes to Saul in vs. 27 and says, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land.” Saul had to leave because of the Philistines and God’s providence. The rock that separated Saul from David (vs. 28) was also a gift of providence. 2 Samuel 22:2-3: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence.”
We can find strength in God because He has provided the resources we need to help us stand.
The book of 1 Samuel
Commentaries on 1 Samuel by Dale Ralph Davis, Robert Bergen, and Tim Chester.
Sermon Discussion Questions
1) Why is it an encouragement to us that Jesus is our high priest? Do you pray to Jesus when you need guidance?
2) How much do you owe to encouragers – to people like Jonathan? Have you thanked such people lately? Is there someone who needs it that you could encourage this week?
3) How have you seen God’s providence at work in your life and in your church? Can you trust God that He will provide what you need to protect you like He protected David?