Close shaves – Sela Hammahlekoth

July 20, 2021

Then Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. So David made haste to get away from Saul, for Saul and his men were encircling David and his men to take them. But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have invaded the land!” Therefore Saul returned from pursuing David, and went against the Philistines; so they called that place Sela-hammahlekoth – the Rock of Escape1 Sam 23:26-28

We all know the story of David’s years with Saul. He slew Goliath, and he became the darling of Israel, and then trouble started. This talented guy was hunted down relentlessly by the King. It didn’t matter to him, that this young chap was his own son-in-law. Saul was an insecure maniac, a control freak. We all know some bosses and manipulative managers like that, don’t we!

So here’s Saul pursuing young David. And David is running for his life, everyday he is on the move, probably a couple of weeks in a town and then the threat starts and he has to go again. Locals ready to betray, plus he has to be on guard even from his own troops. God alone saved David time and again. He is cut off from friends, family. He is cut off from the company of believers, no Church, no worship teams, no fellowship, no nothing. He’s running for his life, to get enough food and stay alive each day was a big thing. There are so many wilderness Psalms that David has written during this time and they inspire us forever. When you read these Psalms, don’t forget that David was an intimate friend of Christ. He loved the Messiah deeply and wrote so much about the life of Christ to come.

In 1 Sam 23, Saul’s army is finally inclosing on the fellow. In a few hours or few minutes it will be all over for David. He would have been killed and so would his band of few men. Then a messenger comes to Saul saying, boss your house is on fire, Philistines have invaded, come quickly. He rushes off to take care of the other business. Yet once more God saves David.

Many times we are in situations like that. It could be a wrong job, it could be a deceptive investment opportunity, in hours you may have signed on. Or it could be strong temptation, an enemy trap, a false marriage proposal, a wrong career move, we are at the brink of signing on. And then Jesus rescues us. Left to ourselves we would have made wrong choices and regretted for life. But God saves us.

When we look at David’s life closely, here are a few things that may have saved his life that day.

Godly friendships: In the same chapter (1 Sam 23:16-18) we see that Jonathan comes into the wilderness to encourage David. They made a covenant before the Lord. Do you have such Covenant friendships. At least do you have praying friends? If not, its time to spend time in prayer with friends. I have no doubt, Jonathan was praying for David everyday, esp when he knew that his dad went out searching to kill his best-friend.

Godly mentors: Samuel was still alive. Till the last day of his life, I have no doubt that Samuel would have prayed for Israel and for David. Remember, it was he who anointed him king in Jesse’s house.

Godly spouses: Many times your husband may be in some deep trouble at office or elsewhere. The only thing that would probably save him is his wife’s prayer. So, if the Lord puts a burden anytime to pray for your husband, just stop everything and pray. It could save his very life or even your marriage. Same thing for your sisters or brothers. Anytime you feel a recurring burden from the Lord to pray for someone, don’t slight it. Just get on your knees, till the weight is lifted from your soul. Then the coast is clear. Sometimes you feel a nudge to call, just do it.

Pray for one another. Even Jesus needed praying friends with him in Gethsemane. Even at the Cross, how much it would have meant to him, to have John, his mother Mary, his relatives, the other disciples and women there with him. When Peter was about to be killed, what kept him was the constant prayer from the Church (Acts 12). When the death warrant was signed for the wisemen of Babylon, Daniel called his friends home for a prayer meeting. When the going gets tough, you need prayer support from others. Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ (Gal 6:2).

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