1 Samuel 23 has Saul pursuing David. David is living in hiding, and hears that the Philistines have been fighting against Keilah and robbing their threshing floors. So “David inquired of the Lord” to see what he should do. Great lesson here – ask God for direction – don’t just take off and do the first thing that you feel. God tells him to go, and he goes to his men, but they were afraid and didn’t want to join him. So “David inquired of the Lord again” to make sure he had the right instruction. And God gave him the same answer – he was to go which he did and “David saved the inhabitants of Keilah” that day. He dealt a blow to the Philistines and stopped the robbing of their grain.
Of course news like that spread quickly and Saul hears where David is. So he decides to go capture the city and kill the people there for harboring David. The threat comes back to David who again seeks God because he knew that “Saul was plotting harm against him” but David didn’t want to cause harm to the people of the city. God tells him what will happen, so David immediately flees with his 600 men and caused Saul to call off the pursuit.
But Saul is determined to capture David. In fact, “Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand”. It was a game of cat and mouse, with Saul getting information and David moving to a new place to confound him. Jonathan finds out where David is and comes to be with him. In fact, Saul’s son “strengthened his hand in God”. Jonathan came to encourage David to keep on and remain strong because he would soon be king. This is the son of the king who is trying to kill David. It seems like a strange relationship, but shows the power of friendship. And they take it even further when “the two of them made a covenant before the Lord”. We often hear that blood is thicker than water. Not so in this case – their friendship supersedes all else.
Saul keeps chasing David. They find out he is in the wilderness of Maon and go to capture him. But while they are on the hunt, a message came that said “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land“. Saul has to turn back to protect his kingdom from the enemy. David has escaped to live another day. God continues to bless him and protect him as he prepares him to be king. We must never forget that God will find a way even when there seems to be no way. He is able, and He is in control!