Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David continued...
What David confirms time and again is that prayer is dialogue; prayer is communication. If David was uncertain concerning something in his life, he went to the Lord in prayer, and the Lord answered him.
David spoke to God as to a Master, and a Father, a Lord, and a friend.
1 Samuel 23:10-12, “Then David said, ‘O Lord God of Israel, Your servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake. Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as Your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.’ And the Lord said, ‘He will come down.’ Then David said, ‘Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?’ and the Lord said, ‘They will deliver you.’”
Just in these three verses alone we see the specificity of David’s questions concerning his immediate future, and the specificity of God’s answers. Even though he had just saved the men of Keilah from the hands of the Philistines, David inquires of the Lord as to whether or not they would betray him and deliver him into the hands of Saul, and God’s answer is that they will.
Instead of trying to convince God as to why the men of Keilah wouldn’t betray him, David and his men arose and departed Keilah and went wherever they could.
It is often God tells us a difficult thing, a hard thing, but nevertheless a true thing. We believe what God tells us not because it feels good, or because we necessarily want to, but because we have to.
David didn’t want to hear he would be betrayed by the men of Keilah. He didn’t want to believe that after saving them from the hands of the Philistines, risking his own life in the process, these men would turn on him, betray him, and deliver him to Saul.
Because God told him it would be thus, David believed God at His word, and without delay departed Keilah with all his men.
I’ve only had it happen once, but in truth, once is all that’s necessary for anyone to never again delay, or doubt the words of God.
Some years ago, I was in a prayer meeting and a word came forth warning one close to me would betray me. Although I believed the word, I didn’t act upon it and the person I suspected of being the betrayer never gave any indication of his plans.
Some time passed, and as time is wont to do, the urgency of the word I received was dulled. I’d almost forgotten the prophecy I’d received when the fateful day arrived, and the person of whom the word of the Lord had warned, tried in the most vicious, cunning, and heartless way to destroy the work, the ministry, and members of my family.
Could I have prevented this from happening? Probably not, but if I had been wiser, I could have prepared in such a way that when the word came to pass, I would have been ready to confront the individual head on.
That was the one and only time I took a word from the Lord lightly, or failed to act upon it immediately.
In His love God warns us, He speaks to us, He counsels us, but we still have to choose to take action, and obey the leading of the Lord.
Chances are good both David and his men were tired from having fought the Philistines. All they really wanted was to rest awhile, to eat, perhaps to sleep, then figure out what they would do if Saul decided to come up to Keilah.
It is likely some of David’s men grumbled at the thought of having to leave Keilah, tired, bruised, and hungry, but God had spoken, and David was wise enough to heed the counsel of the Lord and follow through.
Many times, the promises of God are not fulfilled in our lives, because we did not follow through with what He commanded of us.
If God tells us to go minister in a certain place, and He would show great signs and stir the hearts of many to repentance, if we fail to go, if we fail to obey, then we cannot expect him to fulfill the promise of stirring hearts and showing great signs.
The signs and the stirring of the hearts were contingent upon us going. If we fail to obey, then God cannot fulfill the rest of His promise toward us.
Something strange happens in the hearts of men when they don’t follow through with what God has instructed, and when, as consequence, God doesn’t follow through with what He promised. Rather than search their hearts to see why God’s promises have not come to fruition, they grow bitter and resentful toward God for not following through.
There are certain promises God makes which are contingent upon the obedience, steadfastness, and faithfulness of the individual. If the individual in question does not obey, if they get distracted, or otherwise sidetracked, God simply finds another vessel through which to perform the works He promised, and carry out His will.
God is not dependent upon us, we are dependent upon God. No man – no matter how great the calling on their life or the gifting in which they operated – is indispensable. God will not overlook sin, disobedience, rebellion, or duplicity in the heart of an individual no matter how gifted they might be, because God would rather not do a thing, than have the thing He desired to do be tainted.
God is a holy God, he is a righteous God, and it is in righteousness and holiness He performs and brings to pass His will in the lives of obedient and humble servants.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.