1 Samuel 23

* David rescues Keilah. (1-6) God warns him to escape from

Keilah. (7-13) Jonathan comforts David. (14-18) He is rescued

from Saul by an invasion of the Philistines. (19-29)

1-6 When princes persecute God's people, let them expect

vexation on all sides. The way for any country to be quiet, is

to let God's church be quiet in it: if Saul fight against David,

the Philistines fight against his country. David considered

himself the protector of the land. Thus did the Saviour Jesus,

and left us an example. Those are unlike David, who sullenly

decline to do good, if they are not rewarded for services.
7-13 Well might David complain of his enemies, that they

rewarded him evil for good, and that for his love they were his

adversaries. Christ was used thus basely. David applied to his

great Protector for direction. No sooner was the ephod brought

him than he made use of it. We have the Scriptures in our hands,

let us take advice from them in doubtful cases. Say, Bring

hither the Bible. David's address to God is very solemn, also

very particular. God allows us to be so in our addresses to him;

Lord, direct me in this matter, about which I am now at a loss.

God knows not only what will be, but what would be, if it were

not hindered; therefore he knows how to deliver the godly out of

temptation, and how to render to every man according to his

works.
14-18 David made no attempt against Saul; he kept God's way,

waited God's time, and was content to secure himself in woods

and wildernesses. Let it make us think the worse of this world,

which often gives such bad treatment to its best men: let it

make us long for that kingdom where goodness shall for ever be

in glory, and holiness in honour. We find Jonathan comforting

David. As a pious friend, he directed him to God, the Foundation

of his comfort. As a self-denying friend, he takes pleasure in

the prospect of David's advancement to the throne. As a constant

friend, he renewed his friendship with him. Our covenant with

God should be often renewed, and therein our communion with him

kept up. If the converse of one friend, at one meeting, gives

comfort and strengthens our hearts, what may not be expected

from the continual supports and powerful love of the Saviour of

sinners, the covenanted Friend of believers!
19-29 In the midst of his wickedness, Saul affected to speak

the language of piety. Such expressions, without suitable

effects, can only amuse or deceive those who hear, and those who

use them. This mountain was an emblem of the Divine Providence

coming between David and the destroyer. Let us not be dismayed

at the prospect of future difficulties, but stay ourselves upon

Him who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working. Sooner

than his promise shall fail, he will commission Philistines to

effect our escape, at the very moment when our case appears most

desperate. God requires entire dependence on him, If ye will not

believe, surely ye shall not be established, #Isa 7:9|.

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