Fear, Faith and Foolishness

1 Samuel 23

 In the last study we saw a transformation in David from fear of Saul to listening to God speak through the prophet Gad. Now the news comes to David that the Philistines are fighting against Keilah. David asks God if he should go help the people of Keilah and God says yes. David is asking for God’s direction in faith. However, the men who are with him are largely there because of fear so they respond in fear and don’t want to go. David doesn’t argue with them instead he asks God again and the answer is the same. So David leads his men by faith and delivers Keilah from the Philistines.

 In this victory those men who were with David were learning about how to walk by faith and not by sight. One day many of them will be known as David’s mighty men because they too will act out of faith and not fear. David is also learning to walk by faith when he asks God if the people of Keilah will hand him over to Saul when David learns that Saul is coming after him. The answer was yes. David is learning to trust God and Him only. The people of Keilah were afraid of Saul. So were the Ziphites who were of the tribe of Judah, as was David. Sure enough they betray David to Saul.

 As Saul is chasing David, Jonathan, Saul’s son, finds David and makes a covenant with David. Jonathan knows that David will be king and so the deal is that Jonathan will be second after David. The agreement is made but Jonathan goes back to his father rather than join David.

 Jonathan is acting in foolishness. The faith of the foolish is usually in pride. I fear there are a lot of Christians who are just as casual in their commitment to God as Jonathan was in his covenant with David. If Jonathan is going to be second in command to the king he needs to be with the king but instead he goes back to the old life and the old ways. Casual Christians do the same. They are in Church and Bible studies and they know that Jesus died for them and that he is coming back to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords but they are not with Him. Jesus is not their King or their Lord. It is not as if they are fearful it is that their faith is in the old life and the old ways, just like Jonathan. Their faith and their hope are not in God and their words and actions show it. This was the problem with the church in Laodicea in Revelation 3:15-22.

 When it comes to our commitment to God, He knows we come with fears. The Bible tells us we all have a measure of faith. If our faith is not in God it is misplaced. He wants to transform our fears by relocating our faith to Him. When our faith is in Him we are strong.

 In the previous chapters we see God allowing David to go through events that exposed his fears until we get to this chapter where he is seeking and trusting God by faith. Now his men are going through the same process but they are with a man of faith not fear, and they will observe and learn how to be men of faith as they follow him. We must follow Jesus wherever and through whatever He leads if we are to grow in faith.

 Jonathan acted in foolishness and paid a huge price. The Bible has a lot to say about foolishness especially the book of Proverbs but we will have to wait for those studies.

 For now we can learn from the King. Our study today is in Psalms 31, 64, and 1 Samuel 23.

 Do you know where your faith is?

Pastor Dave