Did you find yourself hunting, searching, seeking for the LORD somewhere in this chapter? I sure did…
I was reminded of the time I found myself visiting the ER with a health scare two days in a row. After a seven-hour visit on day one, I found myself back in the ER the following day. My precious son-in-law had left work to drive me and had stayed until my husband arrived; but at some point I found myself alone in a hospital bed behind a thin blue curtain pulled closed for privacy. And though I could not see Him, I knew I was not really alone; although He was unseen, I knew, by faith, He was with me.
And in these eleven verses of 1 Samuel 29, reading and re-reading, so desperately wanting to see Him yet unable to clearly make Him out in the events recounted in this chapter, I was reminded of that ER bed.
And I know sometimes that is the way it is in life, desperately searching for His Presence when the future seems unsure. Our own human sight, situations and common sense, like that thin blue curtain, can obscure Him; He must be Seen by Faith.
Consider Him Who is Seen by Faith
For sixteen long months, even though David had been anointed king of Israel, his future appeared unsettled as he lived amidst an enemy of Israel to escape the hand of his own enemy, the current king of Israel.
Then David said to himself, “Now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape into the land of the Philistines. Saul then will despair of searching for me anymore in all the territory of Israel, and I will escape from his hand.” … 7 The number of days that David lived in the country of the Philistines was a year and four months, (1 Samuel 27:1, 7).
And now, David, rather than being honored for his service was being sent, seemingly backwards, and seemingly without good cause.
“Now therefore return and go in peace, that you may not displease the lords of the Philistines.”David said to Achish, “But what have I done? And what have you found in your servant from the day when I came before you to this day, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?” (1 Samuel 29:7-8).
What David may have actually had planned, had he been allowed to continue in this raid, is not revealed in this chapter. But what is revealed through the recorded accounts in Scripture of David’s actions and words, greatly increases our own understanding of Him Who is Seen by Faith.
David, the man after God’s own heart, knew his God and was convinced of and committed to His truth. David knew that circumstances were a constant rival against truth; that the enemy was relentless in his pursuit; and that when he kept his focus on what could be seen, the temporal would cloud over and conceal God’s Presence. And David was committed in his resolve to continually seek Him, to find refuge and strength in Him Who is Seen by Faith, despite his own circumstances and feelings.
Consider the words David penned while fleeing from his enemy, Saul.
For the choir director; set to Al-tashheth. A Mikhtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.
Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me,
For my soul takes refuge in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge
Until destruction passes by.
2 I will cry to God Most High,
To God who accomplishes all things for me.
3 He will send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches him who tramples upon me. Selah.
God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth, (Psalm 57:1-3).
How do we respond to Him Who is Seen by Faith?
This chapter prompted me to meditate on this truth: we are called, each and every day, to live by faith, to believe He is Sovereign and He is our refuge, and to be convinced He will undoubtedly accomplish all things for us. When I am looking for Him in those times I cannot see Him with human eyes or understanding, I can be assured, by faith, He is with me.
Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord—7 for we walk by faith, not by sight— (2 Corinthians 5:6-7).
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, (Hebrews 11:1).
And when we come to Him with trusting faith, He is pleased.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him, (Hebrews 11:6).
Oh, that we would so grow to please Him as we trust Him Who is Seen by Faith. And when we do, He promises that not only will we please Him, but our lives will be transformed.
Even when the thin blue curtain of life attempts to hide His face, He promises when we place our trust in Him, He will expand us beyond that curtained-off existence to flourish like a tree planted by water; planted to grow and thrive in the midst of adversity without fear or anxiety; planted in Him Who is Seen by Faith to live bountifully fruitful lives in Him and for His glory.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
8 “For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit, (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples,” (John 15:8).