“Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah, and he said, “God has delivered him into my hands, for David has imprisoned himself by entering a town with gates and bars.” 8 And Saul called up all his forces for battle, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men. 9 When David learned that Saul was plotting against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod.”10 David said, “Lord, God of Israel, your servant has heard definitely that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town on account of me. 11 Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to him? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? Lord, God of Israel, tell your servant.” And the Lord said, “He will.” 12 Again David asked, “Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will.” 1 Samuel 23.7-12
David knew not to go against Saul on his own. As a man after God’s own heart, David understood enough to consult the Lord on every matter. And so, when the time came for him to escape the grasp of Saul, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod.”
Saul heard where David was and what he was doing in Keilah. He believed that God had delivered David into his hands. So Saul calls all his forces up for battle to go and attack David and his men.
But in contrast, David consulted the Lord. Saul did not consult the Lord through the ephod (the linen priestly garment they used for discerning God’s voice.) Saul “assumed” God had delivered David into his hands. But David consulted the ephod with Abiathar, the newly chosen priest. Verses 10-12 records David’s prayer to the Lord and God’s answer to David.
It’s so easy for us to get busy going about our lives, building our big institutions, campaigning for our agenda that we forget to consult the Lord. Saul assumed God was with him but David actually sought the Lord. I have found myself in circumstances where I also assumed God would bless my efforts but in the end, I was seeking what I thought was God but it wasn’t his will for my life. I thought that by simply “being” God would automatically smile upon my every whim.
We should model David’s example who cried out to the Lord time and time again. David made God first and foremost in his life and decisions. And we can do the same. We can put him center stage of all we do and say. I’m not suggesting this will be easy or will go without a fight. The enemy, the devil, and our own sinful flesh nature will fight obedience and holiness at every turn. But stay true and remained tuned in to God. For his ways are best and his discernment is higher.
“O Lord God, just as David consulted the ephod, representing your presence, so shall I seek your face. In every decision, every moment, every breath — I want you involved. It is my will to know you and your will for me to be known. Come now, Lord God, help me in my weakness. Rescue me even when I am unwilling to relinquish my heart for yours. I love you Lord and thank you for your Holy Spirit which abides with all who call upon the name of Jesus. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen