1 SAMUEL 23:24-29 – And they arose and went to Ziph ahead of Saul. Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah to the south of Jeshimon. And Saul and his men went to seek him. And David was told, so he went down to the rock and lived in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon. Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. And David was hurrying to get away from Saul. As Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them, a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land.” So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines. Therefore that place was called the Rock of Escape. And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of Engedi.”
There are times in our lives when each of us could claim ownership of the first two verses of the thirteenth Psalm – How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?(Psalm 13:1-2). Who has not approached the Lord with an urgent plea for direction or some form of help and the heavens appear silent? And when those delays come, do we not feel like David expressing intense impatience–“How long, how long, how long, how long?” like a broken record?
One of the most important lessons we must learn in the Christian life is taught in today’s scriptures in the life of David; God’s timing is not ours; His intervening in our lives is on His timetable, not ours. Enter the scene. David and his men are hiding in the wilderness. Saul and his men are hot on his trail. He was consumed with killing David. Every move David made, Saul got wind and intensified the pursuit. And he was closing in. The actual scripture reads, “As Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them.” I wonder if David had reconnaissance scouts out on all sides of his army looking for Saul and they saw the “dust on the horizon” of the approaching enemy. Fear gripping them, David no doubt had been crying out to the Lord for protection, even deliverance, and God seemed nowhere. Then, just at the eleventh hour or the “nick of time”, God intervenes. The scripture reads – As Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them, a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land.” So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines. Notice how God protected David. It wasn’t by some miraculous sign or act. He simply diverted Saul away from David for a more pressing matter.
When it comes to seeking the Lord for help and direction, two things to remember. First, God is in control of our circumstances to include the changing of them based on His purpose and timing, not our desires and timing. Next, His delay is for our good to develop patience and submission. If He answered our prayers the way we want, when we want, then our relationship with Him would suffer. God would become our servant and the spiritual life of the relationship would be non-existent. It would be mechanical and lifeless. So, perfect timing; that is our God. Seek Him for guidance and help, resting that He really does know best and that includes the timing to intervene in our lives