“Then Saul said, ‘I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have acted foolishly, and have made a great mistake.’ And David answered and said,.. The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the Lord gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the Lord‘s anointed. Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the Lord, and may he deliver me out of all tribulation.’ Then Saul said to David, ‘Blessed be you, my son David! You will do many things and will succeed in them.’ So David went his way, and Saul returned to his place. Then David said in his heart, ‘Now I shall perish one day by the hand of Saul. I should escape to the land of the Philistines… out of [Saul’s] hand.’ So David arose and went over… to Achish, king of Gath.” 1 Samuel 26:21-27:2
Saul pledged to David once more he would not harm him, but David had learned that Saul’s words, spoken in regret, were without conviction. He had every reason not to believe Saul, but no reason not to believe his God, Who had promised him the kingdom and faithfully delivered him time and again. The reality of Saul’s repeated attempts to murder him compelled him to take refuge for the mean time away from the king’s jealous eye, fighting for the Philistines. Fueled by faith in God’s word and protection, David chose to preserve his life for the future He had foretold. (1 Samuel 16:1,3,12-13; 20:30-31; 24:16-21; Psalm 52; 54; 56; 57; 59)
We decide all the time who we believe, from weather forecasters to journalists to leaders in many disciplines, and what we believe drives what we do. We accept or reject what others say according to their credentials, and to our own opinions, preconceptions, and preferences, and act accordingly. Our challenge is to know what is true and who to believe. While we do not hear God speaking audibly today, we do have the completed scriptures, and we can test what is written or spoken today by the standard of inerrant biblical truth.
Are there ideas I want to believe, and so look for affirmation only from those who would agree with me? Do I make decisions based on feeling and desire rather than truth? Am I careful to consider the character and trustworthiness of those whose advice I seek and implement? Our gracious God promises to give wisdom and insight when we seek him. Often this is through someone else, so it is important to confirm what we hear with God’s voice in Scripture and the Spirit’s peace in directing us. (Psalm 32:8; John 16:13; James 1:5)
Lord, guard me from listening to and heeding only what I want to hear. May I ever put my trust in You, Whose word I praise. May I walk before You in the light of life in every decision, no matter where You lead me. (Psalm 56:3-4,13)