The Rock of Escape

by Rick

(Read 1 Samuel 23:15-18)

This morning we continue our series “Grace that is Simply Amazing.”  In yesterday’s message we saw how the Lord provided David encouragement just when he needed it, today we will see him move supernaturally again.

While Saul was looking for David a group of men from Ziph visited the king in Gibeah and betrayed David to him.  They said, “We know where David is hiding he is in the strongholds of Horesh on the hill of Hakilah, which is in the southern part of Jeshimon.  Come down whenever you’re ready, O king, and we will catch him and hand him over to you!”  The men were right, that is exactly where David was, and Saul got excited.  But Saul’s reaction is somewhat sad.  Saul said, “The LORD bless you.”  Saul was not walking with the Lord, he was no longer in God’s will, he was not hearing from God, and he was actually fighting against God, but here he is using religious jargon.  This is no different than someone who says, “God bless you” to others, but who does not have a relationship with God, who could not find God if he/she were locked up with God in a room.  The point is that religious words are not an indication of a person’s heart and God searches the heart.

Saul told the men, “Go and check again to be sure of where he is staying and who has seen him there, for I know that he is very crafty.  Discover his hiding places, and come back when you are sure. Then I’ll go with you.  And if he is in the area at all, I’ll track him down, even if I have to search every hiding place in Judah!”  Saul had a plan and he set his plan in motion.  Meanwhile, David and his men had moved into the wilderness of Maon in the Arabah Valley south of Jeshimon.  When David heard that Saul and his men were searching for him, he went even farther into the wilderness to a place that had been known as “the great rock,” and he remained there in the wilderness of Maon.  But Saul did not give up.  The king and his men pursued David deep into the wilderness to the point where Saul and David were on opposite sides of a mountain.

This was like a scene from a good Western movie.  David and his men were on one side of the mountain and Saul and his army on the other.  Saul had more men, more weapons, and access to reserves.  David was in a bad place and as Saul and his men began to close in on David and his men, it seemed like all hope was gone.  BUT WAIT!  Just as Saul was about to make his move, an urgent message reached Saul that the Philistines were raiding Israel again.  Saul was frustrated.  The man he wanted was right in front of him, but the people he was supposed to protect were behind him in trouble.  So Saul did the right thing and quit chasing David in order to fight the Philistines.  This was clearly God in operation and ever since that day, the place where David was camped has been called “Sela Hammahlekoth,” which is translated, “The Rock of Escape.”

So what does this mean to you today?  A few quick things:
1.  It’s not over until the Lord says it’s over.
2.  When it looks like all hope is gone, God can still make a way.  No situation is too hard for God.
3.  God will keep your enemies from succeeding against you.
4.  Don’t easily forget what God has done for you.  The place is still called “The Rock of Escape” to remind people what God did for David; and if He did it for David, He can do it for you!
5.  Look back and say, “Thank you.”  Look forward and say, “I’m ready Lord!”

Closing Confession:  Father, I thank You for always being there for me.  Before the foundations of the world You destined me for a purpose.  I have found my purpose and I am pursuing it with all my might, by Your grace.  I am determined to complete my course and finish my assignment while I am in the land of the living.  I know the enemy is not going to idly sit by and watch my run my race with grace.  I know the devil will do all he can to derail me from my destiny.  But I also know that You are greater than satan and that while weapons will be formed against me, they shall not prosper.  Even when it looks like all human hope is gone, I am never hopeless, because I am never helpless.  You are always with me and Your presence gives me hope.  My confidence is in You and I know You can make a way, even when there is no human way possible.  There is nothing too hard for You.  So, I look unto You as both author and finisher of my faith.  I am confident of this very thing, that You, who have begun a good work in me, shall perform until the day of Jesus Christ.  You will never relax Your hold on me, and You will never allow the enemy to win.  Even when it looks like I am losing, it is only because the fight is not over.  I shall never lose, because I shall never quit.  I keep going, by grace, looking unto You the entire way.  I look back from time to time, long enough to remember what You have done for me, and my heart says THANK YOU!  And then, after looking back to say THANKS, I look forward and say I’M READY Father, to do all You have me to do, no matter the opposition that comes my way, because my confidence is in You and You are greater than the opposition.  Even when I cornered in, You provide a way of escape!  I declare this by faith!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper.

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