Rock On

  • By Pastor Boffey
  • on Wednesday, January 24, 2007
1 Samuel 23:26-28 (26) And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them. (27) But there came a messenger unto Saul, saying, Haste thee, and come; for the Philistines have invaded the land. (28) Wherefore Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines: therefore they called that place Selahammahlekoth. This chapter opens with David fighting against the Philistines for the salvation of the city of Keilah (1SAM 23:1-5). A wry sage once observed that in dealing with fools, no good deed goes unpunished. When Saul had designs to besiege Keilah to seize David, the men of Keilah treacherously and ungratefully decided to deliver David into Saul's hands (1SAM 23:12). Perhaps this is why David penned, "For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love" (PSA 109:4-5). Such betrayal speaks very ill of men and invites a curse: "Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house" (PRO 17:13). From there David fled to the wilderness of Ziph where he was reacquainted with Jonathan (1SAM 23:14-18), a meeting which no doubt was a pleasant interruption to the distresses that David was undergoing. Blessed be the Lord God "Who comforteth us in all our tribulation..." (2CO 1:4), and does so sometimes by the coming of a cherished acquaintance (2CO 7:6). But David's relief was short-lived for the Ziphites ratted him out to Saul (1SAM 23:19). One could almost wonder if the word Ziphite denoted fink, for it seems they took a particular delight in tattling on David, as later (1SAM 26:1). Nevertheless, God delivered David. Our chapter closes with Saul making one more attempt to lay hold on David but (as our text shows) when it seemed like Saul had David surrounded, the Lord unleashed His servants the Philistines. Note: all, even the wicked, are His servants when God uses them to accomplish His purpose. "The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil" (PRO 16:4), and "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain" (PSA 76:10). Thus, the Assyrian was the rod of His anger against a hypocritical nation (ISA 10:5-6), and the armies of Rome were not really Caesar's but His (MAT 22:7). Saul was diverted from his designs on David by news of invading Philistines, a ploy which God would similarly use years later against the wicked Assyrian (2KI 19:6-9). They here called that place Selahammahlekoth, which means the rock of divisions for God there divided the righteous from the wicked. The Chief Cornerstone of the church is so, a Rock of divisions set for the "...fall and rising again of many in Israel..." (LUK 2:34) and the people were oft divided over Him (JOH 7:43; JOH 9:16; JOH 10:19). Many suppose that He came to give peace on earth but He said, "...Nay; but rather division" (LUK 12:51). He now pierces "...even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow..." (HEB 4:12), and calls His people to divide from wickedness, saying "...come out from among them, and be ye separate..." (2CO 6:17). He is coming to gather all nations and He "...shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats" (MAT 25:32). And He is still able to divide for His faithful as He did for David, by raising up trouble for their adversaries: "...there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees: and the multitude was divided" (ACT 23:7). Sometimes the earth helps the persecuted woman and opens her mouth to swallow up the dragon's flood (REV 12:16). Maybe the ACLU will come in handy someday.

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