banner
bar
boxing ring April 23 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Psalm 86: 1Samuel 27; 1Chronicles 12:1-7; 1Samuel 28:1-2; 1Samuel 29; 1Chronicles 12:19-22

To Fight or Not to Fight?

Boxers fight, families fight, and even friends fight. When do we need to face our opposition and when do we need to escape? This is often a difficult thing to determine. Hopefully, today’s Bible study will help us answer that question.

The Need for Escape

Because of King Saul’s hot pursuit of David, he seeks refuge for himself, his family, his army and their families. He fears to stay in the land of Israel because one day he believes he will be destroyed. He wonders, “what will happen to my family? Will they also be destroyed? What will happen to my army?” One reason for escape is for the preservation of those who are counting on our leadership. Are you a father or mother, the owner of a business or a leader of an organization? What would happen, if (out of pride) you decide to stay and tough out the conflicts which might destroy you? What would happen to your family or your associates? Would they survive? This is something which must be considered. David escapes to Philistine territory. He settles in Ziklag with his armies, his family and their families; he finally has some peace, even though he is in enemy territory.

Preservation

Escape does not always mean peace, and we may have to fight for preservation. David is in a weak position, living in enemy territory, so he deceives the Philistine king. He makes his presence in the country seem more acceptable by attacking those whom the Philistines are led to believe are their enemies, and even his own people. In reality, David attacks Israelite enemies, completely destroying them, leaving no one to tell a different tale, and then gives a false report to Achish, the Philistine ruler, that he has been attacking Israelite cities. By feigning loyalty, he gains the trust of King Achish. Achish trusts David and says to himself, “He has become so odious to his people, the Israelites, that he will be my servant forever” (1Samuel 27:12, NIV). While we can't condone lying, acts of service and respect can help us survive in hostile environments.

During the time of his refuge in Ziklag, notable Israelite warriors from the tribe of Benjamin (Saul’s tribe) defect and join David’s troops (1Chronicles 12:1-7). Shortly thereafter, many generals from the tribe of Manasseh also defect from Saul and join David, so he now has a great army. This must have encouraged David, knowing God still cares about his preservation and will bring him to rule Israel one day. If the LORD has acted to preserve us, we should give him praise.

Now that David has gained respect from King Achish, the king wants him and his army to join the Philistine army in a fight against Israel. David is caught between a rock and a hard place—he wants to appear loyal, but he does not want to fight against his own people. Fortunately, God solves the problem for him by providing a means of escape. The Philistine leaders are afraid David and his men might change sides during the conflict and lop off some Philistine heads to re-gain favor with King Saul. They talk with the king about their concerns. King Achish is forced to send David and his army back home to Ziklag. Sometimes God provides us a way to escape. The Apostle Paul will later write to a church in Corinth,

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (1Corinthians 10:13, NASB’95)

There is wisdom in escaping the battle; David will not have to face King Saul, Jonathan, and his own countrymen in the conflict. God has other plans for David’s army; for when he is sent home he has to rescue his own family (more about that in tomorrow’s Bible study).

Lessons to Live By

  • To Fight or Not Fight is a difficult decision. Is the conflict worth the price that will be paid?
  • One reason for escape may be for the preservation of those who are counting on our leadership.
  • Escape does not always mean peace, and we may have to fight for preservation.
  • Acts of service and respect can help us survive in hostile environments.
  • If God has acted to preserve us, we should give him praise.
  • The LORD sometimes helps us to escape conflicts.
  • Do we know God? Do we want him to be our savior and defender? He offers us forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life. He can help us (more...).

Focus Verse

1Corinthians 10:13 (NASB’95)

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

praying hands Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to mtbiblestudies@gmail.com

A Look Ahead: After David goes back to Ziklag, Saul and Jonathan and the armies of Israel face the Philistines in battle. Saul wants God's help but because the LORD is silent, Saul seeks help from a witch. Is that okay? Should we seek counsel from God or the Occult? Find out in our Next Lesson.

Previous Lesson  |  Next Lesson

Back to top of page
Return to Chronological Bible Studies main page
Go to Scriptures main page
Go to Topics main page
Go to Home page

Scripture
Contact Us
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

COPYRIGHT @ 2019, MASTER'S TOUCH BIBLE STUDIES