“Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them.” … “Stay with me, and do not be afraid; for the one who seeks my life seeks your life; you will be safe with me.” 1 Samuel 22:2 & 23
David is leading a large group of family and friends who have reached a point of desperation; they gather with him for leadership and protection – for life. Saul is searching for David, for he is threatened by the blessing of God upon David and David’s success which comes through obedience to God. Saul eventually has Ahimelech, a priest who helped David, put to death as well has destroys and kills all the priests and their families in Nob, a city of priests. Ahimelech’s son is the only one to escape he seeks safety and refuge with David. He like those already gathered with David is in distress and is discontented. David welcomes him. Likewise Jesus welcomes all who upon reaching a point of desperation (distress, debt, discontent) from the circumstances of life, the obstacles to grace, those sins in our lives that block the Holy Spirit and therefore life, life abundant. Those who reach this point cry out to God, God hears and responds, God pours out grace to overcome, to provide life, life in abundance that is to be shared with others. Not consumed, not hoarded but shared. That is the difference between Saul and David. Saul does not cry out in desperation, Saul blocks God’s love and Grace, even in the moments when Saul realizes God’s grace he hoards it for himself. He sees God’s blessing upon David, He wants to steal it, possess it, to kill David as if doing so Saul can receive that which David receives. David has done nothing but lived obediently to the king and to The King – God, sharing the abundance of the blessing he has received in support of Saul’s kingdom. Saul repays with murderous threats and pursues David to kill him.
For all of us, who reach that point of desperation and cry out to God, Jesus, the Son of God, responds, “Stay with me, and do not be afraid; for the one who seeks my life seeks your life; you will be safe with me.” O that I always remember, life with Christ, is life in the Kingdom of God. Though there will be times of persecution, of need, of hardship, I am safe with Jesus, safe from those who would do him harm. O God I believe, help me when I stumble in faith.