The Signs of the Times


November 9, 1888

David Becomes Weary in Well-Doing


“And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul; there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel; so shall I escape out of his hand. And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.” ST November 9, 1888, par. 1

David's conclusion that Saul would certainly accomplish his murderous purpose, was formed without the counsel of God. He had at last become weary of waiting upon the Lord, and in a moment of discouragement placed himself in an unfavorable light before the people of God by his course of unbelief. It was not the Lord who had sent him for protection to the Philistines, the most bitter foes of Israel. This very nation would be nothing less than his worst enemies to the very last; and yet he had sought to them for help in his time of need. Yet having lost all confidence in Saul and in those who served him, he threw himself upon the mercy of the enemies of his people, to escape the treachery of the very men whom he afterward would be called upon to rule when God's appointed time should come. ST November 9, 1888, par. 2

The Lord had recently worked in David's behalf by aiding him to obtain a decided victory over Saul. The Lord's hand was in all this, and, if David had looked upon the dealings of God with him, he would not have taken this step of seeking unto the Philistines. The Lord had so arranged matters in the past, that the true spirit of David was made manifest before all Israel, and the false accusations brought against him by Saul were proven to be without foundation. Saul had represented David as a traitor and a conspirator, lying in wait to take the life of the king, that he might possess the kingdom himself. The king had represented the matter to the people in such a light that it seemed necessary to deprive David of his life, that the prosperity of Israel might be preserved. ST November 9, 1888, par. 3

But in working against David, he was working equally against himself in the course that he was pursuing. Through the curse of envy and jealousy, he had weakened his own kingdom by expelling David from his service; for, in so doing, he had driven him into the enemies’ ranks. But even while Saul was plotting and seeking to accomplish his destruction, the Lord was working to secure to David the kingdom. And after he had seen that God was caring for him, and had preserved his life again and again, he should have been courageous, and should have left his case in God's hands. ST November 9, 1888, par. 4

David looked on appearances and not at the promises of God. He doubted that he should ever come to the throne. But had not God sent Samuel to anoint him king of Israel? and would not the Lord perform his word? Although he could not rely on Saul's assurances, he might have safely trusted in the promises of God. The particular care that God had exercised over him in preserving him from all danger, so that he had not been harmed, should have given him confidence and comfort. But cruel unbelief had taken possession of David's heart. ST November 9, 1888, par. 5

God works out his plans though they are veiled in mystery to human eyes. Men cannot read the ways of God; and, looking at outward appearances, they interpret the trials and tests and provings that God permits to come upon them as things that are against them, and that will only work their ruin. ST November 9, 1888, par. 6

David took counsel with his own heart. Long trials had tried his faith and exhausted his patience. But these very trials were designed to work him blessing, to strengthen his faith in the belief that angels were encamped round about him, and that he was under the guardianship of Heaven. God was dishonored by his course of unbelief. ST November 9, 1888, par. 7

David was a brave general, and had proved himself a wise and successful warrior; but he was working directly against his own interests when he went to the Philistines. God had appointed him to set up his standard in the land of Judah, and it was want of faith and confidence that led him to forsake his post of duty without a command from the Lord. How could he expect that the God of Israel would give him protection, when he had placed himself with the bitterest foes of his people? Could he expect safety with the Philistines, when only shortly before he had barely escaped with his life by feigning himself to be a mad man? Could he reasonably hope to save himself by seeking an asylum with a people whom God had appointed to extinction? When he should come to the throne, he would be employed as the agent to carry out this purpose of destroying the Philistines. ST November 9, 1888, par. 8

In fleeing to the enemies of Israel, David encouraged the Philistines to take further measures to oppress his people, and the impression was received by his brethren that he had gone to the heathen to serve their gods. By this act he gave occasion for misconstruing his motives, and many were led to hold prejudice against him. This demonstrates the fact that great and good men, men with whom God has worked, will make grievous mistakes when they cease to watch and pray, and to fully trust in God. ST November 9, 1888, par. 9

There is a precious experience, an experience more precious than fine gold, to be gained by everyone who will walk by faith. He who will walk in the way of unwavering trust in God will have a connection with Heaven. The child of God is to do his work, looking to God alone for strength and guidance. He must toil on without despondency and full of hope, even though he is placed in most trying and aggravating circumstances. ST November 9, 1888, par. 10

David's experiences are recorded for the instruction of the people of God in these last days. In his warfare against Satan, this servant of God had received light and direction from Heaven, but, because the conflict was long continued, and because the question of his receiving the throne was unsettled, he became weary and discouraged. He was provoked that he was hunted from place to place as though he were a wild beast. The very thing that Satan desired to have him do, he was led to do; for, in seeking refuge among the Philistines, David caused great joy and triumph and exultation to the enemies of God and his people. David did not renounce his worship of God nor cease his devotion to his cause; but he sacrificed his trust in him for his personal safety, and thus tarnished the upright and faithful character that God requires his servants to possess. ST November 9, 1888, par. 11