“So he asked the LORD, ‘Shall I go and attack the Philistines?’. ‘Yes,’ the LORD answered. ‘Attack them and save Keilah.’ “ 1 Sam. 23:2
Young David had spent a great portion of his life in the wild for fear of King Saul who sought to kill him. News got to him that the Philistines were attacking Keilah, a city in Judah. The normal thing any one would to do especially a warrior, is to gather his men and immediately go out to war. But this was not the case with young David as he never allowed his warrior status or exploits get into him. Rather than count on his exploit and his private army, he sought the face of God for directions.
After David had received a clear approval from God to advance against the Philistines, his men gave him a reason not to. Needless to say, this reason was genuine. They said, “…Look, even here in Judah we’re afraid of the Philistines. We will be terrified if we try to fight them at Keilah.” (verse 3 CEV). Obviously, fear of the Philistines had overwhelmed David’s army and this was a bad sign as no commander can risk taking a discouraged or fainthearted soldiers to a war front. So, what was David to do?
David did not start worrying over his fearful, discouraged or even fainthearted soldiers. Rather, he took his case back to God the second time simply to know His will. Again, God gave him His seal of approval. Not only did he get an approval, he got an assurance of victory and so it happened (verse 4-5).
David had every reason to count on his exploits to go to war instead of trusting in the LORD. He even had more reasons to sit back and allow the people of Keilah to be destroyed by the Philistines.
But in the midst of all options, possibilities or excuses opened to him, he chose to seek God’s face. And as God directed, he obeyed.
His men feared the Philistines so much that they won’t dare go out to war against them. But how come David’s ill equipped and poorly motivated army went out to war against a superior force and returned victorious?
By simple obedience of one man, unusual strength came upon a fearful group of men and an entire city was delivered.
Like David’s army, we are fearful of realities of life steering us in our faces. But for God’s will to be effected, we must seek His face to get directives from Him as David did. And as we obey, our fears shall be vanquished as the Philistines were.