(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 6)
Most Christians and people who read their Bible know the story with Saul and David, how Saul, who was king over Israel, hated David because he realized that, while he was out of favour with God because of his own disobedience and self-will, that David had the favour of God upon his life and would be his replacement as king one day.
Having provided that context, 1 Samuel 19:1-2 reads:
- “And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan Saul’s son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself.”
Jonathan told David, “…Saul my father seeketh to kill thee…” Saul’s intent and desire was therefore clear. There was no ambiguity. Him not having obeyed God but disobeyed and now being out of favour with Him, he hated David to the point where, motivated through envy and jealousy, he wanted him dead. Him being out of favour with God, he hated the one who he knew had the favour of God upon his life, which was David and so he wanted to kill him.
Similarly, the enemy of our soul, the devil, hates us, is envious of us and wants to kill, steal what is ours and destroy us. For, while he is out of favour with God and is hopelessly doomed to eternal destruction and damnation, there is hope for every human being once in the land of the living, to be saved from God’s wrath because he has offered us salvation free of charge, by his grace. There is therefore hope for all human beings in the land of the living, to be reconciled with God the Father, if they believe on his Son Jesus and that he rose from the dead and confess with their mouth the truth, that he is Lord (Romans 10:9-13).
From the inception of mankind’s creation therefore, the devil has wanted to see human beings destroyed. Like Saul, there is no ambiguity about his evil intention and desire. He hates us with venomous hatred, especially Christians that have already been saved, have been brought into God’s divine family, have God’s favour on their lives and who practise obedience.
The devil hated the Israelites, God’s chosen people in the Old Testament and still does today and he also hates Christians who have been grafted in to God’s royal family through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s Son. For, they now form part of the New Covenant, have relationship with God and his Son Jesus and an eternal inheritance in heaven, not which they have deserved but which they have attained, having believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and having his perfect righteousness imputed upon them.
The enemy hates all of that. He is envious. He is jealous. He is perpetually out of favour with God because of his own disobedience and rebellion (even as Saul was) and now, he goes after all human beings. However, those who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ and therefore have the favour of God upon their lives (Christians) are his prime targets.
Yet, we see the advice that Jonathan gave to David in light of Saul’s wicked and diabolical desire to kill him. As Christians, we would do well to take it as well when dealing with our arch enemy the devil.
Jonathan told David that, given that it was dangerous at that night hour, he should abide in a secret place and hide himself unto the morning. He advised him, “…take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself“.
This reminds me of Psalm 91:1-2 which states, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.“
What better place for the Christian to hide and abide than in the most High himself? There is no better place to dwell and to hide ourselves than in the secret place of God himself and in his presence. For, in this secret place, there is rest, there is comfort and there is wonderful security from all alarm.
The Psalmist in Psalm 91 continues with a boast of what one can expect when he abides and hides himself in the secret place of the Lord. He states:
- “Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
- There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
- Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.”
The place that we need to abide in therefore, where we will be safe and secure against all of the enemy’s wiles and all of his attacks, is in the presence of the Lord, spending time in his presence, praying, meditating upon his Word (the Bible), reading his Word, obeying it and even engaging in biblical fasting.
We need to do this and to be in the presence of the Lord, where we will be safe from all of the destructive elements around us, that want to destroy us.
I therefore see a comparison between the two: Jonathan’s advice to David to hide himself in a secret place until the morning and our need to hide ourselves spiritually in the Lord until the morning.
To my mind, that ‘morning’ for us as Christians, is glorification, when the Lord Jesus Christ returns for the Church, when we get to leave this wretched earth and when we get to be delivered completely, not just from the penalty but the power of sin. We will be sinless and I look forward to that, to be quite honest.
That for us, is the morning, when we have been glorified. Right now though, while living, we are still in this land of woe. We are in this land where there are dangers. There isn’t complete security, as the dangers are all around us and even within our sinful flesh and so, until the morning, Jonathan told David to abide in a secret place. Similarly, until the morning, until we have been glorified and delivered from the power of sin itself (which manifests itself in the operations of the devil, the world and the sinful nature within our own flesh), we should abide in a secret place, that secret place being in the presence of almighty God.
We are also not just to abide there but to hide ourselves as well. Jonathan told David “and hide thyself” and we need to hide ourselves in the folds of God’s Word, in prayer and in the precious security that he affords us. Indeed, God’s presence is such a secure place, that nothing can separate us from his love, which he has let us know, in his Word.
Romans 8:35-39 declares of those who are in Christ and therefore, have secured themselves in the Lord:
- “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
(Recorded on cell phone while meditating on God’s Word, on 1st April, 2022)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, beneficial or edifying, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 152 – ‘Symptoms Of A Person Outside Of The Favour Of God’
- Note 77 – ‘Tired Of The Storm, Sterility, Stagnancy And Silence? Create A Spiritual Safe House’