(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 8)
In 1 Samuel 16, after God had rejected Saul as the king of Israel because of his continual disobedience, he directed Samuel his Prophet, to go to Jesse the Bethlehemite, to anoint one of his sons, as the next king.
The Word of God states:
- “And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons…And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.” (1,3-4)
Samuel obeyed and in verses 12 and 13, it says, that when David appeared before him, the Lord directed him to anoint him. The scripture reads:
- “…Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.”
It was therefore a done deal. God had purposed that David was going to be the next king of Israel and so, absolutely nothing could thwart or prevent his will from coming to pass. The fact that David was anointed for the purpose was like a seal. It was sure to come to pass in God’s timing, as God does not make mistakes.
From there on, it would seem that David could have cruised through life, knowing that he was a king in waiting and that God’s hand of promise was on his life but he did not. Although he was anointed and knew it, he did not live his life anyhow and did not take the anointing for granted. He did not think that the anointing gave him a free pass to do as he pleased and to live recklessly. No.
ALTHOUGH HE WAS ANOINTED, he did not make rash decisions on his own but still sought the Lord’s counsel on what he should do, when faced with challenges or having to make choices in life.
He did not just assume, that because he was anointed, he could not lose and was super spiritual now, so that he did not need God to guide him from then on but was capable of navigating through life based on his own intelligence. No. David was anointed but he STILL sought the Lord for advice, for counsel and for direction in life. His anointing did not make him independent of God. He was still very much dependent on him to show him the right way to go and what to do or not to do.
He was anointed yes but he still saw the need to pray to God for answers. For, he knew that although he was anointed, the power to make things happen and to determine outcomes and complete wisdom was still vested in God. If he wished to benefit from it, he needed to do so in prayer. He also understood that being anointed did not exempt one from making costly mistakes and suffering dire consequences. It did not give him a safety net that he could just take for granted and do as he pleased, without being affected in some detrimental way and so, he sought the Lord before acting.
In 1 Samuel 23:1-5 for example, it states:
- “Then they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshingfloors. Therefore David enquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the Lord said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah. And David’s men said unto him, Behold, we be afraid here in Judah: how much more then if we come to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines? Then David enquired of the Lord yet again. And the Lord answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into thine hand. So David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and smote them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.”
Today, as Christians, like David, we have been anointed. Once we have believed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and confessed with our mouth that he is Lord (Romans 10:9-13), the Word of God tells us that God anoints us with his Holy Spirit.
1 John 2:20, 27 states:
- “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things…But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” (1 John 2:20, 27)
2 Corinthians 1:21 states, “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God.”
Ephesians 4:30 also tells us that we are sealed with the holy Spirit of God unto the day of redemption.
However, although we are anointed and have a seal over us, we still face challenges and can still take the wrong path. We can still make foolish mistakes and blunders that can still result in dire consequences, hardships, heartaches and losses in our lives. The devil, in particular and our own flesh, can still trip us up. For, we are not exempt by virtue of us having been anointed, from falling, messing up and making wrong decisions. We therefore need to depend on God in prayer, as David did and seek him continually for guidance on life decisions.
ALTHOUGH DAVID WAS ANOINTED, he did not consider himself immune from attacks or think that he could not be affected by dangerous situations but used common sense to flee.
Later on in 1 Samuel 23, when David heard that Saul, who wanted to kill him, was seeking to come down to Keilah where he was, David again sought the Lord, the all-knowing one, as to what he should do. For, although he was anointed, he knew that he was limited. He knew that he did not have perfect knowledge and so, needed to rely on God who knew all things. As a matter of fact, given that he was anointed and that this inspires the enemy’s attacks, David knew that he needed God and his protection, now more than ever.
He could not live a cavalier, carefree life, as if he was immune to attack. He understood that he needed to stick close to the Lord. For, although he was anointed to be the next king, he did not take it for granted that he could be reckless and court danger because he could not die until the promise was fulfilled. No. When danger presented itself or a threat of danger, he was still concerned. He still applied logic. Nothing could happen to him unless God allowed it yes but he did not just sit down when danger reared its ugly head and declare presumptuously, “You cannot touch me because I am anointed!”. No. David acted rationally after seeking God’s face, by seeking to flee the threat of danger. He understood that even when anointed, God expects us to act sensibly, to take common sense steps when he reveals things to us and to remove ourselves from whatever is a threat to our safety and well being.
The scripture reads:
- “And David knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod. Then said David, O Lord God of Israel, thy servant hath certainly heard that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake. Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O Lord God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And the Lord said, He will come down. Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the Lord said, They will deliver thee up. Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go forth.”
As Christians who are also anointed, we cannot court danger, play with it, entertain it and think foolishly that because we are anointed, no harm will befall us. We cannot play with fire and think presumptuously that we will not suffer any burns because God will protect us or live a cavalier, care free life, thinking that God will be our safety net. No. Although we are anointed, God expects us to seek him and to use common sense, where he has given it, to avoid dangerous situations. If a threat presents itself, like David, he expects us to act rationally and unless he has directed otherwise, not stick around because we think that we are untouchable but to flee. Yes, nothing can happen to us unless God allows it but if we choose to act foolishly, to not remove ourselves from dangerous situations when the Word of God has revealed to us clearly what they are, God may very well allow us to suffer for our folly.
Finally, ALTHOUGH DAVID WAS ANOINTED, this did not mean that he was a super power, could do life alone and never needed encouragement or support from others. He still needed to be strengthened by godly friends.
Understandably, having done nothing wrong, it must have bothered David, that Saul was seeking continually, day in and day out, to kill him. There must have been days that he grew weary of his situation, of constantly having to be on the run. For, although he was anointed, this did not exempt him from growing weary and of possibly entertaining thoughts of discouragement and hopelessness. After all, here he was in the wilderness, which was difficult as is and on top of that, Saul was seeking continually to find and kill him.
David was anointed but he needed support. He needed someone to come and remind him of God’s truth, of God’s promise, so that he would be assured that no matter how difficult and trying the circumstance in that moment, that God was faithful and he would take him through. He would honour his promise.
Jonathan, who was God-fearing, trustworthy and a confidante, fulfilled this role. He found David where he was and brought him much needed support and encouragement. In 1 Samuel 23:14-17, it reads:
- “And David abode in the wilderness in strong holds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand. And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life: and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood. And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and STRENGTHENED HIS HAND IN GOD. And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth. And they two made a covenant before the Lord: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.”
Today, no doubt, life is hard for the Christian. Although we are anointed, we live in an increasingly dark world that is hostile to our Lord Jesus and therefore, hostile to us. Like David, we are constantly under attack and life can throw us some curve balls that hit us so unexpectedly, that some days, we find it difficult to get by. We are tempted to throw in the towel, to give up, to say, what is to be is to be and to cease fighting.
Although anointed, we still experience weariness, discouragement and are still in need of support and encouragement from other like-minded brothers and sisters in the Lord. No man is an island, as the saying goes and this is still true of Christians, although we are anointed. We cannot get through life successfully on our own but need people to lift us up in prayer before the Lord and to give us a much needed word of encouragement.
This is one of the reasons why God has instituted the Church assembly and tells us that we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25). Even if anointed, if we are isolated and trying to trod through life on our own, we will fail. For, we will become easy targets for satan.
One of the first place he seeks to attack is the mind and so, if we do not gather with God’s people to hear what God has to say to us, if we are not beneficiaries of the prayers of any saint and we don’t allow anyone to share in our burden, we stand the risk of burning out, of falling under the weight of the pressure coming against us.
David had in Jonathan, someone who was like-minded spiritually, who believed God, who was trustworthy. Jonathan was someone that genuinely cared about David’s welfare and David knew that he would not betray where he was hiding, to Saul.
Today, as Christians, we all need people that we can go and pour out our troubles to or who, sensing our pain, can come to us and bring encouragement. We need Christian people who are like-minded, that will not spread our business with others for entertainment purposes but will keep our confidence, while serving to strengthen our hand in God.
Admittedly, for many Christians, given the state of most Churches today, finding such a person or such people is rare. Today, most Churches are rampant with gossip, to the point where, instead of fellow believers serving to strengthen their brothers and sisters as Jonathan did for David, they serve as sources of discouragement, taking people’s difficult situations and creating a whole host of trouble with it.
Nevertheless, we should ask God to send the right people in our lives, people that we can go to in our weariness and people, through discernment, who can reach out to us in love. Jonathan’s motive in reaching out to David was nothing but love. It was pure. He had no ulterior plan and no intention of betraying David’s trust to anyone. After he left, David must have felt refreshed, strengthened for the battle ahead.
Sometimes, being victorious in our battles, requires collaborative effort. This was clear in Exodus 17, where the Israelites went out to battle against Amalek. Joshua and the Israelites went out to actively fight but were supported by Moses at the top of the hill with the rod of God in his hand. When Moses himself grew tired of keeping his hand up with the rod, the Word of God tells us, that Aaron and Hur, who had accompanied him up the hill, served as support. They put a stone under him so that he could sit and held up his hands on either side of him, so that they could remain up. In so doing, as they all worked together, God worked to give Joshua and the Israelites the victory.
- “So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But MOSES HANDS WERE HEAVY; and THEY TOOK A STONE, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and AARON AND HUR STAYED UP HIS HANDS, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; AND HIS HANDS WERE STEADY until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.”
In conclusion, it is important for us to remember that as children of God and anointed:
- We are not self-sufficient and therefore cannot make rash decisions in life on our own. We have limited knowledge and so must still seek the Lord’s counsel on issues affecting us and choices we have to make.
- We are not immune from attacks, can still be affected by dangerous situations and therefore, cannot live cavalier and carefree lives. Instead, we are expected to use common sense and flee, when the Word of God makes it clear to us what is before us or threatens us. We are also in dire need of God’s protection, more so than before we were anointed, as we become targets for the enemy’s relentless pursuit.
- We still very much need encouragement and support as we traverse through life, from other like-minded, trustworthy and spiritually mature Christians, who genuinely care for our welfare and especially when we face difficulties, trials and trouble.
(Written on 11th January, 2023)