The Significance of Seeking God: The example of David

The Significance of Seeking God: The example of David

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SEEKING GOD: The example of David

A characteristic feature of David’s biography is that he frequently sought the Lord’s counsel and direction. This feature is not seen in any other biography in the Old or New Testament. Whenever David faced a trial, especially with his enemies, he always asked to know God’s will. And each time he inquired, the Lord graciously gave him a clear and definite answer. Since all the Bible stories “were written for our learning” (Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 10:11), they are full of instruction. In this conclusion to our series on David, a man after God’s own heart, we’ll look at nine times when he inquired of the Lord. They teach us that we always gain by seeking His counsel and guidance. 

David’s 1st Request/Inquiry – 1 Samuel 23:1-3 

“Then they told David, ‘Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and they are robbing the threshing floors.’” The Philistines had besieged Keilah, a fortified city within Judah’s borders (Josh. 15:21, 44). “Therefore David inquired of the LORD, saying, ‘Shall I go and attack these Philistines?’” As anointed king, David considered himself Israel’s protector. The apostate King Saul had neglected the public safety, but David loved his country and desired to free it from its enemies. Yet he would not act without first seeking the Lord’s counsel. Though he was busy hiding from Saul, he thought of Keilah’s welfare.

“And the LORD said to David, ‘Go and attack the Philistines, and save Keilah.’” The Lord responded immediately to David’s inquiry, and promised that David would save Keilah. But David’s 600 men said to him, “We are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” This presented a real problem to David: If his men were unwilling to follow him, how could he save the besieged city? His men were afraid of being caught between the Philistines and Saul’s army. Unlike David their eyes were not on God, but on their difficult circumstances.

David’s 2nd Request/Inquiry – 1 Samuel 23:4-5
“Then David inquired of the LORD once again.” David was not paralyzed by the fear of his men. He knew that God, who had said fight the Philistines and save Keilah, could easily make his men willing to follow him. David did not rebuke his warriors, but he turned once more to Jehovah. “And the LORD answered and said, ‘Arise, go down to Keilah. For I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.’” The Lord did not ignore David’s second inquiry. He not only responded to David’s request, but gave an answer which was even more explicit than the first. Motivated by God’s divine promise, David and his followers conquered the Philistines, saved Keilah and took their cattle for much-needed food.

David’s 3rd Request/Inquiry – 1 Samuel 23:10-11
“Then David said, ‘O LORD God of Israel, Your servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake. Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O LORD God of Israel, I pray, tell your servant.’ And the LORD said, ‘He will come down.’” Once more David cast all his care on God. Observe his words: He is more concerned for the welfare of others than for preserving his own life.

Observe also that David addressed God twice by the title “LORD God of Israel,” which was God’s covenant title. It is a blessing to recognize our covenant relationship to God; it is always an effectual plea to make before the throne of grace. The Lord graciously answered him saying, “He (Saul) will come down.”

David’s 4th Request/Inquiry – 1 Samuel 23:12-14
“Then David said, ‘Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?’ And the LORD said, ‘They will deliver you.’” David had good reason to conclude that after delivering Keilah from the Philistines, its citizens would be on his side. But he did not put any confidence in their loyalty. So he sought further counsel from the Lord. This should speak to our hearts: We should never depend on others, but should depend only on the Lord for our guidance and protection. Once more the Lord responded immediately to David’s inquiry saying, “They will deliver you.” This must have saddened David, as ingratitude wounds deeply. God answered according to His knowledge of man’s heart.

“So David and his men … departed from Keilah and went wherever they could go. Then Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah; so he halted the expedition. And David stayed in strongholds … in the mountains in the Wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand.” This too is good to see: David was willing to endure further hardship rather than endanger the inhabitants of Keilah. They went “wherever they could go” and God continued to protect David.

David’s 5th Request/Inquiry – 1 Samuel 30:8-9
“So David inquired of the LORD, saying, ‘Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?’ And He answered him, ‘Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.’” The Amalekites had invaded Philistine country and destroyed Ziklag. They also took the women and the children captive. When David and his 600 men returned to Ziklag – the city which had become their home – expecting to be reunited to their families, they found the city burned and their loved ones missing. After being reassured by the Lord that he would overtake the enemy, David attacked them and recovered all that the Amalekites carried off, including his two wives. The Lord graciously answered David regardless of how many times he inquired. His response to David came without delay, and He even told more than David had asked – he would “recover all.” In a moment the black cloud of sorrow was replaced by joy.

Everything took place exactly as God had said. “So David went, he and the 600 men who were with him.” The force of this statement can only be appreciated by comparing it to an earlier one: “Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him” (1 Sam. 30:6). What a change! The anger of his men was stilled; they were again ready to follow their leader. David sought God’s guidance and received an assuring response.

David’s 6th Request/Inquiry – 2 Samuel 2:1-2
“It happened after this that David inquired of the LORD, saying, ‘Shall I go up to any of the cities of Judah?’ And the LORD said to him, ‘Go up.’ David said, ‘Where shall I go up?’ And He said, ‘To Hebron’” (2 Sam. 2:1). This inquiry took place after the Philistines killed Saul and Jonathan. David would not take one step toward claiming his rights without consulting the Lord. With all his faults, he was in submission to the Lord, and in complete dependence on Him. God’s answer came at once: “Go up … to Hebron.” There he was anointed king.

As with all his previous inquiries, the Lord promptly answered and graciously guided His servant. This is recorded for our encouragement. The Lord never tires of our asking. The more we seek His counsel, the more He is honoured and pleased. His command to us is, “In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6). God’s ready response to David’s inquiry is a sign of His willingness to hear us.

The happy sequel to this inquiry is recorded for us: “So David went up there, and his two wives also … And David brought up the men who were with him, every man with his household. So they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king.” Those who had been David’s companions in tribulation were not forgotten now that he was king. David had been privately anointed as Saul’s successor (1 Sam. 16:12-13). Now the princes of the tribe of Judah publicly owned him as their king.

David’s 7th Request/Inquiry – 2 Samuel 5:17-21
“So David inquired of the LORD, saying, ‘Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?’ And the LORD said to David, ‘Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.’” The previous two verses read: “Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim.” The fact that David had ascended to the throne of Israel did not deter his enemies, but made them jealous to attack him.

Again this should speak to our hearts: The attack of the Philistines right after David’s coronation should warn us against finding security in prosperity. Opposition came with great force, as evidenced by the words “all the Philistines.” Little did they realise that they were rushing to their own destruction. They underestimated God’s power and were unaware that He was for David. David’s response to the Philistines was that instead of accepting their challenge and immediately engaging them in battle, he turned to the Lord.

And the Lord immediately responded, and assured David of a victory: “I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.” How encouraging for us! We too are called to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12). God has promised that He will “bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Rom. 16:20). Such a promise ought to encourage us for the conflict.

“So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated the enemy … and he said ‘The LORD has broken through my enemies before me’” (2 Sam. 5:20). God made good on His word, kept His promise, and gave David the victory. And David gave the Lord all the glory.

David’s 8th Request/Inquiry – 2 Samuel 5:22-25
“Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. Therefore David inquired of the LORD, and He said, ‘You shall not go up: circle around behind them and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the LORD will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.’” The Philistines’ return did not discourage David, but summoned him to renewed waiting upon God and seeking fresh strength from Him. Again David sought divine guidance even though he had been successful in the first battle. He realized that each victory depended upon the Lord.

The circumstances were the same. David could have attacked the enemy just as he did before. Yet God’s answer now was the opposite of the previous one. Before it was “Go up.” But this time God said, “You shall not go up.” Everything seemed identical to human eyes, but God’s will must be sought each time, or victory is not insured. This was a real test of obedience, and David did not argue. Instead he waited upon the Lord and he was the gainer: “For then the LORD will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines. And David did so, as the LORD commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer.” David’s obedience was rewarded. God kept His promise and smote the enemy. What encouragement for us!

David’s 9th Request/Inquiry – 2 Samuel 21:1
“Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years … and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, ‘It is because of Saul and his blood- thirsty house, because he killed the Gibeonites’” (2 Sam. 21:1). In Genesis 12:5-10, we read that soon after Abraham arrived in Canaan, a famine arose in the land. Instead of consulting God and trusting Him to meet his needs, he turned for help to Egypt, a symbol of the world. By contrast, David conducted himself differently. He inquired of the Lord to make sure that the famine was not a divine punishment for some wrong he did. As with all other inquiries, the Lord immediately responded: “It is because of Saul and his bloodthirsty house.”

The Lord did not turn a deaf ear to David’s inquiry. How many of us have been like David, smarting under the chastening hand of God, yet allowing a lengthy period of time, like three years, to pass before we inquire of the Lord as to its cause. God told David that Israel was suffering because of Saul. It is an unchanging principle of divine government that God deals with nations according to the conduct of their rulers. The Lord’s controversy with Israel at this time was not over some recent thing, but one which had been committed years before yet never corrected. God does not forget. Many afflictions, both of individuals and nations, are punishment for past sins.

Learning From David
David’s multiple inquiries of the Lord reveal that he was a man of prayer, who was always intent to know His will. This was the main reason why he was called a man after God’s own heart. God says, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Acts 13: 22). And David did!

May the Lord give us grace to emulate David’s example and to cultivate the habit of always inquiring of the Lord and waiting for His answer. The more we seek direction from God in prayer and the more we desire to know His will, the more He is honoured and the more we are blessed. May we cultivate David’s spirit more and more, for it is written, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:6).

Ayodolapo Ogunmoyero

Jesus Knows

Jesus Knows

The Woman With an Awful Past and Suspicious Present

John.4.1-18

 

Have you failed before? Have you made decisions in the past you are ashamed of today? Have you done things you’d rather not be reminded about?

As you start a new year, be encouraged to know that Jesus knows where you are, where you have been, and what you have been.

 

In this story in John.4.1-18, we see Jesus ignoring the long-standing tensions between Jews and Samaritans that had developed over the years, and made a choice of going through Samaria on His way to Jerusalem. (John.4.4)

 

This choice he made led to the salvation of an ‘ignored’ Samaritan woman and her people. (The choices we make have an impact of people)

Jesus was tired, weary and thirsty from His journey. All 12 of His disciples had gone to the shops to buy food.  (who sends 12 people to buy food for 13 people?) (John.4.8), but the Lord was preparing an environment conducive for meeting the needs of a certain Samaritan woman.

 

He needed to meet the woman alone.

She was a defeated woman, with little self-worth, isolated from her friends and neighbours by the wrong choices and decisions she had made.

She had tried to be friends with the other women, but nobody wanted to be friends with a woman who was married five times, would you? (John.4.18)

 

More worrying to the other women was that the man she was living with was not even her husband. (John.4.18). If only they knew who she really was, or what she was going through.

Wherever you are in your journey in life Jesus is interested in you and your future.

The women gossiped about her past and her present, but her creator and God was interested in her future

 

When other women went to fetch water early in the morning, she went around 12 noon when all the women would have left the river. (John.4.6-7)

She could handle 5 disastrous marriages, but could not deal with the whispers and gossips of women. They pointing of accusing fingers on account of both her past history and present marital status.

Anyone who yields to the Lord Jesus has a bright future, regardless of their past.

 

However, Jesus knew what she was going through. He also knew that deep down she didn’t want her life to be ‘skewered’ as it was.

He took a long journey, went through Samaria, sent away His disciples and broke protocol to speak to her.

Wherever you are today, whatever your situation, Jesus knows. He will climb the highest mountain just to be with you

The love Jesus has for you, (yes you) is a reckless love because He knows what you have been through in the past and what you are going through presently.

 

He was able to get the woman to open up to him. She admitted that she was a failure, and received what Jesus offered- salvation (John.4.15, 25-26)

Immediately she left her business and went about telling people about Jesus

In this year of Greater Things, are you ready yield to Jesus? Are you ready to serve the Lord? (John.4.28)

 

If you are going through a bad patch at the moment, I want you to know that the Lord knows everything about you and is willing to meet you at the point of your need.

Will you respond in faith? Will you turn to the Lord? Will you receive the love He is giving to you?

 

Are you born again? 

Don’t be too busy for the one who will leave the 99, climb any mountain, cross any valley or swim any river just to get to you.

 

Why not turn to Him today? 

 

Prayer

Dear Lord, I thank you that You know what I am going through. Please come into my life today. Come and give meaning to my life. Let me be a vessel unto honour. Give me the power and grace to say no to sin. Help me to believe in you and serve you faithfully. In this year of Greater Things, open doors of opportunity for me to do great things for you Lord. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus mighty name I pray

 

Regards,

Pastor Femi

Why do We Seek God?

Why do We Seek God?

As imperfect human beings, we have the tendency to seek after money, fame, people, recreation,
entertainment, and materialism. All of those things only lead to emptiness; however, seeking
after God brings more value to our lives than anything else on this earth.

1) Seek God and nothing else matters
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as
well” (Matthew 6:33).
Many times we are hesitant to seek after God because we are afraid of what we might lose. Yet
whatever we may lose is no comparison to what we gain from Him. Everything we need in this life
is provided for us when we seek after God first.

2) Seek God and you will find Him
“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart
and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29).
God isn’t hiding from us. He’s right now in our presence and desiring a close relationship.
Sometimes we miss God because we don’t have room enough for Him in our daily lives. We must
cut down on the busyness because none of it will matter right before our last breath.
3) Seek God regardless of your life situation

“But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, ‘May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who sets
their heart on seeking God—the Lord, the God of their ancestors—even if they are not clean
according to the rules of the sanctuary’ And the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people” (2
Chronicles 30:18-20).
Some of us wait to seek after God when we think the timing is right. The best time to seek God is
right now because we don’t know what the next minute may hold for us. There are healing and
grace for those who lay aside every excuse and seek after God regardless of their life situation.

4) Seek God because He’s looking for you
“The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any
who seek God” (Psalm 14:2).
God is actively looking for those who are seeking Him regardless of who they are, where they live,
or what they do. The smallest heart cry for the Lord results in action from Him. Our God is loving
and compassionate—not willing that any one person should perish in unbelief.

5) Seek God with all your being
“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a
dry and parched land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1).
A lukewarm, passive seeking after God won’t get it. Those who seek after God due to the pressure
of other people—parents, siblings, and friends—will miss out on the joy of discovering Him. Those
who seek after Him with all their hearts will never be disappointed.

6) Seek God before He has to get your attention
“Whenever God slew them, they would seek him; they eagerly turned to him again” (Psalm
78:34).
Many of us know the right thing to do, but we want to do things our own way. Those who God loves,
He disciplines; therefore, sometimes God allows unfortunate events to draw our desires towards
seeking after Him. His love and desire for us to live a fulfilled life are more important than
momentary setbacks.

7) Seek God because He has arranged for you to do so
“God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he
is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your
own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’” (Acts 17:27-28).
God has set the boundaries for where we live in order that we would seek after Him. His will is
that every single human being (no matter where they live) would look around their environment
and recognize their need for the Lord. The God-void within each of us compels us to want to seek
after Him.

8) Seek God even when you don’t feel like it
“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who
seeks God. (Romans 3:10-11)
We don’t have the capacity to seek after the Lord. Our sin nature, the world, and the devil are
always pulling us away from God to seek after our own pleasures. We must resist the urges to
only think of ourselves and to stretch our faith to seek God with all our hearts holding nothing
back.

9) Seek God because He rewards you for it
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe
that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Our faith draws us to a lifetime of seeking after Him. Our God is deep and mysterious in that we
will never stop learning more about Him. Even in old age and following Christ for decades—there’s
still new revelations and deep understandings that come with seeking after God.

10) Seek God so you will know what to do
But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.” (1 Kings 22:5).
The wisdom of God is well beyond the knowledge of man. When we are in a place of needing
direction and insight for life’s problems, we can seek after God’s counsel to receive wisdom,
knowledge, and insight for our next steps. He knows the beginning and end; therefore we can’t go
wrong with His guidance.
Seek Him today!

God is waiting on us to seek after Him daily in prayer and Bible meditations. Through the Holy
Spirit we can be comforted by His presence in our lives. Seeking after God leads to a blessed life
with peace and joy no matter the situation.

 

By Ayodolapo Ogunmoyero

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