1 Samuel 27:1; 26:7-12, 21-25
Mon, 15 November 2021

Slipping from Faith to Fear


What does verse 1 tell us about David in the light of 1 Samuel 26:7-12 and 21 to 25?

Deeper Reflection
WE HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING David in his discipleship journey thus far, from being anointed as the next king of Israel (1 Sam 16:12-13) to his recent triumph in sparing Saul’s life the second time (1 Sam 26), which, rather surprisingly, leads to an anti-climax. David slipped from faith to fear: “Now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul” (v.1). It was like just yesterday, that David said to Abishai with confidence concerning Saul: “As the LORD lives, surely the LORD will strike him, or his day will come that he dies, or he will go down in battle and perish” (1 Sam 26:10). Ironically, David’s speaking of Saul “will perish (sapah)” under God’s hand (1 Sam 26:10) shifts abruptly to being convinced that “I will perish (sapah)…by the hand of Saul” (v.1). And for David, “the best thing I can do” was, not trust and rely on his God (cf. Isa 50:10), but “escape to the land of the Philistines” (v.1). Realistic biblical discipleship is three steps forward two steps back. Just like David, we have our own share of the two steps back – but only that we are on a path of progressing three steps forward. The narrator tells us that David “said to himself” those words of fainting faith. And what David “kept saying to himself determined his action”22. “What you say and keep saying to the centre of you will direct your way…be careful what you speak to your heart.”23
22 Dale Ralph Davis, 1 Samuel, Focus on the Bible (Christian Focus, 2000), 283 23 Dale Ralph Davis, 283, 284

What will I say to myself in times of disorientation in my life?

My Lord and my Saviour, I hold up all my weakness to Your strength, my failure to Your faithfulness, my sinfulness to Your perfection, my loneliness to Your compassion and my little pains to Your great agony on the cross. I pray that You will cleanse me, strengthen me and hide me, so that, in all ways, my life may be lived as You would have it lived.24
24 Adapted from a prayer of Mother Janet Stuart (1857-1914)
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise:
  • Pray for leaders:
  • Pray for significant people:
  • Pray for those in need:
  • Pray for self:

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Daily Devo
Daily Devotional Journal
Daniel 10:11-12, 14-19
Tue, 26 September 2023

A Man of High Esteem


What significant observations can you make about Daniel being called “man of high esteem” (vv.11, 19)?

Deeper Reflection
One of the heavenly beings called Daniel “man of high esteem” (v.11). This honour was bestowed on Daniel emphatically, in that it was repeated twice (v.19). This “high esteem” did not come from man, but from God Himself. God gave this honour to Daniel toward the end of his life when God called him to “enter into rest” (Dan 12:13). As a youth, Daniel “made up his mind not to defile himself with the king’s choice food” (Dan 1:8), and as an old man, he was faithful to God in spending time with Him in his “three times a day” devotion, even if it means to be thrown into the lions’ den (Dan 6:10). Daniel was finishing well in his life with “humbling yourself before your God” (v.12). When we think of finishing well in terms of successful accomplishments, we must be careful that we are not exalting ourselves.It is not for us to see ourselves in any way as a person of high esteem before God. It is for God to say that to us (2 Cor 10:17-18). Daniel never saw himself as a “man of high esteem”. A key emphasis in Daniel 10 is Daniel being greatly overwhelmed by the holiness and glory of God represented by the heavenly being with an awesome appearance (Dan 10:5-10, 15-18). And it was in this encounter with God when he was called “man of high esteem” that Daniel said, “How can such a servant of my Lord talk with such as my Lord?”50 (v.17). The man highly esteemed by God saw his unworthiness before God.
50 I have theologically translated “my lord” to “my Lord”, since the heavenly being is a representation of God.

What does being highly esteemed by God mean to me?

Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for pastors and staff: To be able to see oneself as God sees
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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