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Desperate Measures

Devotions

In his first inaugural address, delivered at the height of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously declared, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Fear is a powerful force and will often drive a person to take desperate measures.

David’s flight from Saul took him first to Nob, located about three miles south of Gibeah and two miles east of Jerusalem, where the tabernacle was located. David lied about the purpose of his visit to Ahimelek and asked for supplies. All that was available was the consecrated bread that was placed before the Lord in the tabernacle and then eaten by the priests (Lev. 24:5–9). He also took Goliath’s sword, which had been kept there as a memorial of David’s victory. Unfortunately, Doeg, an Edomite servant of King Saul, also witnessed this exchange (21:7). He would later inform Saul.

David left Nob and retreated southwest into enemy territory until he came to Goliath’s hometown of Gath, where the servants of its ruler Achish spotted him. When they raised the alarm, David pretended to be insane to show that he was not a threat. He returned to the territory of Judah and took refuge in the cave of Adullam. David’s family went to him there in part to avoid any retaliation from Saul.

David did not remain in the cave of Adullam but left his parents in Moab and then returned to Judah. Meanwhile, Saul ordered his men to execute Ahimelech and the other priests at Nob. When his men were unwilling to comply, Doeg the Edomite killed them, along with the women, children, infants, and animals.

>> Are you struggling with fear today? In his desperation, David looked to the Lord. Give your worries to God by reading aloud the words from Psalm 57 which express David’s thoughts during his flight from Saul.

Pray with Us

As you pray, ask God to help you give your fears and worries to Him. Look at King David’s example and use his strategies of overcoming fear, anxiety, and anger that he expressed so well in his psalms.

BY Dr. John Koessler

Dr. John Koessler, who retired as professor emeritus from Moody Bible Institute, formerly served in the division of applied theology and church ministry. John and his wife Jane enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan. A prolific writer, John’s books include Dangerous Virtues: How to Follow Jesus When Evil Masquerades as Good (Moody Publishers), The Radical Pursuit of Rest (InterVarsity), The Surprising Grace of Disappointment (Moody), and True Discipleship (Moody). John is a contributing editor and columnist for Today in the Word.

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