Sunday Worship Service’s Sermon (4-30-2023)
Make God Your Adviser
(1 Samuel 23:1-14)
Do you have someone you can consult to get beneficial advice from before you begin any important undertaking or as you face important choices and decisions? It is wisdom to consult about the work thoroughly before starting it. Rather than thinking alone, judging alone, deciding alone, planning alone, and working alone, those who have many people they can ask, consult with, and receive good advice from can bear good results. Today, I would like to share the story of David, who ‘performed everything wisely’ by taking God as his life’s adviser (=counselor) in everything and always consulting with God.
David fled and hid with 600 of his men near the border between Judah and Philistia from Saul's pursuit to kill him. One day, he heard that the Philistines had attacked the Keilah living near the place where David was hiding and had taken away their harvest for the year. At that time, David was in a situation where he ran away and hid from Saul, who was trying to harm him, but he could not ignore the pain of his own people, so he asked God what he should do in this situation. Then, David didn't choose and decide what to do and act on his own, but like in verse 2, he first asked God. Here, the verb ‘asked’ is expressed as ‘inquire’ in the English Bible. This word is a verb used when asking someone a question to find information. By the way, if you look at the English Bible, it is recorded as ‘inquired of the Lord.’ It means David consulted with God to get the wisdom about it. David was a man who had experience in fighting and defeating Goliath of the Philistines. But David did not live based on his own experience. He always consulted with God. ‘My God, Shall I go and attack these Philistines?’ This is what he consults with God about, the master of his life. This is what he asks for some advice from God about, what he should do in this situation. This is what he asks for God's thoughts about.
Then, the Lord answered David, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” However, when David conveyed this will of God to his men, they strongly opposed it. David's men said to him, "Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces! So, let’s don’t do that.” The answer God gave to David and the opinions of David's men differed. In this case, what would you do? Once again David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him as in verse 4, "Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand." On that day, David accepted God's advice rather than his men's will and acted on it. As a result, David won the war against the Philistines because God was with him, brought back everything the Philistines had stolen from them, and saved all the people of Keilah.
However, after this, what David's men feared did happen. Someone told Saul that David was in Keilah. Then, Saul planned to gather all the people together and go down to Keilah, where David was. David was trying to save the Keilah people in trouble, but he and his men were in great danger. Then David inquired of the Lord again. See verse 10: "O LORD, your servant has heard definitely that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town on account of me. Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to him? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O LORD, tell your servant." And the LORD said, "He will." Again, David asked, "Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?" And the LORD said, "They will."
The people of Keilah were truly ungrateful people. In an instant, they turned away David and his men who gave their lives for them in trouble and saved them. Conceivably, David and his men must have felt deeply betrayed. They would have been deeply hurt. Nevertheless, David had compassion on them and left Keilah with 600 of his men.
What was the outcome of this case? See verse 14: “David stayed in the desert strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands.”
What is the meaning of this passage? It means that God was always with, helped, and protected David, a man who always asked for God’s guidance before he did anything and acted according to the advice God gave him.
What would happen if, when David dealt with all these things, he did not consult with God, but acted according to his own thoughts, experiences, and judgment, or what would happen if he acted only according to the opinions of those who were with him? David could have turned a blind eye to the people of Keilah in their predicament. And David would have suffered a great blow to becoming the king of Israel after this. David could have been told that he could not truly be king of Israel since he did not take care of Keilah in their time of need. If David had not asked God what to do, David and his men would have been captured by Saul when they knew that Saul had recruited troops to capture David in Keilah. If David had not asked God if the people of Keilah would hide or betray David, David and his men would not have known that the people of Keilah would betray him when Saul came to catch David. 600 people (even though they were doing good) would be in great danger.
However, David consulted with God about everything. David asked God for advice before he acted. And he did as God had taught him. And every time God helped David, God was with David in the matter he inquired and consulted about, and God helped him to do everything wisely.
See verse 4: "I am going to give the Philistines into your hand." And see verse 14: “David stayed in the desert strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands.”
What changes did you see in David's life when he counseled with God about everything? When David inquired and consulted with God, the war between David and the Philistines turned into a 'war between God and the Philistines'. Having consulted with God in this way, God works with him and helps him. Proverbs 20:19 says, “If you want to do anything, ask God, consult with God, and act as God has taught you.” Also, Proverbs 15:22 says, “The plans made without consulting God will fail, but the plans made after asking God will be fulfilled.” “If there is no one to give advice, the plan fails, but to the person God advises, the plan succeeds.” It is so important to always consult with God first. However, we should not stop asking (=praying) and discussing with God. We must also learn to act on God-given advice.
I am wondering one thing. Why did David always inquire of God first before starting anything? Why did he consult with God about everything? He didn't do it to get what he wanted to get. This is why David always consulted with God first before starting anything. Because David really loved God, he wanted to live according to God's will no matter what he did. So, he always asked God first. He consulted with God about everything. Whatever he did, he asked God to advise him of God's will. This is because David wanted to act according to what God considered right rather than what he thought was right. This is because David made God the standard and center of his life. And this is because David knew that the God, he believed in is our wonderful counselor (Isaiah 9:6). This is the way the man of God lives in the world. David loved God to that extent and made every effort to follow God's heart and walk in God's way. Because David loved God in this way, he was loved by God, and because he sought God earnestly in this way, God met him. This is why David was especially loved by God, and this is why David always did everything wisely and lived a prosperous life.
God is not only David's adviser. God is also the kind adviser of all of us. If we, like David, ask God for anything, He will advise and help us.
I hope that from now on we will recover the same life and faith as David. Counsel with God about everything with the desire to be right in God's sight and to always walk rightly in the way of the Lord. Make God your adviser. Ask (=Pray) God about everything you do. Then, we will experience God helping us to do all things wisely and successful. Amen!!!