Whose Sword Are You Holding? - Part 4

You’re on your own when you stop flowing in God’s strength

What was the first sign that David’s faith was beginning to falter? It happened before he arrived at Nob. He made a telling remark to Jonathan when he said, “But truly as the Lord lives, there is hardly a step between me and death” (1 Samuel 20:3). His previous confidence in God is now but a memory as his new enemy, King Saul, pursues him. When he faced Goliath, he had looked beyond that formidable foe through the clear eyes of faith—and his God was bigger than his adversary. Now he only sees through the cloudy mist of circumstances, and he stands on the brink of disaster.

God hides his bread and sword if you face your giants, trusting in your own resources

The little village of Nob, situated among the hills five miles south of Gibeah, was a peaceful, secluded spot where 86 priests lived. No highways of commerce or wars invaded the tranquility of that place. Therefore no weapons could be found expect one—Goliath’s sword. Somehow the slain giant’s immense blade had found a resting place there. Also, the food supply was short, so no bread to spare could be located except the “shewbread” or the “bread of Presence”, representing God’s faithful provision for any need among his people.

Now picture this scene: When David arrives at Nob, Ahimelech asks, “Why are you alone and no one with you?” (1 Samuel 21:1) In other words, why are you traveling like an ordinary pilgrim? Kings’ messengers, especially of David’s status, traveled with a kingly entourage, but David is alone. This is just too unusual to Ahimelech. David’s hasty explanation about being on a secret mission attempts to cover his double-mindedness. Where he once knew victory when he depended upon God, he has now turned to self-sufficiency.

Friend, are you secretly running from God and trying to face your enemies in your own strength? Think about it. When you leave the battle, God hides the bread and the weapons, and you, like David, are cast upon your own feeble resources.

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Originally published in the April 1998 issue of Reaching Higher