1 SAMUEL 19
11 Saul also sent messengers unto David's house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David's wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain.
12 So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped.
Saul's jealousy of David grew to a pitch that threatened David's life. Michal, Saul's daughter, David's wife, apprised David of his danger which had become very imminent, for Saul had posted his emissaries outside David's house during the night with instructions to kill him as he should be leaving the house in the morning. What did David do ? If he had been the
artificial David of modern theological discourse, he would have sublimely appealed to heaven for protection, seated himself in heroic posture, and passively waited the issue of events with calm resignation. Instead of that, we see David in the undignified act of clambering through a window to get away (I. Sam. xix. 12)- undignified only according to Gentile standards, for it is never undignified to do a sensible thing.
It was a sensible and a godly thing to flee before danger. It is what Christ Himself recommended. " When they persecute you in one city, flee to another." It is what Paul did when environed with deadly foes at Damascus. " Through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped."-(II. Cor. xi. 33.)
The lesson is that true men of God are men of sensible expedients. By a narrow way of looking at the subject, sensible expedients are made to appear as faithless acts. David trusted in God and yet adapted his movements to the exigencies of the hour. Some say-Where is faith in such a case ? Where is God's guidance ? The answer is, a man of faith interprets God's intentions in providence by the facts surrounding him. We do not know from hour to hour what the will of God may be as regards particular circumstances.
We have to act with wisdom towards them all as they arise. If escape is impossible, a man of faith resigns himself, and says, " The will of the Lord be done;" but if, on the contrary, the way of escape is open, a wise man escapes, and thanks the Lord that escape was possible.
God's purpose in such things is so interwoven with and wrought out by surrounding circumstances, that a man of God- committing his whole way to God in prayer, thanksgiving, and obedience-takes the circumstances as the interpretation of the purpose, and acts freely within the latitude the law of God may allow in the given circumstances of each case.
It is always lawful to escape from danger if we can do so without the sacrifice of duty. Indeed it would be foolhardy and criminal to remain in it, in such a case. Nothing could be more censurable on this head than the rage for martyrdom that carried thousands voluntarily to the stake in the first and second centuries, through the false teaching of such weak and vain men as Ignatius. David by no means belonged to this class. He escaped danger when he could, and he was the type of the order of men that will surround his glorified son in the day of the establishment of his throne.
Ways of Providence.
15 And Saul sent the messengers again to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him.
We have been called by the gospel: but we are in trouble-often dark and sore. Are we tempted to despair? .... The exaltation to which we are going on is for ever: therefore the trial is longer.
It is no accident: it is of divine appointment, though it may appear all so human. Let us endure; there will be a bright opening to the darkness by-and-bye. The trouble is good. It humbles us and proves us.
It is easy to believe God in the light: will we trust Him in the darkness? This is the question which is settled to God's glory and our honour if we continue steadfast unto the end. Faith tried in this way will
"be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Christ."
It is truly a privilege to be tried. We do not always see it in present weakness. We shall see it when the process is finished, and when we stand accepted and comforted in the presence of Christ. David came at last to great prosperity and power.
Sunday Morning 173 - TC 11/1886.