Not Worldly Wisdom

In I Samuel 23, David had inquired of the Lord as to whether he should go up and attack the Philistines, who were oppressing the town of Keilah. God told him to go. But when David told his men, :3 says they were hesitant: “But David’s men said to him, ‘Behold, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the ranks of the Philistines?'”

What David’s men said “made sense” from a worldly viewpoint. Here they were, “outcasts” in their own land, as Saul was seeking David’s life. They were “barely making it” as they were — and now David wanted them to “go on the offensive” and go up to Keilah to fight the Philistines? It really didn’t seem prudent. And yet :4 says that when David “double-checked” with God, that was exactly what He told him to do. So David led his men up to Keilah and attack the Philistines, and :5 says that they won a great victory.

This is a good reminder to us that sometimes God leads us do what does not seem “right” or “prudent” from a cautious, earthly standpoint.

As Isaiah 55:8 reminds us, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord.” In I Corinthians 2, the Apostle Paul wrote that the wisdom of God is that which “none of the rulers of this age has understood” (:8) and that the things of the Spirit of God are “foolishness” to the natural man.

While this truth should not be an excuse to undertake any foolish course of our own which God has not in fact led us to, and while we must not neglect godly counsel to help us in our direction, yet the fact is that there are times when God will lead us — just like He did David — to do things which people who do not know God will consider as foolish and imprudent. From a worldly standpoint, their cautions — like those of David’s men — will seem reasonable. But they are leaving out the most important factor: a God whose wisdom, power, and ways are much higher and different than ours, and who wants to use us in ways which will confound the world to His glory.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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