Circumstances Aren’t Everything

I Samuel 24:3-4 reminds us that although God uses circumstances for His purposes (as we saw at the end of the last chapter), circumstances themselves are not the only factor in godly decisions. Chapter 24 says that when Saul was pursuing David in the wilderness of Engedi, he (Saul) “came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave.” The circumstance was not lost on David’s men. In :4 they said, “Behold, this is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I am about to give your enemy into your hand …'”. Circumstances appeared to have given Saul to David to do with as he pleased. But David knew that circumstances were not everything.

David had a healthy respect for God’s leader, an attitude which God had commanded. So David said to his men in :6, “Far be it from me because of the Lord to do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him …”. Here David models an important truth for us: just because there is a circumstance which presents itself before you (like David in the cave with Saul) does NOT mean that you should do what people THINK you should do with that circumstance (like killing Saul in the cave). This was especially true because dispatching Saul would have been a compromise of the respect that God commanded David to have for His anointed king
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“Behold, this is the day …” how many times do people say similar things regarding our circumstances? “Behold this is the day”: … God is giving you that job … God is bringing you that person to marry … God is giving you revenge on your enemy … etc. God does indeed use our circumstances as a FACTOR in knowing His will. But we need to remember that if what our circumstances appear to suggest involves a compromise of God’s word, then you know that “this is NOT the day” — despite what some think the circumstances might be telling you. Circumstances themselves are not everything. Obeying God’s word is.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, 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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