1 Samuel 23: Are you listening to popular voices or God's voice?

1 Samuel 23: Are you listening to popular voices or God's voice?

Photo by  Ben White  on  Unsplash  | Who are you listening to?

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash | Who are you listening to?

Listening to God’s voice gives us direction for life.

Listening to the voice of God gives David direction for life. Refusing to listen to God forces Saul to rely on his own failed wisdom. Israel’s old enemy, the Philistines, attack the city of Keilah. Saul, the king the Israelites wanted to defend them in battle does not come to their help. David sees the plight of Keilah and wants to help them with his small outlaw army. David, however, does not make this decision himself, but inquires of the Lord. The Lord says, “Go, attack.” David’s men are afraid and unsure, so David asks God again. God promises to give the victory and he does give it. In freeing the people of Keilah, David acts more like a king than Saul does.

When Saul hears this, he is not ashamed of his lack of leadership but rather sees this as a chance to trap David within the city walls of Keilah. When David hears Saul and his forces are coming, he again inquires of the Lord who tells him that the citizens of Keilah who were so happy for David to deliver them now are planning to turn him over to Saul. David flees to the hills in the desert of Ziph.

Jonathan visits David there and tells him that even Saul knows David will be the next king. Jonathan is willing to be second to David. In this last meeting of these two friends, they renew the covenant they have made with each other.

Saul has his own allies, the Ziphites, who help him find David. At one point Saul’s forces are on the opposite side of a mountain from David and closing in on his position. But the Lord again delivers David by drawing Saul away to fight the Philistines.

Next Steps

In the heat of life, business, church, family turmoil, do you turn to inquire of the Lord? In what ways can you improve how you inquire of God’s word and Spirit to guide you in these times?


God of guidance, may we always inquire of your will for us before we act.

Dr. Gary Holloway is guest writing for The Journey Bible Project Blog.


Gary Holloway is Executive Director of the World Convention. Holding degrees from Freed-Hardeman, Harding, The University of Texas, and Emory University, he has written or edited thirty books, including (with Douglas Foster) Renewing God’s World: A Concise Global History of the Stone-Campbell Movement from ACU Press. He is married to Deb Rogers Holloway. 

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