1 Samuel 23: David Saves Keilah

Therefore David enquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the Lord said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah.1 Samuel 23:2 KJV

Despite Saul's pursuit of David, he still takes the time to rescue a city in distress.


David is told that the Philistines are gathering to fight the city of Keilah and would rob the threshing floors. This meant the Philistines would wait until the men of Keilah had done all the work to harvest their grain, then the rob them of the grain. David knew this wasn't something the Lord wanted for his people, so he asks God if he should do something about it. When God responds with the affirmative, David is ready to take his men to war. David's men were afraid to go to war, so they inquire of God once again, and once again, God tells them to engage the Philistines at Keilah.

A Successful and A Failure

As God promised, David is successful at defeating the Philistines, but when Saul hears that David has placed himself in a gated town, he sends his men to besiege the city to retrieve David. Knowing that such a fate was about to befall him, David asks God if the people of Keilah will hand him over to Saul. One would think that given David's recent victory in saving the city, they would ally themselves with David; after all, Saul didn't come save them. However, God reveals that the men plan to hand David over to Saul anyway. It is then that David flees into the wilderness. At this point, he has gained 600 men following him.

How Does This Relate To Us Today?

We have the same issues today. Often, we can do right by people only to discover they are ready and willing to stab us in the back. David did the right thing by coming to his fellow Israelites' aid, but they were easily persuaded to do the wrong thing to hand him over. However, just as God delivered David into the wilderness, he will deliver us in the same situation. We are always to choose the right thing to do, regardless of the reaction we receive from those around us. David may have not been comfortable and content in the wilderness, but he was safe and God was pleased. We have to remember that discomfort is not a sign of wrong doing. As long as we follow God's word, we can trust we will be ok in the end.

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