Introduction – Some people are too hard on David.
Last week after the service William asked me an excellent question. It's about hermeneutics. He said that obviously Christ interpreted David's eating of the holy bread as being a good thing, but if Jesus (a perfect interpreter) had not done that, how would you know whether that historical narrative was recording a good thing or a bad thing? Just because David did some things does not mean we should imitate David, right? Obviously David did some pretty bad things. And that's an excellent question. So in my introduction, I'm going to try to answer that and then illustrate a tiny bit of what I do each week when I study for a passage.
The short answer is that the historical narrative will often define a bad behavior as being so. It doesn't always do so, but it often does. For example, when David intended to kill Nabal in chapter 25, the text makes it quite clear that doing so would have been a sin. Even David later realizes that it would have been a sin. Secondly, you look for interpretations of that historical passage by other parts of the Bible. Sometimes that can give clues. Thirdly, you look to see if the Law says anything about such behavior. If it praises the behavior, you can use David as an illustration of that law. If it condemns it, you can often show the evil fruits in David's life that the Law says should be there. And then fourthly, in the case of our present passage, a look at the Psalms that David wrote at that time can give a lot of insight as to how you should interpret the passage.
Typically, commentators who believe that the titles to Psalms are inspired have a rather positive view of this passage, while those who reject the titles have a very bad opinion about David here. They read a lot of our cultural values into this passage and judge David based on our cultural values. For example, I have some commentaries that claim that this whole paragraph represents David at his worst. Even though there is no evidence that David later cringes over this, they imply that he should cringe. For example, they condemn David for fleeing from Saul in verse 10 rather than sticking with his calling to Israel. They say that God called him to be the king of Israel and he should not be leaving the nation. Well, honestly, I would like to see them facing similar circumstances and see if they would stick around. And furthermore, in chapters 27-29 we have clear indication that God was OK with David fleeing to king Achish. So I don't understand that particular condemnation.
The second thing this commentator condemned David for was for being afraid in verse 12 rather than resting in God's will. To him that was a sign that David was living in a backslidden condition. But the word for fear here is not the morally evil kind of fear. This is exactly the same word used in Proverbs 24:21 where God commands us to fear both God and the king because both of them can ruin you. So he commands us to fear the king using the same word. Just think of it this way: does not a healthy fear of heights creep up on you as you get within four feet of the edge of the Grand Canyon? It doesn't make me drool on my beard, but I do get a funny feeling in my stomach and I get down on all fours. The presence of fear is not the sin, but what you do with that fear. Let me quickly contrast the words of this commentator with what David actually said in Psalm 56. The commentator said that fear made David trust in himself rather than in the Lord. But that completely contradicts the inspired Psalm 56, a psalm that came to David in Gath, while he was still being held. In that Psalm David said, "whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You." He wasn't trusting in himself. The commentator said, "David covered up before God instead of acknowledging his fears and doubts, and no man who covers his sin can prosper." But Psalm 56 shows exactly the opposite. So this passage needs to be interpreted in light of Psalm 56.
The third thing that this commentator excoriates David for is deceiving the king of Gath and pretending to be crazy. He felt that David should be transparent and honest with the king. Last week I dealt with this issue of covering up the truth before God's enemies, so I won't deal with it now. I don't think that is a legitimate criticism.
The fourth thing that this commentator condemned David for was his undignified behavior. He said, "What an undignified moment in the life of a man who had been anointed by the Spirit of God! How utterly unworthy of his calling was his behavior! What dishonor to bring upon the name of his God!" So he says that it is a sin. To check it out you look at the law. Does the law condemn this? No. And it is legalism to add to the law. In fact, nowhere else in Scripture was this condemned. One commentator pointed out that the way it was written would have actually gotten a cheer from an Israelite since David pulled the wool over the eyes of God's enemy. It would show the gullibility of the king of Gath.
And I want you to turn with me to Psalm 56. And I want you to look first at the title. It says, "To the Chief Musician. Set to ‘The Silent Dove in Distant Lands.' A Michtam of David when the Philistines captured him in Gath." Commentators say that the Hebrew of this title clearly indicates that this Psalm was composed while he was still held captive in Gath. It may not have been written down at that point, but David received it by inspiration. That's what the title is claiming. So some commentators say that the title must be wrong because the Psalm shows such faith, whereas our passage shows fear and trusting in his own antics (at least according to them). But David doesn't deny his fear in Psalm 56. In verse 3 he says, "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You." His fear of Abimelech Achish (which is another way of saying "king Achish" – Abimelech is a title) drove him to faith in the Lord. "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You." And he has to keep repeating this because he keeps being afraid. This Psalm is so true to life. Sometimes commentaries aren't – they are armchair theologians. David keeps pushing his mind away from fear and to trusting the Lord in verses 2,4, and 11. But David's faith didn't drive him to passivity. God gave him a brilliant idea, and we will look at that in a bit. Next look at Psalm 34.
This psalm was written shortly after getting out of Gath. The title says, "A Psalm of David when he pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed." The word "when" here shows that David wrote it when he departed shortly after pretending madness. So it was likely written in the cave of Adullam or it came to him immediately after leaving the city. But this psalm looks back at what had transpired earlier and interprets what he did as trust. So it is still interpreting what happened in Gath in a positive light. Contrary to the claim that David was trusting his own ingenuity rather than seeking the Lord, verse 4 says, "I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fear." When did he seek the Lord? Immediately before being delivered; immediately before being kicked out of Gath. And what was he doing immediately before being kicked out of Gath? Acting crazy. Verse 8 isn't remorse that he had failed to trust God. It says, "Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him." The whole Psalm is a Psalm of trust. And this is why commentators who take these titles as inspired Scripture (like I do) tend to interpret our passage in a positive light. We call this approach the analogy of faith. It is allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture.
When you are facing trials like David did, I strongly commend to you these two Psalms. They will minister to you in ways that those legalistic commentaries cannot. And the reason they will minister to you is that David was not an armchair theologian. He experienced the truth of God's grace in the dirty and messy realities of life. Life is never quite as clean as the textbooks say that it should be. So personally, I give David a break in this chapter.
David sought asylum in Gath (v. 10)
And with that as a background, let's dig into the text. Verse 10 says, "Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath." This may seem like an incredibly strange move on David's part. The fleeing itself is not strange. That's understandable. In fact, Jesus expects you to flee in certain circumstances. In Matthew 10:23 He commanded his disciples, "When they persecute you in this city, flee to another" and then he indicates that they will be fleeing from city to city. It's a no brainer. That's not what is strange.
What may seem strange is where he flees to – to Gath, of all places! Hadn't David killed thousands of Philistines from Gath? Wasn't Goliath from Gath? Hadn't David plopped the head of Goliath in front of the strongest pagan city, in effect saying, "This is your fate?" Wasn't David wearing the sword of Goliath? Some people say that this doesn't make any sense to go right into the hornets' nest. Maybe he wasn't feigning craziness; maybe he was crazy.
But once you realize that this same king, Achish, welcomed David and a thousand of his men into his army in chapter 27 and considered David to be an incredible asset, this move on David's part can be seen as more than simply desperation. David knows something, and what doesn't work here will end up working in chapter 27. Let me give you some reasons why David wasn't so crazy after all, even though this was a gamble.
First, David didn't have a lot of choice. He was surrounded on three sides by Saul's troops who were fighting against the Philistines. The choices that he had were to either run into Saul's hands or to run into the hands of Achish. So there was the issue of necessity. God's providence had kind of closed him in.
Second, if David could get an audience with Achish, he was no doubt hoping that Achish would see this as a defection. The Bible records numerous defections going in both directions. In years past we have had some rather valuable defections from the Soviet Union that were welcomed by the USA. And perhaps David thought he might be considered of some value as a defector. It's a gamble, but it is a worthwhile gamble. To me it shows that David is able to take quick, calculated risks.
Third, ancient hospitality was legend not only in the Bible, but also in other ancient cultures. If someone met you in war, you killed him. But if the same person met you at your home, you often welcomed him in as a guest. It may seem strange to us, but it was common hospitality in the ancient world. Look at chapter 22:3 for a successful example of this. (And as I read this, keep in mind the history of warfare between Israel and Moab from the book of Judges to the time of David.) "Then David went from there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, ‘Please let my father and mother come here with you, till I know what God will do for me. So he brought them before the king of Moab, and they dwelt with him all the time that David was in the stronghold." And you can find many examples of this kind of hospitality happening across borders in the Bible. You can think of the story of Ruth. Naomi's family immigrated to Moab, and later, Naomi and Ruth immigrated to Israel.
Fourth, this was an age when mercenaries were often welcomed by neighboring states. When we get to chapter 27 we will see that by that time David's value as a potential mercenary will have skyrocketed. The Bible records Jews who became mercenaries in foreign countries (like Jeroboam in Egypt), and it records pagans who became mercenaries for Israelite kings (like Uriah the Hittite and later Ittai from Gath who defected to David with 600 soldiers – David treats him very well in 2Samuel 15). In fact, later, most of David's bodyguards were Philistines, some of whom were from Gath. So David may have been counting on asking the king if he could work for him. Several commentators imply that this was the request from the phrase "come into my house" in verse 15. The NICOT commentary says, "To enter Achish's house means to become a mercenary for the Philistines."
And then fifth, I have read accounts from the Cretans, Greeks, and the related Philistines, of soldiers paying tribute to the most heroic of their enemies. In battle they would kill them, although even on that point I read a story of a remarkably valiant soldier who was allowed to live by the conquerors because they held his courage in such high esteem. It was almost like a code of honor that you respected your valiant foes in peace, though you usually killed them on the battlefield.
So even though it was a huge gamble, it wasn't a totally idiotic move. You've got to read these passages in light of their ancient culture. There was some hope for David in going to Gath. And since every other escape route was providentially blocked, it seems that God wanted him there. This would prepare the way for chapter 27.
We aren't told which of those five reasons weighed heaviest on David's mind in this passage. They certainly worked for him in chapter 27. But this does bring up the whole issue of either fleeing to avoid persecution or immigrating to escape tyranny. It has been done many times. Kevin Swanson has written a book, The Second Mayflower, suggesting that Christians ought to at least think about it. I'm not ready to give up on America yet. And I'm not convinced that other countries give us much better options. But it is at least worth thinking about this whole issue.
Some have criticized Lisa and Isabella for fleeing the country when they were going to forcibly take her daughter away and give her to homosexual perverts. Their reasoning is that you lose your rights once you leave the country. Outside the country they don't need a warrant for your arrest. OK, I can understand that criticism. But she felt like she was in a bind just like David did. Her rights had been completely stripped away by unconstitutional decisions. She was going to lose her daughter anyway. Whether her decision proves that she has ended up in a dangerous Gath or a safe Moab remains to be seen. But I have a hard time criticizing her even if she ends up having made a mistake like David made.
And Christians need to evaluate all the options that are open to them should an overbearing state want to take children away from homeschoolers, or should pastors be threatened with jail time because they are preaching against homosexuality, or should other unconstitutional things happen. Normally, I consider flight to be an absolute last resort. David did all that he could to avoid fleeing. But there does come a time when you need to consider whether fleeing is better than the alternatives. This is not a moot question. Fathers in Nebraska spent time in jail over the issue of Christian education, while the moms fled the state with their children. This is in my lifetime. Thankfully, those bad laws were overturned. But David's fleeing to Gath in this passage and fleeing to Moab in chapter 22 are two perfectly lawful options that the Bible sets before us. Yesterday I got an email from Chuck Baldwin outlining reasons why he left his state and settled in Montana. He has some rather cogent reasons. I have my own reasons as to why I am not sure that is going to be the safest move in the future, but I respect his reasoning.
Here's the question, do you at least know what your options are? Do you know which states are friendlier on certain issues? Have you made friends with local magistrates? Are you willing to help good candidates get elected? Do you know what countries have extradition treaties with the States and which ones do not? Do you know whether that country actually gives the liberties that are promised, or would it be out of the frying pan and into the fire? Seeking asylum is just as relevant today as it was in David's day. We have 20,000 Sudanese in our city who had to flee from Sudan or face death, slavery, or worse. You would be amazed at the huge sex-slave trade that is going on internationally and is even in the USA. If one of those sex slaves ran away and sought to hide in your home, you should be ready to help.
It proved to be a mistake (v. 11)
In this particular case the move proved to be a mistake (though providentially God would use it to David's advantage later). Verse 11 says, "And the servants of Achish said to him, ‘Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying, "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?"'" His reputation had preceded him, but it wasn't a totally accurate reputation. They thought he had already become the king of Israel. Apparently the media got things wrong even 3000 years ago. But this gives us an interesting clue as to what was going on in Saul's head. If this kind of rumor was circulating outside the country, it is no wonder that Saul was paranoid. It gives a little bit of an insight on Saul's persecution.
So there were four things that worked against David in this verse. He had one shot at the king when the soldiers escorted him to the king. He hoped to finagle a deal and prove that he could be an asset to the king. But before he could even say much, these servants were already poisoning the king to the idea. After all, David has killed tens of thousands of Philistines, he has killed one of their most formidable champions, Goliath, he is actually wearing the sword that belonged to Goliath right now, and he is the king of Israel. But probably more importantly, David didn't have the bargaining chip that he would have in chapter 27 – an army of 1000 seasoned warriors. So even though it was a worthwhile risk to take, it proved to be a bad move for David.
David's fear cast him upon the Lord (v. 12 with Ps. 34,56)
And so it is perfectly natural for David's adrenalin to kick in. It looks like they are going to want to kill him. Verse 12 says, "Now David took these words to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath." We aren't told whether this was a legitimate fear or a sinful fear, but Psalms 34 and 56 indicate that the fear immediately drove David to the Lord. That was the first impulse of David's heart – to go to the Lord when there were emergencies. His next impulse was to take action. David never pit faith against action. But for some of us there is a temptation to go to action before we come to the Lord. David didn't do that either. While his life was still hanging in the balances he said, "Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up." And there is this wonderful prayer in Psalm 56 that we are going to sing after the service. He ends the Psalm by saying, "For You have delivered my soul from death…" He's referring there to the numerous times he had escaped from Saul. "For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?"
He is saying, "Lord, you're not going to let me die in Gath are you? Isn't the reason you have preserved my life so many times that I might continue to live?" And in that Psalm he disciplines his mind by meditating on God's promises, asking God for mercy, fighting his fears as they come up again, declaring trust in God, asking God to judge the wicked, comforting himself that God cares about his sorrows, fighting his fears again, declaring his trust again, making vows to the Lord, praising and thanking God. Those are all wonderful steps for conquering fear – especially meditation on God's promises, thanksgiving for God's goodness, and praising God for His power. I have found all of those steps to help me enormously when I am fearful.
David came up with a brilliant ruse (v. 13)
But somewhere in the midst of it all God opens David's eyes to a brilliant idea. Let's read verse 13:
1Samuel 21:13 "So he changed his behavior before them, pretended madness in their hands, scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva fall down on his beard."
We aren't told what markings he scratched on the doors, but between the scratching and the foaming at the mouth, he must have given a rather convincing performance. They were thinking that he wasn't just crazy; he was insane; he was totally out of his mind. The reason I say that this was brilliant was that the Philistines had a superstitious idea about madmen. Payne explains in his commentary. He says,
In the first place, the Philistines could be expected to relax once they knew that the man who had done them such damage in past battles was now insane; what harm could he do them in the future? Secondly, insanity was often believed in the ancient world to be an affliction of the gods, and it was customary to treat madmen as taboo if not holy, people who should not be harmed in any way. David's ruse was therefore quite clever and proved effective.
So, far from showing David at his worst, I believe that this shows the incredible boldness and resourcefulness of David. He was bold enough to take a gamble when he went in, and he was resourceful enough to know how to extract himself when it didn't work. He knew how to pull the wool over the enemy's eyes.
And anyone who thinks that warriors cannot do this simply needs to read the warfare strategies in the books of Joshua and Judges. Stonewall Jackson used to teach war strategy from those books, considering them to be fantastic military manuals. And military deceit was a major part of effective warfare. Jackson wasn't too fond of the idea of everyone standing up and politely mowing each other down. He wanted to take every advantage of the enemy, and deceiving the enemy was definitely part of that advantage. It is obvious to me that at least some of the commentators that I have in my library would not make very good military advisors. Thankfully some of the commentaries do understand this passage perfectly.
Yet it was God alone who could deliver (vv. 14-15 with Ps 34:4-7)
Moving on – it is clear that whatever wisdom David displayed in his acting, it was God, and God alone who could give the victory. Achish could still have kept him as a prisoner even if he was superstitious. The soldiers could have complained that he didn't look insane when they brought him in. Yet God allows Achish to send him away. Look at verses 14-15:
1Samuel 21:14 "Then Achish said to his servants, "Look, you see the man is insane. Why have you brought him to me?"
1Samuel 21:15 "Have I need of madmen, [And literally it is more humorous – it is "Do I have any lack of madmen?" One commentator explains: "This paragraph is also a humorous indictment of the Philistines, who can be so easily duped by the quick-thinking David. Not only was Achish gullible, but by his own admission, the city of Gath is so full of crazy men they have no use for any more." So Achish says, "Do I have any lack of madmen"] that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?"
And the inspired title of Psalm 34 adds that the king "drove him away, and he departed." So it's not just that he escapes. It is that the king kicks him out without killing him. This is a remarkable act of God. It causes David to say in Psalm 34:
"I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth…This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing… Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all…"
That Psalm indicates that David wasn't simply trusting in his own ingenuity. He took the supernatural presence of God into account and he took the supernatural presence of angels into account. When we are in a pickle, we should not only think about the visible resources that are at our disposal. We should also think of angels and the protection that God Himself can give to us. So that's the meaning of the passage. Let me conclude with some applications.
I want to leave you with seven applications that you can take from these verses when they are read in the light of Psalm 34 and Palm 56:
Whenever I am afraid I will ____________
First, even though we may face some difficulties that make our adrenaline rise to the level of fear, do not for a moment give in to your fears and make you give up on the Lord. Instead, say with David, "whenever I am afraid I will trust in You." Fear is a powerful emotion and it can drag us away from the Lord or it can drive us to the Lord. Make sure that it drives you to God.
Two antidotes to fear: p___________ and t_____________
Second, handle your fears with the remedies that David used: Give your fear to the Lord, ask for His help, and immediately begin thanking God and praising God. The acts of thanksgiving and praise help our faith to focus more and more on how great and how good God is. And the bigger and better God grows in your eyes, the smaller your circumstances become and the stronger your faith grows. Thanksgiving and praise are powerful antidotes to fear.
Third, don't stew on everything that could go wrong; instead, take action. Philippians 4 gives a three-fold remedy for anxiety: pray rightly, meditate rightly, and act rightly. Taking responsible actions designed to get us out of our emergencies is absolutely critical to resolving fear. Too many people become paralyzed in the face of fears. For example, their debt seems so overwhelming that they just get paralyzed and ignore it. David didn't ignore his problem. He took action no matter how ridiculous his actions may have seemed. You may think that anything you can throw at your mountain of debt is hopeless and insane. But don't forget that many of David's victories (from Goliath to this chapter) were weak acts that God blessed. But he acted nonetheless. They were acts of faith. God blessed David's action with a small stone to fell Goliath. What are your small stones that you are throwing at your Goliath of debt, or your Goliath of family problems, or your Goliath of addiction? What are the seemingly insane (though lawful) actions you are taking as you offer your weakness up to the Lord and trust in Him? When the disciples brought five loaves and two fish to feed the multitude it may have seemed like a useless gesture. And yet our God is a God who delights in multiplying the loaves and fishes and blessing the foolish gestures of faith. Do not be paralyzed before your Goliaths. Do what you can and watch God do the impossible. Take actions, however small and foolish those actions may seem, and trust that God delights in felling giants with little stones.
My son Jonathan's father-in-law gave me a book on staying out of debt, and it has story after story of how churches and families were blessed with miracles of provision once they started taking the itsy bitsy actions of obedience that they could. God does not bless passivity or paralysis. He blesses men and women of action.
Learn to worship when you are in your Gath
Fourth, learn to worship God when you are in your Gath. That's Psalm 56. This is the true test of a man or a woman of God – they are able to worship God in any situation. Some of you are facing a Gath right now, and you are tempted to bail out on the Lord. Don't do it. Worship Him, trust Him, love Him, and follow Him no matter what. David began to worship God in Psalm 56 before he had gotten out of trouble.
Learn to thank God when you are in your cave of Adullam
Fifth, learn to thank God when you are in your cave of Adullam. That's Psalm 34. That's after he gets out of Gath, right? The cave of Adullam wasn't a fun place to be either, but rather than grumbling about it, David thanked God in Psalm 34 for the deliverance he had just experienced. He did not allow grumbling to characterize his life. Thank God when you are in your cave of Adullam and in the pits of despair. Thank him as an act of faith. All some people can see in life is the negative that they are facing. They forget about God's faithfulness in the past. They forget about all the good things they have in the present. They are just running from one thing to grumble about to the next. Thank him.
Research your options
Sixth, be prepared to flee by researching your options. It may be a metaphorical fleeing as you try to get out of debt or as you try to conquer some sin. Or it may be a literal fleeing. It is obvious to me that David knew a lot about the Philistines and the Moabites. He knew the territory of Judah. He knew the hideouts that were available. Even if you never have to flee or to use the resources, your knowledge of those resources may be helpful to others.
For example, it is helpful to know which states have the most freedom relative to homeschooling and which ones are the worst. I have a study that rates each state on five areas of educational freedoms. It has some surprising facts. On homeschooling we rank at #19, and since Nebraska has a fair amount of liberty, I was surprised that there are 18 freer states. And by the way, Iowa wasn't one of them. Iowa ranks #29. Still pretty good, but it needs a lot of work.
I have another fat study that ranks each state on such things as gun control, seat belt laws, licensing and a host of other issues. And I have studies that do the same thing for various countries. Again, there are a number of surprises, one of which is that America is still relatively free, with only a few countries being freer. One study ranks us as 77.8% free and the other as 74% free. The second organization did massive research ranking countries on property rights, taxes, free speech, limited government, freedom of gun ownership, drugs, corruption, business freedoms, and inflation. As of the beginning of 2011 America ranked #5 overall with a score of 74%. These types of charts help you to weigh one liberty lost over against another one gained.
Another kind of research that is helpful is knowing your legal rights. Just as David was banking on honor and traditions in Gath, we need to know what rules can help or hinder us. Just as one example of information to have on hand, I've got a two-page handout from HSLDA that gives 10 tips on what to do when a Social Worker or truant officer comes to your door. It is lack of knowledge of your legal rights that often gets Christians into trouble. There are books written on how to deal with other bureaucrats who harass you. Just a little bit of information ahead of time can keep you from getting into deeper trouble. Two books that are available free online are: A Theology of Christian Resistance and Tactics of Christian Resistance. They are designed to move Christians from naïveté to well-informed decision-making. Some people want to leave America, but when I ask them where they are planning to go, they give me answers that show they have not researched their options. Some of those countries will leave these families in far worse shape.
Pray for fellow-believers who needing asylum
Seventh, pray for fellow believers who are right now facing similar predicaments to David. Just this past week northern Sudan has resumed bombing of the southern Sudanese people. Over the last several years, hundreds of thousands of Sudanese have had to relocate to safer countries or face enslavement or death. And other citizens of African, Asian, and South American countries have had to flee their country to find a safer one. You've probably all heard of the German homeschooling families who have had to flee to neighboring countries or risk having their children permanently removed. Similar troubles face homeschoolers in Sweden. Sweden is vicious against homeschoolers. Pray for them. Pray that God would give them wisdom to know what backup plans are available. When Gath didn't work out for David, he fled to Moab and helped his family find safe haven there in chapter 22.
Pray for Lisa and Isabella who have had to flee to keep from having Isabella placed into a homosexual household. At this point we don't know if the country they are in is proving to be dangerous like Gath or if it will be a safe haven like Moab. I don't actually know where she is right now. But pray for her. Pray for the Jackson family whose children were removed by New Jersey courts without due process and have been kept from them without due process. Seeking Asylum is not a theoretical issue. It could very well affect many American citizens. We will pray that that is not the case, but wisdom says to be prepared. And I think I will end there. Let's pray.
Brothers and sisters, I charge you to understand how to cope with fear – use the biblical steps. Secondly, I charge you to understand asylum and pray for Christians who have had to take asylum. Third, I urge you to pray that the church in America would repent so that our liberties could increase rather than decrease in this nation. Amen.
David. F. Payne, I and II Samuel (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1982), p. 113. ↩