#FEARLESS365 is a yearlong study of God’s commandment to us to live without fear. For 365 days, we will focus on one scripture and volunteers from all over the world will share their personal thoughts and what God has shared with them on the specific verse. For more info… go here.
Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with David but had departed from Saul.
1 Samuel 18:12
The first time I realized the world did not like Jesus I was 11. My parents had signed me up for my first summer sleep away camp, and I was so excited to have some independence. I didn’t think twice about packing my bible, because anyone I knew then probably would have. To my friends and family it was as much a necessity as clean clothes or a toothbrush. When I got to camp, I put it with my other important things on the bench next to my bed. My bunkmate saw it immediately, “Did you really bring that? Do you actually read it?” She scornfully laughed at me, and then got everyone else in the cabin to laugh with her. I mumbled some sad excuse, too stunned by their disapproval to come up with a real answer. I didn’t hide it back in my bag like I wanted to, but I didn’t feel comfortable reading it while I was there, either.
As I grew and became more aware of the world’s feelings towards Christians, I went through greater effort to hide who I was. It was years before I would freely admit that I was a Christian for fear of people’s hatred. But Jesus warned us life would be like this. He said, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:19) But how can we ever be brave enough to endure that hatred? Wasn’t it our need for love that sent us searching for Him in the first place?
At this point in David’s story, he was quite popular. Everybody loved him except for the guy who happened to be king, but that guy made his life unbearable. There’s always someone in life like this, who can’t stand to hear the good news and who can make you feel like an 11 year old girl holding an unwelcome bible. Why? For the same reason that King Saul was villainous toward David, the pharisees couldn’t abide Jesus, and Israel rejected God’s prophets. It’s because of fear. Because oppression is rooted in evil, and evil will always be afraid of God’s presence. Saul threw his spear at David like a striking snake, because he was overcome by evil, and the evil made him terrified of the Lord.
Living with people’s hatred can be as scary as living with a king that’s trying kill you. But that’s our calling, to make disciples even though it will inspire the contempt of many. David’s example to us was beautiful, he wasn’t nasty. He didn’t yell back, whine or plot revenge. He didn’t flee until he absolutely had to; the rest of the chapter shows he actually worked harder, and even married into Saul’s family. Nor did he compromise his work by losing battles on purpose just to ease Saul’s jealousy. He stood strong under the pressure of hatred because the Lord was with him, and we must remember that the Lord is with us too.
During another episode of persecution, David wrote to God, “But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” (Psalm 59:16)
We would be wise to remember that. Praise God, for He loves us, protects and is stronger than evil could ever be. Wait on the Lord, and you have nothing to fear.
Lyndsey Pheister is a Blogger, photographer and homeschooling mom who lives in Front Royal, VA. She lives in and loves the Appalachian Mountains.