Even when David was in fear for his life, he still managed to make a difference in the lives of the people around him. It says in verse 2 of chapter 22,
All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander.
This was David’s first army. People who were hurting. Who for some reason were in trouble or were finding emptiness in their souls.
Why did they gather around David? Was it just because he was hurting like them? Or was it something more?
I think it was because they saw in David something they were missing. Yes, David was hurting. Yes, he was scared. But he had something they didn’t have. A relationship with the living God.
They saw him continually seeking God for direction in all that he did. And they saw him refuse to become selfish, thinking only of himself when he was in trouble. Rather, when he saw the people of the city of Keilah being attacked by the Philistines, he went up to help them. David’s men were afraid to go, saying,
Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces! (23:3)
But when God reassured David that he was with him, they saw David’s courage and determination to do what God had commanded. And they saw God give them a great victory.
All of us go through hard times. But it’s during those hard times that we can make the biggest impact in others’ lives. It’s easy to have faith when everything is going well. But when things are difficult, how do you respond?
People are watching you. And they’re especially watching to see your reactions in times of trouble. Will you be like David? Will you be an influence to the people around you in spite of your troubles?
Lord, help me to follow you not only when times are easy, but also when times are hard. When things are tough in my life, let others see my faith in you, and be touched. Let them see your work in my life, that they may hunger for you and see your work in their lives as well. In Jesus name, amen.