We see an interesting contrast between Saul and David in this chapter. Saul was growing increasingly paranoid (see 1 Sam. 22) and continued to pursue David, the hero turned fugitive. Meanwhile, we also see David in pursuit, but not of Saul in retaliation or even of safety primarily. David was in pursuit of God. When David heard the Philistines were fighting against Keilah, he went to the Lord and asked if he should go to their defense. This was not the posture of a man who was running for his life; this was the posture of a man who was running after God, the One in whose hands he had placed his life.
In fear, Saul had turned away from God in disobedience, which had brought about his downfall. Now we see that he was a man driven by his jealousy and anger. David no doubt feared Saul, but he feared God in a greater way. David’s fear of the Lord led him to seek to obey God continually at all costs, even if that cost placed himself in harm’s way. The same was true, but in a greater way, of one of David’s descendants—Jesus—who stepped into the world in full obedience to God and not only risked His life but laid it down on behalf of the very world that had rejected Him.
Do you tend to pursue God in times of fear or do you tend to turn inward instead? Why?