‘Productivity’ is the buzzword in today’s world; no matter where you are or what you do, productivity is sought after and appreciated. Productivity means being able to produce- to get things done, to make your life count, to be able to discharge your responsibilities with aplomb and being able to accomplish God’s will through your daily lives. Productivity takes a beating when you go through adversity. Is it possible to maintain productivity amidst adversity? David’s life suggests we can. In 1Samuel 23, we see David on the run from a vengeful Saul. Three aspects of his life stand out from this chapter.

  1. Seeking God’s will: We see David seeking God’s direction in his life four times in this narrative. ‘Once again David enquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him——-’ (v4). In adversity, we turn to many a resource to help us- friends who are close, family, advisors, our experience, our minds, the internet and so on. None of these are foolproof, but seeking God’s will is. It is God alone who sees all things, who controls all things and who is the architect of justice. When God’s mind illuminates ours, we begin to create a reality that is exemplary, where adversity no longer works against us, but for us.
  1. Not relying on man: After David and his men saved Keilah from the Philistines, any other person would have trusted the citizens of Keilah to protect David and his men from Saul who came to Keilah seeking him out. Not David! Instead he choses to rely on God. ‘Again David asked, “Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will”’ (v12). David believes God and moves away from Keilah. People are fickle minded and have a short memory. After their lives were saved, you would think it logical for the people of Keilah to respond in kind to David and protect him. If David had relied on them, Saul would have likely captured him. 
  1. Finding godly fellowship: David was sustained through this period by the fellowship of his men who, inspired by his example, shared with him a passion for God. It was during this period that the foundation was set to create the most fearsome army that is described in the Bible- the mighty men of David elaborated in 2 Samuel 23. David was also sustained by godly fellowship offered by Jonathan, Saul’s son, who encouraged him with words of comfort that meant a world to David. ‘And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God’ (v16). People who are passionate for God will always be in minority and it is critical to seek them out and encourage each other in the Lord, so that adversity will not overcome a servant of God.

Even while on the run and being in danger for his own life, David finds it possible to be productive- to save Keilah, to build his army, to escape the madness of Saul and continue onward in his journey of transformation to becoming, in God’s own words, ‘a man after My own heart’.

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