David stayed in the desert strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands – I Samuel 23:14
In I Samuel 15, God rejects Saul as king because of disobedience then in chapter 16, Samuel anoints Jesse’s son David as the next king. But, there was a problem. Saul was still alive and well on the throne and not in any hurry to give it up.
After David defeats the giant Goliath, King Saul takes David into the palace and into his family. But Saul soon becomes jealous of David and begins to pursue him relentlessly trying to kill him. Probably not the life David had in mind when told he would be the King of Israel!
In the passage above we see an interesting dynamic. God is controlling the outcome yet David still acts. David knows he will be king because God has promised that he will. Nevertheless, David hides from Saul. Why? Because God’s sovereignty over all things does not preclude human action. God ordains the ends as well as the means and human action is the means He’s chosen to achieve His ends.
There’s a parallel here for our Christian walk. David was never in danger of being defeated by Saul and losing the kingship, yet he continued to work hard to avoid capture. Believers are never in danger of losing our salvation, yet we are called by the Apostle Paul to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
Saul pursued David in unbelief and was destroyed. David hid from Saul in belief and was saved. God’s sovereignty is no excuse for inaction. Followers of Christ are called to trust God and work hard recognizing that ultimately the results are up to Him and knowing that He will keep His promises to His people.