The shepherd-poet turned warrior continues pursuing the Philistines. Even as David threatens theenemies of Israel, King Saul begins to believe that David threatens him. Fearing for the power of his house, he turns into a wolf and starts seeking David’s blood.David is running for his life.Israel hounds him, chases him, seeks to destroy him. The chosen king and deliverer of Israel isrunning for his life from the Saul and armies of the land. In their bloodthirsty pursuit, they chasehim into Nod.Ahimelech feeds David holy bread and gives him the captured sword of Goliath. David keepsrunning. Saul’s wolves catch up to Ahimelech, slaughtering him and the city of Nod, including priests, women, children and animals.The wolves are still baying for David’s blood.Driven from the land of promise into the arms of the enemy. He runs to the camp of thePhilistines in city of Gath before King Achish. But Gath is no refuge for David. The generals are baying for his blood. No matter where he turns, David is surrounded by wolves. Wolves from his people and wolvesfrom his enemies. He is encircled, and there is no where to turn. He turns his faces, twists hislimbs, drools on himself and plays the fool. In the face of his enemies, David humiliates himself.Yet even as he is outwardly wasting away, David is inwardly crying out to God. After Achishsends away this madman, David will write,
Be gracious to me, O God, for man nips at my heals, tramples on me, seeks to swallow me;all day long an attacker oppresses me;my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. (Psalm 56:1)
The wolves are baying for blood. Terror on all sides. Death looms. God is silent.In the grace of God, David has stepped into the position of Israel. Just as the nation is surrounded by tribes seeking to swallow the land and the people, David is surrounded by enemies seeking toswallow and destroy him.Even as David is crying out to God, he is acknowledging his fear.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise,in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.What can flesh do to me? (vs. 3-4)