David Delivers Keilah From The Philistines

In the autumn of 1944 Germany had been beaten back behind its borders. The Nazi war machine was nearly destroyed. The repeated bombing raids of the Allies all but assured that Hitler’s forces would never rise again. Around the perimeter of Germany’s borders, the Allie … More


David is asked to deliver Keilah, which is a Philistine border town about 15 miles southwest of Bethlehem (vv.1-5). This town was continually being robbed of its grain by the Philistines (v. 1). David asked the Lord what he should do and was told to attack the Philistines and save Keilah (v. 2).

David’s followers were afraid and did not want to go against the Philistines (v.3). However the Lord promised to give them victory, so David and his men rescued the people of Keilah (vv. 4-5 ). Meanwhile Saul heard that David was in Keilah and decided to surround the town and trap David and his men (vv. 6-8). The people repay his kindness by betraying him to Saul (vv.7-12). David Hides From Saul in The Cave of Adullham

When David hears about Saul’s plans, he is faced with a new dilemma. By this time, Abiathar, the priest,  had joined David, who asked Abiathar, to bring the ephod (v.9). The ephod Abiathar had was a bright colored, sleeveless vest with 12 gemstones representing each tribe. David prayed and asked the Lord what he should do (v. 10). He asked if the leaders of Keilah will turn him over to Saul (v. 11) The Lord answered that Saul is coming and that the leaders would be turning him over to Saul (v. 12). After seeking the Lord’s guidance, David and his 600 men got out of there and stayed in hideouts in the wilderness of Ziph (v. 13). This was a desolate, hilly and wooded area between Hebron and the Dead Sea. Saul heard that David had left Keilah, and he decided not to go after him. Saul kept searching but God never let him catch David (v. 14).


When the people of Keilah showed their lack of gratitude to David, it would have been natural for him to express his disappointment over their shallowness and lack of true loyalty. Instead, Psalms says that he rejoiced in God’s goodness (Psalm 31:23). What is my reaction when an adversity strikes?

I Samuel 23:1-14 (English Standard Version)

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