Numbering Our Days – 1 Samuel 20

“There is but a step between me and death.”

Certainly, this was the case months earlier as David stepped towards the advancing Goliath to sling a stone towards his forehead.  But now David was running to escape another foe, King Saul, who, in defense of his throne, defied God to now seek to kill David. Saul’s son and heir, Jonathan, bravely met with David in a field to warn him.

Then David took an oath again, and said (to Jonathan), “Your father certainly knows that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved.’ But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.” 1 Samuel 20:3 (NKJV)

How the tables had turned.  David was a national hero after his brave slaying of Goliath and was looked upon with great favor by all the people and their king. He was even the subject of a popular song that was sung throughout Israel, a song that was even known by the neighboring Philistines:

“Saul has slayed his thousands and David his tens of thousands.”

This song made King Saul burn with envy whenever he heard it! He now saw David as competition and set out to kill him.

Now David was alone and on the run to save his life.  He was acutely aware that his brief, but adventurous journey might be coming to an end soon, like a fire that burns brightly but quickly dies out.

David fled, consumed with fear and confusion. Hadn’t God anointed David to be the next king?  Surely, then, God would not let him be killed, would He?  King Saul’s very real threats against him put all of this into question in David’s panicked mind.

We all face threats that cause us to stop and consider whether the things God has promised to us are real or not.  When we are surrounded by danger and filled with fear, God can seem very far away and out of reach.  But He is not.  He will not permit anything to come against us that will not fit into His loving plan already established for us.

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

The Lord was with David whether he believed it at that moment or not.  Because David was experiencing tremendous anxiety and terror due to the fierce jealousy of his enemy, he may have wondered if God had abandoned him.  But God did not.  He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us, despite any circumstances that might surround us.

Like David, Moses also experienced the thrill of seeing miraculous victories followed by the deep discouragement of betrayal and opposition.  He knew all too well that without the loving protection of God, we are all but a step away from serious danger or death, each and every day. God holds us in loving protection, and He alone knows the number of days He has ordained for each one of us to walk upon the earth (Psalm 139).

As Moses wrote in a prayer to God in Psalm 90:

12 So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 (NKJV)

We see many ups and downs in our life, but the one constant we have is the loving presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. He grants us one day at a time to experience in gratitude. In faith, we acknowledge and appreciate His healing, deliverance and kindness to us, serving Him and those around us with a heart reflecting His great love and gracious plan.

Teach us, Lord, to number our days. And may Jesus be glorified on David’s throne forever! We know from His word throughout the scriptures that He will.


Who or what is your greatest source of opposition today? 

Lord, we pray for any people around us that are a source of fear and anxiety.  Bless them with everything we would ask for our loved ones. May they see Your great goodness and love and turn towards You. 

If our opposition is an illness or a desperate situation, we ask for Your healing, restoration, presence, comfort and peace. We ask all of this in the precious and powerful name of our Good Shepherd and Great Physician, Jesus Christ.

May you experience bountiful blessing in the name of Jesus today!

%d bloggers like this: