The Rock of Separation
1 Samuel 23:19-29
Message No. 0521 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca
Selahammahlekoth (rock of separation or rock of escape) was the name David and his men gave to the rock where God miraculously diverted the attention of Saul away from killing David. As we know, Saul became jealous of David after the latter killed Goliath and the Hebrew women sang “Saul has killed his thousands and David, his ten-thousands.” Saul got the message and concluded that David would one day take over the kingdom and become king, meaning that his (Saul’s) children would be eliminated from becoming future kings in Israel. From that moment on, Saul sought to kill David, to prevent God’s plan and purpose from coming to pass. I have bad news for any and everyone who wants to stop the plan and purpose of God from coming to pass in your life. In Jeremiah chapter 33 verses 20 and 21, the Bible says:
Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.
With such strong stance from our God, Saul, with the entire military might of Israel, comprising thousands of soldiers, could not stop David, and neither could anyone stop you from attaining the height that God has purposed for you.
In 1 Samuel 23:19-29, the Ziphites came to Saul to betray David, by telling Saul exactly where David was hiding in their community. Now, David, in his attempts to hide from Saul, did not harm the Ziphites, but rather protected them from enemies. However, they weren’t satisfied with this, but thought the best way to pay him was to expose him. Aren’t there people whom you have helped who would rather pay you back with evil? Given the location tracking information for David’s whereabouts, Saul and his soldiers went and closed in on David. David was hiding in a rock, with his men on one side, and Saul and his men came in on the other side of the rock. It was basically game over, there was no means of escape for David.
Have you ever been compassed by a situation and there was no apparent means of escape? I have. Decades ago, on my first international trip, I was on my way to the United States, transiting through Europe. In the transit airport, we were in line to board the plane heading to my destination. Usually, the U.S. officials would check your passport and confirm that you were an approved visitor, before allowing you to board. Then, the lady who was doing the checking (a fairly elderly lady) looked up at me and asked, “What do you use to measure height in your country?” I was surprised as this was a question that came out of nowhere, so I said centimetres and she looked up at me again and said (paraphrasing) “Your height is impossible – I am looking up at you because you are far taller than I am but your passport indicates that your height is the same as mine.” Now, this was decades ago when all you needed to do to obtain a passport was give your photograph to an agent and sign your signature on some piece of paper – the agent would complete the form for you and process the passport. When the agent processed mine, instead of calling my office to ask me of my height, he just assumed a value and that was how I obtained my first passport.
The lady dragged her fingers across my photograph in the passport, over and over, to see if I had altered the passport and inserted my photograph to replace that of an original owner, but she saw that the photograph did not move, showing that it was genuine. I started to explain something, but she told me to move away from her and not attempt to come near. Immediately, I started praying. The lady sent for the chief security officer of the airport to come, and while that was going on, the other passengers were boarding the aircraft. The lady informed the airline that my documents had problems and I was being stopped. Soon, I was the only person left outside, and this continued for a long time. She made phone calls (I didn’t know who she was calling – you could see me sweating under air conditioner). She called the security officer again and eventually the officer said he was not coming. I said thank you Jesus. I believe that God occupied the officer with something more urgent and he could not come to attend to my case.
After a very long delay and lots of frantic prayers, she came up to me and said it’s okay, you can travel now, make sure you correct this when you get back home and though you are allowed to board, you may be stopped again on arrival in the U.S. When I entered the aircraft, someone sitting in the business class (who saw me with my struggles) said to me ‘Congratulations’ (he had concluded that I would be deported). I knew the gravity of what I had just escaped. This was a business trip from work, I had spent a good portion of my per diem even before leaving home, so it would be a disaster if I was deported back home. The aircraft should have left but it was when I sat down in my seat that I heard the announcement that the plane’s technical problem had now been fixed and the aircraft was cleared to depart. I knew then that God had touched something in the aircraft in order to delay it for my sake.
It was in a worse situation that David was, fearing, not only for his life, but for his family and the hundreds of loyal men who were with him. Saul would have been so happy to kill them all, but just as God provided a way of escape for me, He did the same for David, by instigating the Philistines to invade Israel. So, just as he was about to gratify himself by spilling innocent blood, a messenger came and told Saul to come back home quickly to defend the land from enemy invasion. He had no option than to abandon his evil mission and David heaved a big sigh of relief.
Are you compassed by a situation and looking for a way of escape? Look at what the Bible says in Isaiah 49:25:
But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.
And in Psalm 23 verse 4, the Bible says:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me
It does not matter what the situation is, it might be bigger or smaller than what I described above, please know that God is not going to hand you over for defeat, because He promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you. As He did for David and as He did for me (in my story above), God has earmarked a ‘rock of escape’ for you and you need to activate it by asking. His angels are on duty worldwide to set His children free. Your own Selahammahlekoth is here!
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PLEASE ACT NOW: If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer: Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen. If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!