I know I have said this before, but I really do enjoy reading through the old testament stories and picking out personal life applications from them. I hope that you, my readers, are enjoying this time through the old testament as well. The bible, after all is part picture book, isn't it, with the old testament being the "pictures" and the new testament being the words?
In 1 Samuel 24, we come to the point where David is in the early stages of the cat and mouse game that he and Saul are playing. Saul is looking for David to kill him, not because David did anything wrong, but because of Saul's insecurities. David is terrified, even though he is a mighty warrior in his own right, and has "accidentally" found Saul in a cave in a vulnerable position. (Note: What was Saul doing in that cave? See 1 Samuel 24:3. This got me distracted yesterday and I didn't get my post written. I sparked some interesting conversation with some friends on this one).
Okay, back to the story. David could have killed Saul there on the spot and eliminated a lot of fear from his life. Even some of David's men advised him to kill Saul. But David did not and instead chose to merely cut the skirt off of Saul's robe, accomplishing David's purpose of showing loyalty to his king in spite of the fact that Saul desired to kill him. Look at what David said to Saul:
..."Why do you listen when men say, 'David is bent on harming you? This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, 'I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the LORD's anointed.'" (1 Sam 24:9-10 NIV)
This passage says a lot to me. When we have big decisions that need to be made, we should seek wise counsel from godly friends.
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14)
However, while considering the advice of our counsellors, we still must live with the outcome of our decision. We ultimately are not answering to anyone else but God. As we know, David "walked" with and sought after God for all of his life. He was a man of prayer, seeking after God's ways and not his own. I believe that David discerned the voice of God over the voice of his men and made the wise choice, even though it was not the popular one. His men were probably afraid for David as well as for themselves - they were outnumbered after all - and were caught up in the emotion of the situation.
Is there a circumstance in your life where you are laboring with a difficult decision? Have you taken your problem to God in prayer? Have you consulted some godly counsel and asked them to seek God for the answer before they open their mouths and give you their answer? Lastly, are you waiting for God's answer rather than rushing in with your own ideas? We can hear from God, but it does take time. Time that we sometimes we aren't willing to give. Remember, sometimes the stakes are high, and we are the ones who ultimately have to answer to God.