I wonder how I would live my life if I knew that something bad was going to happen to me in the future. Now, I'm not talking about an unreal fear that is merely a result of worry that has taken on the form of a mental parade towards disaster. I'm speaking of hearing God's words through a prophet telling me of the doom and gloom to come.
I doubt that many of us in this day and age will ever hear from a true prophet of God in this way or any other way for that matter. However, back in King David's time, he did. Do you remember after the whole Bathsheba-adultery-murder incident, that time in David's life I'm sure he wished never happened, how Nathan the prophet told David that the Lord would raise up evil against him out of his own house? (2 Sam 12:11) I'm sure that David remembered. I wonder if he lived in fear each day, waiting for a sign of the evil to come to pass.
The "sign" finally did come. "A messenger came and told David 'The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom." (2 Sam 15:13 NIV). Absalom, David's son, was conspiring to take over David's kingdom. I was surprised in a way at David's reaction to this news. Rather than immediately praying to God for advice as we've seen him do time and time again, David gathered up his men and fled Jerusalem. My question then is, was David acting out of fear and panic or out of wisdom and discernment of God's will? I'm betting on the panic attack.
So how does this story apply to you and to me? After all, as I alluded to earlier, I doubt that we will ever have the crystal ball shown to us accurately depicting future doom and gloom over our lives. But haven't you ever "figured out" what was going to happen in your life based on a set of circumstances and then took matters into your own hands to "fix" things? I know I have. And I have been wrong before too. I look at this passage and realize how much like me King David really was. Yes, I believe that he sought God most of the time more faithfully than I, but even he sometimes reacted to situations before he prayed. We should all have some comfort in this...that even the best of us sometimes lack faith. Just as David should have been able to trust in God's many promises for Him, so should we. We just need to discipline ourselves to come to God in prayer when troubles show their ugly heads rather than react in panic.