A “quiet time” is simply being intentional about having a conversation with God. This usually means listening for God’s voice by reading the Bible or devotions, and speaking to God through prayer. Jesus did this numerous times in the Gospels, sometimes slipping away all night or in the early morning, to spend time with his Father.
Here are some well respected reading plans that can help you plan this time, they all come with mobile optimised options so you can even take them with you as you travel to work.
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Has there ever been a time when you have not been chosen for the job or the team, yet people speak highly of you?
1 Samuel 29
Achish Sends David Back to Ziklag1 The Philistines gathered all their forces at Aphek, and Israel camped by the spring in Jezreel. 2 As the Philistine rulers marched with their units of hundreds and thousands, David and his men were marching at the rear with Achish. 3 The commanders of the Philistines asked, “What about these Hebrews?” Achish replied, “Is this not David, who was an officer of Saul king of Israel? He has already been with me for over a year, and from the day he left Saul until now, I have found no fault in him.” 4 But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said, “Send the man back, that he may return to the place you assigned him. He must not go with us into battle, or he will turn against us during the fighting. How better could he regain his master’s favor than by taking the heads of our own men? 5 Isn’t this the David they sang about in their dances: “‘Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands’?” 6 So Achish called David and said to him, “As surely as the LORD lives, you have been reliable, and I would be pleased to have you serve with me in the army. From the day you came to me until today, I have found no fault in you, but the rulers don’t approve of you. 7 Now turn back and go in peace; do nothing to displease the Philistine rulers.” 8 “But what have I done?” asked David. “What have you found against your servant from the day I came to you until now? Why can’t I go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?” 9 Achish answered, “I know that you have been as pleasing in my eyes as an angel of God; nevertheless, the Philistine commanders have said, ‘He must not go up with us into battle.’ 10 Now get up early, along with your master’s servants who have come with you, and leave in the morning as soon as it is light.” 11 So David and his men got up early in the morning to go back to the land of the Philistines, and the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
A confusing decision?
As the crucial battle between the Philistines and the Israelites is about to start, David is ‘behind enemy lines’. He is with the Philistines but not on their side. His reputation is faultless, but the leaders are not willing to have him with them (vs 6,7). David didn’t know why.
Was this the Lord protecting David for his future role as king? Sometimes we don’t understand why things happen as they do until later we discover God has been at work.
What God's plans look like
David was not chosen by men, though they had found no fault in him (v 3), but he had been chosen by the Lord. Many years later, Pilate found no fault in Jesus (John 19:4) yet Jesus was led out to be crucified. This was all part of God’s eternal plan for our salvation.
The Lord had chosen us before the foundation of the world (see Ephesians 1:4,11). God was working everything out in conformity with the purpose of his will. David was worthy but not chosen; we are not worthy but God has chosen us.
Thank the Lord that, though we are not worthy of his love because we have sinned, yet he has chosen us to be his sons and daughters (Romans 8:16).
‘Enough that blessings undeserved have marked my erring track;
That wheresoe’er my feet have swerved, his chastening turned me back.’1
This episode continues the story from 28:1,2, in which David joins the Philistine forces to fight Israel. David’s situation is awkward (vs 1,2). If he goes forward to battle, he will be fighting against God and his people. If he backs off, he will immediately stir up Achish’s suspicion. David simply has no way to escape! This dilemma is eventually resolved by the Philistine commanders, who mistrust David, asking Achish to send him back to Ziklag (vs 3,4). They base their argument on the song of the Israelite women: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’ (v 5, from 18:7). They remember David’s old reputation as a Philistine killer. David’s dismissal from the army reveals more divine providence than sheer luck, though God is not much mentioned.
David’s dilemma is not an accident. Austin O’Malley rightly states, ‘A lie has no legs. It requires other lies to support it. Tell one lie and you are forced to tell others to back it up.’ David’s false loyalty and deceptive scheme in chapter 27 have landed him in this terrible situation. His capacity for deceit is clearly revealed when he outwits Achish (vs 3,6,9, compare 27:12). David is finally trapped by his own predicament, from which he cannot save himself. Amazingly, the mistrust of the Philistine commanders plays into God’s plans, leading to the remarkable deliverance of David. We see God’s compassion behind this narrow escape. God graciously keeps him innocent of killing Saul and the Israelites. Furthermore, he allows David to rescue Ziklag’s inhabitants, captured by the Amalekites (1 Samuel 30). The world may adore David for his opportunistic nature, but we worship the true hero behind David – the Almighty, whose plan prevails despite human errors.
1 JG Whittier, 1807–92, ‘My Psalm’
Financial support available for great mission ideas
If you’ve got a brilliant idea for reaching out to children and young people beyond your church but you need a little financial support to get it on the ground, we’ve got some good news for you!
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