David went in prayer to God: “Should I go after these Philistines and teach them a lesson?”
God said, “Go. Attack the Philistines and save Keilah.”
3 But David’s men said, “We live in fear of our lives right here in Judah. How can you think of going to Keilah in the thick of the Philistines?”
4 So David went back to God in prayer. God said, “Get going. Head for Keilah. I’m placing the Philistines in your hands.”
5-6 David and his men went to Keilah and fought the Philistines. He scattered their cattle, beat them decisively, and saved the people of Keilah.
It was a typical summer day at the farm. It was HOT (not to belabor the point, but it was 104 degrees) and there was work.
There is always work.
Jim Thomas (for those of you who don’t know- I call my husband by both his first and last names always- granted you may consider this weird, and I support you in those feelings) anyhow…Jim Thomas was in the very large bright orange Kubota tractor and I was behind the tractor using very professional-type hand motions to help him back the auger directly over the orange spray-painted dot marking where we wanted to dig the next fence post hole.
I should probably say that if you don’t know what an auger is 1) we likely could never be friends (I kid!) and 2) google it.
This is not the hand-held auger that you can rent, or the old manual two-handled post hole digger (also known as “hardest work ever”) that I grew up with- this is the big behemoth that you attach to the back of the tractor with much groaning, bleeding, and the occasional use of words that Jesus does not much appreciate.
The ground at the farm is equal parts rock, red clay and frustration. It basically takes a miracle each time a hole is actually completed without something breaking or someone threatening to sell the farm THAT VERY DAY.
Anyway, as work on the farm always goes, there was a problem. Some latch thingie that somehow holds the auger onto the PTO thingie (don’t get overwhelmed with my techno talk) broke off and the auger was completely stuck down in the ground, the PTO was in a bind (if there’s anything I’ve learned about farm/ranch equipment it’s that something is always and forever in a bind) and nothing would budge.
You stare at it. You walk around it a few times. You cuss it.
These are the necessary first steps.
I mouthed/motioned to Jim Thomas to ask (did I mention that the tractor is air-conditioned? I don’t think I did- the tractor is air-conditioned…) if I could try to shove the auger over a little to the right to release the bind.
He mouthed back “yes”.
Or so I thought.
When I reached for the auger to push on it, Jim Thomas BOUNDED out of that tractor like a tri-athlete, his muscle-y (sorry) arms flailing wildly like one of those wacky inflatable advertising guys while his wild eyes practically rolled back in his head. All the while he was shouting a jumble of mostly unintelligible words, but I could decipher a lot of NO’s and NEVER’s.
And also DON’T.
What’s the point, you say?
I probably should have double-checked.
In Samuel 23, David asked God twice if he should take his men and attack the Philistines. God responded yes the first time, but David’s men were so afraid that David decided to go back to ask God again. And again God said yes. David wanted to be absolutely sure that he understood and that he was doing the right thing.
God wasn’t disappointed that he asked a second time for confirmation. He knew that David loved his men and would not want to put them in harm’s way due to any misunderstanding.
Sometimes it can be very clear what God wants us to do, and in those cases we can move forward in confidence, but it’s not always a lack of faith that makes us to go back to God a second time for that confirmation when we need it.
And while it’s probably not particularly accurate to imagine God bounding out of a Kubota, robes flying with the crazy eye, I can certainly imagine some times in my life that He probably tried to get my attention in a similarly frantic way when I should have asked a second time.
And after all the flailing and muttering, Jim Thomas explained how much he loves me and how he would just never get over it if something happened to me. He would be heartbroken.
God loves us. That much.
So David went back to God in prayer. God said, “Get going. Head for Keilah. I’m placing the Philistines in your hands.”