Now they told David, “The Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and are robbing the threshing floors.” David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” The Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” But David’s men said to him, “Look, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” Then David inquired of the Lord again. The Lord answered him, “Yes, go down to Keilah; for I will give the Philistines into your hand. So David and his men went to Keilah, fought with the Philistines, brought away their livestock, and dealt them a heavy defeat. Thus David rescued the inhabitants of Keilah.” (1 Samuel 23:1-5 NRSV)
Circumstance -> David inquires of God -> God directs
Reaction -> David inquires of God -> God directs again
David asks God twice before he leads his men to Keilah to fight and win
In the Star Wars films, Yoda says at a critical moment ““Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Yoda is right – at least about the dark power of fear. It is fear that makes David’s men pause. It is fear that causes David to return and ask God again if they should do what God has already said to do!
The good news seems to be that God understands and affirms the answer to go. God doesn’t chastise David – only adds “Yes” to the response.
Sometimes as leaders we need to hear and respond to people’s fears. Fear doesn’t mean we don’t move or don’t decide – but fear is real and its power is immense.
As followers of Jesus… we should not let our fear keep us from following. Sometimes we need an affirmation, a bit of a push. When Gd says “yes” then fear’s power is broken if we move forward in following the One who says “Yes!”
Lord, sometimes – often – I am afraid. Even when I am sure you have guided me to a decision; even when you have said to do something or not do it so I need not ask. May I learn to acknowledge that fear in me but press on for your assurance and to follow. May I lead more as you would have me lead by responding to the fears of others but also by remaining faithful. Amen.