Summary: Even at the risk to his own life, David rescued the troubled people of Keilah. But, when he needed their help, God told him they would not help him.
THERE'S NO HELP IN KEILAH
"12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will deliver you. 13 So David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah and went wherever they could go. Then it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah; so he halted the expedition.” 1 Samuel 23:12-13.
It's been years since David was anointed as King. Yet he was on the run, a wanderer and an outcast. Driven by envy, jealousy and bitterness, King Saul has one major purpose: find and kill David. While still in the forest of Hereth, news came to David that the Philistines were attacking a town called Keilah. This ancient town means citadel. It was situated in the lowlands of Judah. Keilah was a walled city. But is was too close to the Philistine border. So David and his men went to Keilah and helped it put down the Philistines that had attacked it. Though he had so many problems of his own, He empathized with those being oppressed. Even at the risk to his own life, he rescued those at risk. David could easily have shifted the responsibility to King Saul. But he reached out to those in need, even when his life was in constant danger. David sought to defend his countrymen from their enemy, even though he was being pursued by a determined enemy.
Some days, however, news reached David that Saul was planning an attack on Keilah in other to capture him. Having rescued the people of Keilah from shame and defeat at the hand of the Philistines, one assumes they would be David’s most loyal supporters. Certainly they would give him and his men sanctuary from Saul. But God clearly told David that the people of Keilah would hand him over to Saul. Meaning the people he delivered from oppression would deliver him to his oppressor. David and his men saved the people of Keilah, and they expected some kindness. But they will betray the one who saved them to save themselves from Saul. Without question the people of Keilah would have stood by David. But God told him there was no help in Keilah. Had he remained in Keilah, Saul’s men would have attacked him and his 600 trained loyalists. So, David moved out of the town of Keilah with his men. He returned to a life of wandering in the wilderness.
"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man." Psalm 118:8.
People fail us! This is human nature. It's certain that people will let us down. The people you've helped and expect to be there for you, may at times let you down. But, there is good news: God is not a man! “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" Numbers 23:19. Human often fails to keep his promises. We may even lie and deny the promises we have made. But God's not a man to disappoint us. So, we must put our trust in Him. Our help comes from the Lord alone!
"Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him." Genesis 40:23.
Just like David, Joseph experienced considerable hardships, betrayal, and setbacks. Not only had he been sold as a slave in a foreign land, but he was in prison, accused of rape, a crime that he didn’t commit. Then, one day, two officers in the royal court of Pharaoh committed an offense and were brought to his section of the prison. One night, both the chief cupbearer and the baker had a different dream but they didn't know what the dreams mean. But Joseph was a man gifted in dreams and interpretations. Despite being in prison unjustly, he used his God-given gifts to help others. In his hardship, Joseph cared for those suffering. In the face of injustice, he honored God, and served others going through challenges. He gives the interpretation that in three days Pharaoh will restore the chief cupbearer to his position. But he asks for a favor. Joseph requests that the chief cupbearer mention his name to Pharaoh because he had done nothing to deserve being in prison. Three days later the chief cupbearer is restored. He got his job back. Yet one week later and nothing happens. A week turns to a month, and a month turns to many months, until it has been more than a year. It then dawned on him, he's been forgotten. Just when it looks like freedom has come, Joseph was forgotten by the one he helped. He had served the chief cupbearer and showed him concern. Yet he's forgotten! Joseph thought that his kindness might mean his release from prison, but it wasn't to be. God had another purpose. He did not abandon Joseph, and would raise him up in due time.