"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Run For Your Life! - 1 Samuel 19:11

Over the past several years, I have spent considerable time on the focus of this blog.  Running with Horses is, as stated in the sub-title, where "the miles meet the message."  All things Running and all things Christian Discipleship. Occasionally, the analogies overlap, and/or scriptural context is literally tied to the act of running. In fact, Run For God was created around numerous lessons in which physical and spiritual health are intertwined in the Word.

So, given this background, you can imagine how interested I become in any reference to run, running or ran in scripture.  Such was the case a few days ago when a question was posed on a runners group page. The entry simply said, "Does anyone know of the verse that says you will either run tonight or die tomorrow?" Whoa, really? Let's check into this one.

Upon further review, I discovered that the verse in question was 1 Samuel 19:11. I should have remembered that this passage was part of our small group study this past spring.  In short, Saul had once again become insanely jealous of David and attempted to pin him to the wall with his spear. David eluded the attack and fled. He returned safely home to the company of his wife, Michal (who happened to be Saul's daughter). However, during the night Saul's men had come to watch the house with orders to kill David in the morning. At this point, Michal realizes what her father is up to and warns David:

"If you don't run for your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed" 1 Samuel 19:11

Long story short, Michal helps David out the back window and he runs like the wind. He runs to Samuel at Ramah and the soap opera continues. Saul can not let go of his pride and jealousy, while David continues to stay one step ahead of him.  David earns respect from the people for his leadership and warrior skills, as evidenced by the people's saying, "Saul has slained his thousands, and David his tens of thousands." Fast forward and David becomes King.

Qualifier: I am always careful to discuss scriptural references in context and make a point to explain where parallels can be drawn, even if not the main point of the author.  The teaching of God's Word is intentional, and reading more into a verse than is provided about it's truth is dangerous.  However, I do believe that scripture analogy is important to help us better understand application and to utilize the truth in various areas of our life.

That said, I'm not sure there is any great revelation or inspiration for us runners in this verse.  With the exception of maybe seeing the benefit that comes to being in shape and ready for a quick getaway, the real lessons lie in God's protection, our willingness to desire His will in our actions, and the way in which we are used in the lives of others. Of course we also see in Saul how our own self-interest can ultimately hardened our hearts to God and lead us into destructive behavior. 

If you have the opportunity to read through 1 Samuel 19, it's really fascinating. And come to think of it, running your next 5k as if Saul's men are outside your door, might just motivate you to a new PR!

No comments:

Post a Comment