Saturday, February 24, 2024


Sometimes, it only takes one verse to stop us in our tracks. For the last few weeks, I have been asking God for one word to focus on in my prayers each day. Today, I was struck by SAFEKEEPING! Oh my! What a good word! As I study David as a shepherd boy to shepherd king and Jesus as the Good Shepherd one of the key words that a good shepherd will live out is protection. 

1 Samuel 22 shows us the horror of someone who has totally allowed their jealousy and fear to become their own reality. King Saul feared David would kill him and instead, he became the killer. When David fled from Saul’s unrelenting rage, he ended up going to the Priest Ahimelech for bread and a sword. Ahimelech had no clue that David had fled King Saul and that what he was doing was considered treason in the eyes of Saul. So of course he helped King Saul’s mighty man! Sadly, he did not know that Saul was not a safekeeper. 

When we do not deal with our inner turmoil it ends up hurting so many. Sin never happens in a vacuum. One of Saul’s warriors, Doeg, saw Ahimelech help David and he ended up telling Saul. Saul demanded that Doeg kill all the priests, the women, children, infants, ox, donkeys, and sheep. Doeg did it! He killed 85 people that day because Saul feared David so much that he was willing to kill anyone connected to someone who helped David. 

Psalm 52 is believed to be the Psalm that David wrote about what Doeg did. A few words that David used to describe Doeg are a tongue that plots destruction like a sharp razor, a worker of deceit, a lover of evil, a liar instead of telling the truth, and a deceitful devourer. These are vivid antonyms for safekeeping. David pointed out that Doeg was only seeking out his own destruction. I can’t help but wonder if it was meant for Saul, too, but David couldn’t say it against Saul as the king. 

David then poetically pointed out that he is like an olive tree in the house of God. This was where he dwelled and sought refuge. Why? Because God was trustworthy and His steadfast love endured forever. He recognized the truth that a safekeeper is motivated by love.

By definition a safekeeper is someone who keeps their word; a person who watches, guards, or takes care of someone or something to protect; secure, and provide a safe presence. 

To the one priest who fled and survived that day, David said, “Stay with me; do not be afraid, for he who seeks my life seeks your life. With me you shall find safekeeping” (1 Samuel 22:23). 

As I read through numerous scriptures that emphasize safekeeping these are the words that we should think of… peace, refuge, safety, protection, rest, security, fortress, rock, comfort, light, salvation, dwelling, shelter, tent, songs of deliverance, help, presence, trust, steadfast love, defense, fortified, power, leading, uphold, strengthen, overcome, guard, rescue, and confidence.

“Stay with me; do not be afraid, for he who seeks my life seeks your life. With me you will find safekeeping.” 

A good shepherd will comfort you, include you, find common ground, and provide safekeeping. I can’t help but sit and dwell on this verse. Last night, as Greg and sat down to rest for the evening, I was physically hurting and honestly, I didn’t even know that I was grumpy because of my body. He suggested something for us to watch on TV and I snapped at him not because of anything he said, but because my body was grumpy. UGH! Praise GOD I am dwelling on what it means to be a good shepherd. I immediately just started praying aloud, confessed my sin, and asked God and Greg to forgive me. I want Greg to know more than anyone that he is safe with me even when I am grumpy. I am to be his safekeeper just as he is with me. Maybe this is why safekeeping and this verse made me stop and spend two hours this morning dwelling richly on the truths that need to transform me. 

I love that David included this priest. He didn’t ask him if he aligned with him. He accepted that his presence showed good faith and because they had the commonality of Saul’s narcissistic spiral, David promised to be Abiathar’s safekeeper. We must realize that things were not easy for David. He was on the run from a maniacal king with a band of men who were in distress, debt, and bitter soul (1 Samuel 22:2). 

David wasn’t worried about whether Abiathar would fit in. He knew it was his role as the good shepherd to provide safekeeping. The reason that David was able to do this was because he knew he was in safekeeping. He was secure in the LORD. He knew that he could trust the living God. He knew where his dwelling place was and whose presence provided him nourishment like an olive tree in a well-watered garden. 

This makes me realize how often when I do not act like a safekeeper it is simply because I have forgotten that I have the Great Safekeeper as my LORD. Whenever I act insecurely or unrighteously it is because in that moment I have forgotten the most important truth of all. Our GOD is trustworthy and His steadfast love endures forever! He is our SAFEKEEPER! Hold fast to Him!

Shalom y’all!

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