Campfire Scripture: A campfire, a manly Bible verse, a billy boiling and a starry night sky. Yep.
Book Author and Date:
An anonymous author wrote Samuel, recounting the period of Israel’s history which prominently featured Samuel the prophet. Samuel includes the account of Samuel’s death before David was crowned king, so it couldn’t have been written by him. It was most likely written sometime before Israel’s exile, anywhere between 931-722 B.C.
Battle, Deliverance, Courage, Badassery.
Samuel recounts the beginning of Israel as a monarchy and includes the reigns of Saul the first king and David, the greatest king Israel had until Christ. Israel formed a monarchy with little threat from surrounding nations, other than the Philistines and the Ammonites. The vast majority of conflict in early united Israel is with the Philistines.
This is just one of the many recorded skirmishes between these nations.
What I Reckon:
Keilah was a Judean city 18 miles SW of Jerusalem. There’s not much about it in the Bible apart from this short passage. David discovered that after he had rescued them from the Philistines they would betray him into the hands of Saul.
Pretty ungrateful if you ask me. Not quite the legacy you want to leave behind in the pages of history either.
David heroically charged down the Philistines on the Lord’s prompting to rescue this city only to then have to flee into the mountains shortly after.
Such is often the price of courage and sacrifice in our world. But David delivered them anyway. Of course he didn’t know they would betray him until after the fact. But he knew Saul was hunting him with an irrational, mad fervour, and he knew the city of Keilah would be a lock-in zone. He would’ve understood that there was a risk.
David’s heart for Israel and his courage under fire was unconditional. Courage should never be predicated on the promise of reward, it must be unconditional.
Do what is right because it is right, not because it benefits you in any way.
Not to mention this is yet another example of violence commanded and condoned by God himself.
All Campfire Scripture passages are taken from the New American Standard Bible, unless otherwise stated.
John MacArthur, 2006, The MacArthur Study Bible, New American Standard Bible (1995 edition).