Strongholds of En Gedi

Oasis_by_benarts“Then Saul broke off his pursuit of David and went to meet the Philistines.  That is why they call this place Sela Hammahlekoth (rock of parting).  And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of En Gedi.”  (1 Samuel 23:28-29)

David on the run!  Hounded by Saul who wanted this perceived rival dead, David was hunted like an animal.  It is clear that David was running for dear life–yes, his life was dear to God if not dear to the death loving Saul.  Saul pursued his purpose which was extinguishing life–God pursued His purpose which was preserving life as dear!  To that end, God directs David to the oasis–the refreshing refuge of En Gedi.  As Eugene Peterson has written, “Saul was the occasion for David’s being in the wilderness, Saul neither defined nor dominated the wilderness.  The wilderness was full of God, not Saul.”  God is our En Gedi!

 Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
   I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
   I have no good apart from you.”

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
    you hold my lot.  

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;

I keep the LORD always before me;
    because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
    my body also rests secure. 

selected verses from Psalm 16