1 Samuel 23:26-28 Saul was going along one side of the mountain, and David and his men were on the other side, hurrying to get away from Saul. As Saul and his forces were closing in on David and his men to capture them, a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Come quickly! The Philistines are raiding the land.” Then Saul broke off his pursuit of David and went to meet the Philistines. That is why they call this place Sela Hammahlekoth.
It is very encouraging to read in the Scriptures accounts of the way the Sovereign LORD, the God of Creation, intervenes in human affairs to protect his people. This event in the life of David, the one whom God had already chosen and anointed to serve as King among his covenant people, is such an occasion.
It is also interesting to note the name given to the place where this event took place. ‘Sela Hammahlekoth’ is literally Hebrew for ‘Rock of Divisions/Parting’, but in the context of the ‘dividing’ or ‘parting’ on this occasion being between the hostile, malicious King Saul and the fugitive David, a more appropriate translation might be ‘Rock of Escape’ (cf KJV). It is perhaps not too much of a stretch to see here a foreshadowing of the future Descendant of David who a millennium later would intervene in human affairs to enable us to ‘escape’ from the clutches of our malicious enemy who pursues us relentlessly to destroy us when we endeavour to walk in God’s ways and be faithful to his Word.
I like the way the Apostle Peter encourages us when we face his attacks: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:8).
“Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee; let the water and the blood, from thy riven side which flowed, be for sin the double cure; cleanse me from its guilt and power.” (Augustus Toplady). “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to ESCAPE, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV).
And the big question is: “HOW SHALL WE ESCAPE if we ignore such a great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3a).