1 Samuel 23:26-28 And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them. But there came a messenger unto Saul, saying, Haste thee, and come; for the Philistines have invaded the land. Wherefore Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines: therefore they called that place Selahammahlekoth.
Saul was an angry leader. He struggled with pride and stubbornness. These two sins made him “play the fool” in his kingly ministry. Saul hunted David like a dog would hunt for its desired object. He wanted David eliminated. Saul believed David was his greatest threat. However, David was not Saul’s greatest threat. Saul was his own greatest threat. Saul had become so consumed with his pursuit of pride and jealousy. He had abandoned his responsibility of the ministry to do other things.
This is what is occurring in our text. David is in hiding. Saul is on one side of the mountain and David is on the other. Saul believes he is ready to capture David again. God intervenes and makes Saul face his real priority with the message of the messenger. “The Philistines have invaded the land.” However, Saul is so consumed with his stubbornness and pride that he actually struggles with the right action to take: do I try again to capture David? Or do I defend against the invasion of the Philistines? Saul’s heart was divided to go hither and thither; so the place was named Selahammahlekoth. (pronounced See-La-ha-ma’-le-koth)
God still sends us to places like Selahammahlekoth when we stray from His purpose. He will force us to choose. Our choice is the same: do we follow the “Pursuits of Pride?” Or do we get back to “Dealing with the enemy?”
Why do we become so consumed with our selfish pursuits that we actually abandon our priority? The answer is clear we are driven away by the lust of the flesh. The lust of the flesh is a powerful force. It will drive us from our priority in ministry to do what we want. The lust of the flesh reveals our pride and stubbornness.
Are you fulfilling what God would call his priority for you? Has God sent a Selahammahlekoth to you to make you stop and reconsider? Please do not struggle; go home and deal with the invading enemy. The pursuit you are in may be your own pursuit and not His. You may have tried convincing your immediate circle of friends that what you are doing is ministry, but you know better. Linger not a moment longer; get back to His priority.