David is still on the run, but God tells him to defend his people against the Philistines. Obviously, this brings him out of hiding and into the public realm. Saul hears of David's movement and leads his army against the young shepherd. David escapes on more than one occasion and then the Lord distracts Saul with another Philistine invasion. At times, the two men were literally on the same mountain but on different sides. David only had one hope during all those events. His hope was not in military prowess or in religious activity; his hope was in God alone. David understood a principle that we must begin to grasp: God is my Protector. Luck is not even in my vocabulary, because God is my Protector. I can face uncertainty and even fear, because God is my Protector. I can send my children into the world -- whether to school or to a job -- because God is my Protector. Through these trials, David has grown in his understanding of the Almighty and now rests in His ability to protect. Have you gotten to that place in your life? Are you depending upon other forces to protect you, or have you determined that God alone is your Protector? We will struggle to endure if we have not come to this conclusion, because it is easier to give up than to continue to fight with no hope. When I understand God is my Protector, He gives me hope for victory and for a future.

Help me, Lord, to know without question that You are my Protector. Help me to find hope in every situation, because I know You are at work both protecting and transforming my life.