A Giant Complex

After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the Desert of En Gedi.” So Saul took three thousand able young men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats.
- 1 Samuel 24:1-2
Alex made a great observation about this passage the other day: Saul took three thousand warriors to chase after David. Doesn’t that seem a little extreme?
Now, David has his crew out in the wilderness. But his fighting force wasn’t nearly this large, probably less than 600 men. Saul made sure he’d vastly outnumber David. And, perhaps this is how you chase a giant-killer.
In the David and Goliath story, the giant problem was monolithic, armored, immobile. But David’s giant problem in this week’s passage is scattered, diverse, flexible. Saul could send out 4 different raiding parties searching for David’s fighting force and still have David and his men outnumbered. Running seems impossible. Fighting seems foolhardy. What will David do?
When you start to tackle a giant problem, you may discover that it’s more like Saul’s three thousand warriors than a lone Philistine.

  • That medical condition may actually be caused by a number of different health factors and may require a variety of treatments / interventions / adjustments
  • That relationship problem may have old history associated with it and roots in past experiences that you can’t undo
  • That food-insecurity problem may have a dozen different sources

Don’t be discouraged. Complex problems are just that. And they can be overcome.
It helps to acknowledge that a complex problem is complex. Don’t oversimplify it. Don’t pretend like you can solve it with a shortcut. Don’t underestimate it.
Where do you need to repent of oversimplifying a problem or treating something like it’s smaller or simpler than it actually is? Talk to Jesus about it. Ask him to guide you into deeper insight so that you can see why you’ve treated the problem in this way. Ask him to show you a healthy step of repentance.

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