David’s life is so instructive for ours! Those stories about Saul’s jealousy, Jonathan’s friendship and David’s faithful service are applicable in so many ways. Life principles abound in I Samuel. And that is especially true in the account where Jonathan clarifies Saul’s intent to kill David (I Samuel 19-20).
The story climaxes with a reference to a stone (20:19, 41). The Bible calls this road marker an EZEL. It literally means “a stone that shows the way.” It is a departure point. Bible translators have referenced it as a mound, or a stone heap.
In David’s life, an ezel served as all those indicators. It was a heap of stones in the middle of a pathway that gave direction, saved someone from a long detour, pointed out the shortest and safest distance between two points. Ezels were not to be ignored.
We might call an ezel a “road sign.” We are familiar with all kinds of freeway and street signs. We readily recognize stop signs, uturn indicators, and caution signs that indicate a bump ahead or a soft shoulder. And thanks to our GPS world, we even get a note that tells us when we have arrived.
God uses ezels/ “road signs” to help us navigate through our complex and demanding lives. He wants to give us direction, save us from long detours and help us avoid all the usual bumps in the road.
These “road signs” take the form of scripture memorized, song lyrics that nudge us in a certain direction, a word from a friend that speaks caution to our decision making, a radio commentary that highlights a Biblical principle or even just nature itself reflecting the glory of God.
Our job is to notice those signs. We need to stop blowing by all the indicators of God’s protection and direction. God made David wait three days for His answer, we might just pause a minute or two to think through our next step.
This week, let’s be intentional about looking for the ezel markers in our lives. I am confident they will pop up as we read, study and apply God’s word to our lives.
And as a reminder, let’s start paying careful attention to the literal signage all around us. When we pause at a stop sign, let’s consider asking the Lord “Is there anything I am doing that I ought to stop right now?” At the U turn sign, let’s consider any need for repentance, and do it right there.
When we are warned about a soft shoulder or bump coming soon, let’s all slow down and ask the Spirit to highlight what we should be doing or thinking.
God used that heap of stones to direct David, and those same ezels can help focus our lives as well. Soon our drive time will turn into a mini-revival service!