King Saul's hatred for David could no longer be hidden. His outward demonstrations were a revelation of his true intentions. In a fit of rage he had thrown a spear at David and missed. Saul offered his daughter as a prize for going into the most dangerous part of the battle hoping that David would die, but instead he was victorious. He even sent soldiers to murder David in his bed. The Bible says that "Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David." David came to the realization that he had to go. He had to withdraw from Saul in order to be safe.
A plan was formed by David and Jonathen to discern whether David should leave or stay. David would go out and hide in the field for a few days while Jonathen went home to his father. If Saul asked about David, Jonathen would tell him that David had been summoned by his family. Depending on how Saul reacted would determine David's course of action. Once Jonathen knew his fathers intentions he would go out into the field where David was hiding and fire an arrow. If the arrow landed close to David, all was well in the kingdom, but if the arrow was fired further away, that was the signal to flee.
I have often wondered how David must of felt waiting in the field as his future hung in the balance. Perhaps he reflected upon his past anointing from the prophet. Maybe he thought about his victory over Goliath. Surely the Lord would not send him out to live like a fugitive after all of that.
The day finally came when Jonathen shot the arrow, and he cried out, "is not the arrow is beyond you?" At that moment David's whole world was turned upside down. David was not in control of his circumstances. Life seemed so unfair. David wasn't the one firing the arrow, but in a way, neither was Jonathen. This was all part of the Lord's plan to prepare David for his future. David would learn to trust God in a way that he had never known before. This wasn't going to be easy. The Lord was going to use the next season of David's life to take the Saul out of David. David was now forced to withdraw from the palace, the people, and all things familiar.
Have you ever had a time in your life when the arrow seemed beyond you? Where you didn't know what was going on? Where like David, you saw things that even your closest friends couldn't see? The Lord gave you insight and discernment, but all you could do with it was go in the direction the Lord led you? Well take heart, if today the arrow is beyond you, it's not beyond the Lord. He has a plan for you. Trust in Him and He will bring it to pass.