Archive for tag: David

33. Do not stay bitter

Last time we saw how David brought the ark of God back into Jerusalem. His heart was right and he wanted to honor God and have Him close to them. But he went about it the wrong way and Uzzah died in the process. At the end David learned from that and brought the ark back in correct fashion and he celebrated all the way. Today we should also make sure that our zeal for God is directed at the right things and that we flow with His Spirit and not where we think we should go.

Now as David brought the ark of God back into Jerusalem, he danced with all his might. Everyone was in a festive mood and celebrated with David, all except his first wife, Michal.

"Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul's daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart." 2 Samuel 6:16

And the moment he came home she went out to meet him:

"How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!" 2 Samuel 6:20

She was obviously very upset with him. David didn't stand back and answered her:

"It was before the Lord, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the Lord. And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humbled in my own sight. But as for the maid servants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor." 2 Samuel 6:21, 22

The Bible tells us that she stayed childless for the rest of her life, which was a terrible thing for women in those days.

The first time I read it I almost had sympathy for Michal. She truly loved David when they first married. She even helped him to escape from her father and saved his life in the process. Then she didn't see him for several years. She was married to another man, Palti. Then when David was crowned king, he sent for her. She had to basically divorce Palti, to be David's wife again. The Bible records how Palti cried when she left, indicating that he loved her very much. But she was now David's once again. The only problem was that she wasn't David's only wife anymore, he had many others too. So given the circumstances one can almost understand why she is bitter. I actually feel sorry for her. But the point to understand here is that she stayed bitter due to her circumstances, plus she didn't have the same zeal and enthusiasm for God as David did. I mean the whole of Israel was celebrating that God was going to dwell with them once again. They were dancing and singing; only she wasn't. She didn't appreciate God in their lives, she was too bitter. She didn't like it that David humbled himself before the Lord. And it cost her in the end.

There might have happened many things in your life that wasn't fair, especially this year during the COVID-19 epidemic. You might have good reason to be bitter. Your life might not have turned out as you had planned, you might have legitimate reasons to be angry and frustrated. But don't stay that way. Don't become a bitter old person who complains the whole time. Rather look up to God and rejoice in what lies ahead. Rejoice in new beginnings. Rejoice that He dwells with you and that He has good plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11). Celebrate with other people, be glad when they are prospering and having their dreams fulfilled. Don't despise them, looking out of the bleak window of your soul. No, rather be part of their celebrations. Humble yourself before the Lord, and then He can use you and exalt you. If you stay inside, trapped by bitterness, more bitterness will manifest, it is just the way it is. Things will never change if you decide to wallow in it. True change will only come when you are walking and rejoicing with God, submitting to His will.

Father we are sorry that we can so easily become bitter due to our life's circumstances. We don't want to be that way. We want to follow You and rejoice with others. In praise and worship lies so much power and in joy is our strength. We want to follow You in it all. Amen

32. Get clear guidance from God

Last week we learned how David enquired with God on what to do as the Philistines came against him. He was just crowned king and the enemy was lining up. But David didn't fear, he immediately went to God and asked Him what to do. And then he was obedient to God's instructions. This resulted in victory for David and all of Israel as a whole. And we learned that we should always consult God in everything, especially when all is well and we are living our dreams. We should never forget about God but keep Him foremost in our minds.

Now after David defeated the Philistines, he gathered all the choice men of Israel, thirty thousand in total. He took all of them to go and fetch the ark of God from the house of Abinadab. Why did he need so many men to gather the ark of the Lord? It is because David wanted to honor and glorify God in the process. He wanted all the best men there to rejoice with him in bringing the ark to the tabernacle that David erected for it in Jerusalem. He wanted God magnified in the eyes of the people and he wanted them to celebrate with him that God was now coming to dwell with them:

"And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale Judah to bring from there the ark of God, whose name is called the Name, the Lord of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim." 2 Samuel 6:2

David celebrated this return of the ark to Israel. They played music with all kinds of instruments to the glory of God. It was truly a festive atmosphere, a joyous occasion. But then something terrible happened.

"And when they came to Nachon's threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of the God." 2 Samuel 6, 7

It came as a total shock to David. Here they were celebrating in the presence of the Lord and the next moment someone was struck dead because he tried to stabilize the ark from falling. David felt that it was unfair and he became afraid of the Lord (2 Samuel 6:9). David then refrained from bringing the ark to Jerusalem and instead he took it to the house of Obed-Edom. But three months later he heard how blessed the house of Obed-Edom was and decided to bring the ark to Jerusalem. Again they made music to the Lord and David danced with all his might. But this time they sacrificed oxen and sheep after every sixth step. So they bought the ark into Jerusalem and there David sacrificed some more and blessed the people in the Name of the Lord. He also gave a loaf of bread, a piece of meat and a cake of raisins to each person to celebrate with.

David's heart was right; he wanted the Lord close to him, close to Israel. But he went about it the wrong way. He didn't know that the ark had to be carried with specific poles and by purified priests etc. The reason was that God was holy and couldn't come into contact with unholiness as Jesus hadn't died yet. His holiness will burn up anything unholy that touches it. This is what happened to Uzzah. Now today we needn't worry about that, because Jesus has now clothed us with His robe of righteousness and therefore we can come close to God, hallelujah!

The lesson here for me today is the following - David wanted to do something special for God. But he went about doing it the wrong way. I think this is true of us today as well. Many times we want to do something for God. And in our hurried way we go about it the wrong way. We should rather spend time with God and ask Him to help us to be clear about the way that we should handle the situation. Our zeal can sometimes be a bit misdirected at the cost of those closest to us. For example we can become so involved at church that it influences our time spent with our families. It is a good thing, but is it truly where God wants you now? Make sure that you are where God wants you to be. And once you are sure, celebrate it like David did. Don't hide it under a basket. David could have stayed sad due to what had happened to Uzzah, he could have brought back the ark under solemn circumstances, but he didn't. He rejoiced and danced to the Lord in delight. We should be the same. We should celebrate the presence of God in our lives. We should dance and rejoice that He is part of our everyday lives. All glory and honor to Him!

Father please guide us in what You want us to do for You. Help us to see the bigger picture as You do. You know best and we love You for it. Guide us onto Your ways everlasting. Thank you Father. We love You and rejoice in all that You are doing in our lives! Amen

31. Always turn to God

Last time we learned how David waited more than 20 years for the promise that he will become King of Israel to come to pass. And during that time he waited with a good attitude, he acted honorably and followed God in everything that he did. God also prepared him to be king during that time even though he didn't even realize it himself. It is such a valuable lesson for us today, especially if we are in a season of waiting to receive all that the Lord has promised us.

But the moment David was crowned as king over Israel, his enemy arose against him, the Philistines. And true to David's style he first enquired of the Lord whether he should go and fight against the Philistines. And God told him that he should and that He will deliver them into his hand. David was obedient and the Philistines were no match for him. With God's help, he defeated them. And David gave all glory to God:

"The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water." 2 Samuel 5:20

Then the Philistines regrouped and came against David once again. David enquired of the Lord again; he didn't just assume he should attack as he did the last time. And he was right, this time God gave him different instructions:

"You shall not go up; circle around behind them and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines." 2 Samuel 5:23, 24

And David obeyed and he drove back the Philistines as far as Gezer.

David trusted in God inexplicitly and followed His commands to the tee. He did everything the way that God instructed him and it was wonderful to see how God just manifested Himself in a supernatural way. Wow. Imagine hearing God's army marching ahead of you to bring the victory for you. That must have been awe-inspiring. And why did it happen? Because one man was obedient to the Lord His God and sought Him and His will above all else. David was now king and that could have gone to his head, and yet he still humbled himself before God and followed Him and Him only.

The lesson for me here is that in the times when all goes well with us and when our dreams have realized, that we shouldn't turn our backs on God. We should still honor Him above all else and seek Him and His advice about every step that we need to take. We should never ever think that we have arrived and that we know best. I mean in my mind's eye it was quite obvious that David should attack the Philistines as they were coming for him. And yet David sought the will of God. So that serves as a reminder to us as well. Even if we think that the next step to take for us is quite obvious, we should still enquire of God and seek Him and Him alone.

Then of course expect opposition when you are exalted. People get jealous very quickly and want to drag you down to their level. But don't let it faze you. Be like David, seek the Lord and watch His army marching ahead fighting for you! David humbled himself before God and he was victorious because of it. And the same applies to you. Jesus bought the victory for us at the cross so that no weapon formed against us can prosper. We simply need to hold fast to God and trust Him above all else. We shouldn't try and take matters into our own hands, no, we should walk as the conquerors that we are through Jesus Christ. Allowing Him to manifest the victory for us. Getting even and defending ourselves only serves to exalt the ego. No, God wants us to exalt Him, to seek Him, to walk with Him and then victory will be ours without a shadow of a doubt!

Father thank you so much that Jesus bought victory for us at the cross. Thank you that we are more than conquerors because You love us. Hallelujah! We want to stay close to You, always and in all circumstances! Amen

30. Wait with a good attitude

Last week we saw how God lifted up David from the lowest point in his life, to being King of Judah, all in a matter of days. It was truly amazing to see. The same happened to Joseph, Moses, Job, but to name a few. We shouldn't despair at the low points in our lives, but rather we should take courage and look up to God. As long as we are walking with Him, we can be rest assured that we are on the right pathway for our life, and that He will exalt us at exactly the right time.

God was with David, because David sought the Lord in everything that he did. He reigned over Judah for seven and a half years. During that time, Saul's son Ishbosheth reigned over Israel. And as time passed by David got stronger and stronger and Ishbosheth became weaker and weaker. Even Abner, the commander of Saul's army turned against Ishbosheth and wanted to join forces with David. But Joab, David's commander, hated Abner because he had killed Joab's brother, so in secret he murdered him. David was very upset when he heard about this and mourned and fasted for Abner. All the people saw this and realized that David never wanted Abner to be dead.

So now without Abner, Ishbosheth's reign and power started to dwindle until finally one day two of the captains of the troops of Saul's army went into the house of Ishbosheth and killed him right there in his bed. They ran to David as they thought that this news would please him and that he will exalt them and give them favorable positions in his army. But as honorable as David was, he was very upset that an innocent man was murdered in his own bed. He ordered his men to kill these two for their wicked act.

It was then that all the elders of Israel came to David and asked him to be king over all of Israel. Finally, after many years since receiving the promise that he will be King over Israel, it materialized. Scholars believe that it was twenty years since the time that David was anointed as king by Samuel. Can you imagine waiting that long for the promise of God to materialize in your life? And what did David do during this waiting period? He trusted God and he walked wherever He led him.

"So David went on and became great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him. David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted His kingdom for the sake of His people Israel." 2 Samuel 5:10, 12

David became great and he knew it was due to the favor of God. He didn't take any honor for himself. He knew that God was with him for the sake of all His people. David remained humble and gave God the glory.

During our waiting time, we should walk with God, grow with God and learn all His ways. You see during this waiting time God prepared David for the role as King. He served in the house of Saul, he could see how it was run, he learned combat, he learned how to be the leader of six hundred men, he learned the tactics of the enemies, he learned how to act honorably even during intense times, he learned so many things. He definitely didn't think of it that way when he was running for his life, but it certainly helped him. And the same is true of you. God is teaching you many things during your waiting time. You might not see it and you might not consider what you are doing as important, but God sees everything and He uses all the lessons that He taught you. The most important thing is to wait with a good attitude and to be honorable in all your dealings, to put God first and to consult Him in everything that you are doing. Learn from David. He had all the right reasons why he could be mad and murder those who seek his blood, but he never sought revenge. He looked up and followed God. And what an amazing example for us all today!

Father, You know best. Your timing is just perfect. We know that You are teaching us many things. Help us to be patient and to learn what we must learn and that we should grow in our knowledge of You every day, exalting You in everything. Amen

29. Be faithful right where you are

Last week we learned that we shouldn't rejoice when our enemies get hurt or are going through a tough time. We shouldn't be happy when others who despise us, are not excelling. We should rather pray for them that God's will be done in their lives. We shouldn't gloat or rub it in their faces, no; we should rather walk this road with God as worthy children of Him. David did just that when he heard that Saul had died. He wept for him and even wrote a song for him. David's actions were exemplary; given all that Saul had done to him.

Now that Saul was dead, David was free to go back to Israel. But instead of just assuming that he could go back, he first enquired of the Lord. The Lord told him yes, he can go back to Judah. God told him to go and settle in Hebron. He and all his men obeyed and went to settle in Hebron.

"Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah." 2 Samuel 2:4

Finally the promise made to David by God has been fulfilled. But only in part. He was only made king over Judah and not all the other tribes. Abner, the commander of Saul's army, took Ishbosheth, Saul's son and made him king over the rest of the tribes. So for seven years and six months David was king only over Judah and not the whole of Israel. And even though the full manifestation of all that God had promised him hadn't come to pass, David did the best he could with the kingship that God had already given him.

So basically within days from the lowest point in David's life, God exalted him to king over Judah. He didn't have to fight for it, he didn't have to reason with people and convince them that he had to be made king, no, God simply gave it to him. It was certainly one swift exaltation.

This made me think of Joseph too. He was one moment at the lowest point in his life, namely the dungeon and the next he was the second mightiest man in Egypt. This all happened without going through the hierarchy, without a whole voting process, without even proving himself. This happened because he trusted in God and God honored him.

The same with Moses. One moment Moses was a shepherd tending sheep in the wilderness and the next he was the leader of 2.5 million people, challenging the mightiest man on earth namely the Pharaoh. But God was mightily with him and exalted him at exactly the right time.

Do not despair when you are at a low point in your life. Don't give up when you don't see your God-given dreams materializing. Just keep walking with God. Give each step with Him. Just keep being faithful in the small things. Once God can trust you with that, He will exalt you higher and quicker than you ever dreamed possible. The speed at which you will move will astound you. But first things first, do what He has placed on your plate today with excellence. Do it to the best of your ability and do it as if you are doing it for Him, even the most mundane tasks. Do not look around you at what God is doing with other people, but focus on the here and now and what He is asking of you today. Do not consider anything that you do as unimportant. Everything that you are doing as His Temple has significance and can either lead people to Him or chase them away. God wants you to be a magnet to a lost world, drawing them closer to Him. He wants you to shine out as the Temple that you are and attract people to Him. And as soon as He sees your light shining brightly, He will raise you unto a hill so that more people can see His light shining through you. But until then, be faithful right there where you are.

Father thank you for Your plans for us. Thank you that we can know that our time of exaltation is coming. Please help us to be patient and faithful right where You have placed us. You know best Lord, our God and King. Amen

28. Do not rejoice at other's misfortune

Last week we saw how David continued to trust in God even though he was at a very low point in his life. He continued to look up to God for his provision and strength and indeed God provided it to him. He even enriched him in the process even though it had been a terrible low point in David's life. God was mightily with him.

Now on the third day when David was back from the fight with the Amalekites (that we saw last week), a man came from Saul's camp and told David that Saul and Jonathan was dead. He lied to him and bragged to David that he had killed Saul himself. He said:

"…I stood over him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen." 2 Samuel 1:10

This man was an Amalekite and mistakenly assumed that David would rejoice over the death of his arch enemy, the one who kept him from going home to Israel. But David wasn't pleased, in fact, he was sad.

"Therefore David took hold of his own clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. And they mourned and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son, for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword." 2 Samuel 1:11, 12

David didn't rejoice that Saul was dead. In fact he mourned for him. I think the Amalekite was probably very surprised at his reaction. He most probably expected praise and honor for himself. But instead David had him killed for saying that he had killed Saul. David didn't know that he was lying. It was all a very sad state of affairs.

What is beautiful for me to note is that David didn't rejoice in the downfall of the man that had hunted him down, tried to kill him and banished him from his own home. He didn't relish in the fact that Saul was brutally murdered. No, he wept for him and he even wrote a song for him and Jonathan (2 Samuel 1:19-27). He was truly saddened by the state of affairs.

He would have had every right to be relieved that he didn't need to hide away anymore. He could have rejoiced and be glad. And yet, he showed the heart of God. God didn't rejoice in the death of Saul either. The Bible tells us that God doesn't rejoice in the death of any man:

"Do you think that I like to see wicked people die?" says the Sovereign Lord. "Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live." Ezekiel 18:23

God wanted things to be different. He chose Saul to be king, but Saul rejected Him and followed his own path. God wanted him to turn from his wicked ways, but Saul never did.

Today we might also have enemies. We might have people who are nasty to us, or who try and discredit us, or who hates it if they see us prosper. We might have people in our lives who gossip about us and who hinder our progress at every chance that they get. But we shouldn't let it get to us. If God is for us, who can be against us? And then when it happens that something bad happens to these people don't rejoice. Don't gloat about it, don't tell all your friends and never ever rub it in the faces of those who were nasty to you. God doesn't approve of this. Rather we should reach out to them if we can, or we should pray for them. We should walk the road with God and only keep our eyes on Him. Revenge is not up to us, and gloating in others' misfortune is not a Godly attitude either. Learn from David. Do not rejoice when your enemy comes to a fall, rather act in a dignified manner, worthy of God's child that you are.

Father, we all have people that do not like us. We ask You today to bless them, to care for them and to change their hearts towards us please Lord. We ask that You mend our relationship, that hatred cease and only love remains. We pray that in Jesus' mighty Name. Amen

27. Always look UP

Last week we learned a valuable lesson from David. He was at an ultimate low point in his life. He had been in exile in a foreign country for a very long time, and the main reason was that he had been following God's calling on his life. And now even whilst following God, the Amalekites destroyed his and his men's homes, took all their possessions as well as their wives and children, and if this was not even bad enough, his men started talking about stoning him. David was at an ultimate low and yet the Bible tells us that he found his strength in the Lord. He didn't rebel or blame God, no he turned to Him and God used his obedience to prosper him. David never gave up and continued to trust in God.

God told him to go after the Amalekites and to retrieve all that was theirs, He would be with them. David and six hundred of his men went after the Amalekites. They found an Egyptian slave along the road. His master had left him behind because he got sick. David was kind to him and he led them to the Amalekites, where they were feasting and drinking of all the spoils that they took, not only from David and his men, but of the whole region. Then David and his men attacked them.

"Then David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled. So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. And nothing of theirs was lacking, either great or small, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all." 1 Samuel 30:17-19

God was mightily with him. He helped them to rescue everything that was taken from him, but not only that, they could take all the other spoil that the Amalekites took from the Philistines also. David was in fact enriched by this whole episode, because He continued to trust in God.

This is in stark contrast with Saul. Just in the next chapter we are told how Saul and his sons died in the battle with the Philistines. Saul was severely wounded and his enemy was pursuing him. Then he fell on his own sword and basically killed himself as he didn't want to fall into the enemies' hands and his armorbearer didn't want to kill him either. It is such a sad end to his life. It could have been so different if he had trusted God inexplicitly as David did.

We can learn from David. We should not look at our outward circumstances; we should rather look inside to where God is leading us and what He is busy doing for us. We should look at our life through heaven's eyes. The enemy might bring certain things our way, but with God by our side, we will be enriched in the process just like David. We should never give up and turn our back on Him. We should keep moving forward, with our eyes fixed on Him and Him alone. Then true victory will manifest for us. Stay steadfast in your faith. Keep looking UP. He is always with you, the great and victorious One.

Father thank you so much that You are always there for us. Thank you that You are such an amazing God, the Victorious One, walking alongside us, always ready to help. We praise Your Name, we look up to You, please lead us to where we need to go and be. You are glorious. Amen

26. Never give up

The previous time we discussed the life of David, we saw that we can hear from God ourselves. We needn't rush from prophet to star signs to personality types to understand where God is leading us. No, we can hear from Him ourselves. We shouldn't stoop as low as Saul and consult mediums, we should rather trust in Him inexplicitly and in His mighty power as well as His perfect timing for our lives.

But Saul did consult a medium and called up Samuel from the dead. Samuel told him that he will die in the battle against the Philistines and that Israel will lose the battle. He was paralyzed with fear, as he knew that God would not be with them in the battle.

On the other hand David was with the Philistines, ready to attack Israel. What David's real plan was, the Bible doesn't say, but it does say that the Philistine princes didn't trust David and they didn't want him and his men to go with them to battle. The king of the Philistines trusted David and tried to convince them that David should go with them, but it didn't work. David and his men had to return home.

But when they did, they found Ziklag, where their home was, raided by the Amalekites. They took everyone that was left behind, men, women and children, as well as all their belongings and burnt the town to the ground. David and his men came upon this scene and were devastated. They cried, so much so that the Bible says - '…they wept, until they had no more power to weep.' Then a shocking thing happened, David's own men turned on him:

"Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters." 1 Samuel 30:6

The men were so devastated that they started to think irrationally. They wanted to portray their frustrations unto David. And what did David do?

"But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God." 1 Samuel 30:6

Isn't it just amazing? His own men were turning on him; he has lost all earthly support. He was hunted by the King of his own country, his family has been abducted, all his belongings were gone and now his own men were turning on him. And instead of cursing God, instead of asking why, instead of blaming God, he turned TO Him to be strengthened. I love it. He could have easily said: "You know what Lord; I have only been faithful in all that I do, everything. And where has this brought me? I am living as an exile, in a foreign land, with nothing to my name and no family to support me and now even my own men is turning against me. What does it help to follow You?" But no, he didn't. This was the biggest test of David's life. This was a make or break moment. He was at the lowest level he had ever been. And yet he was wise enough to turn to the Lord for strength. And as you will see as his life story is told, is that this low point in his life, is quickly succeeded by exaltation to the King of Judah. So at this low point, he was so close to his breakthrough. Can you imagine if he had given up there and then? How sad that would have been! But he didn't and therefore we can read about him as the greatest Israeli King that ever lived.

The same might happen to us. We might be so close to our breakthrough, even though things in the natural are not flowing as we might have expected, our breakthrough might be around the next corner. We shouldn't give up. We should never turn our back on God and forsake the route that He has laid before us. We never know what could be next for us. God is so patient and kind, so full of love. He wants the best for us. Do not stop digging just before you find your treasure. Do not give up. Find your strength in God as David did. Find Him in all that you do. He will give you the strength to continue. Never ever give up. In fact rejoice in a low point on your road with God, He will then take you higher! Just like He did with Job. Afterward Job had double than what he had before the trial. Walk with that confidence in mind.

Father thank you that we can find our strength in You. Thank you that You never give up on us. Help us to continue on Your path even though it seems as if we are on the wrong track or that everything is falling apart around us. Give us the assurance that this road is from You. If not, then help us to find our route back to You and where we need to be. Amen

25. Be content right where you are

Last week we saw that we shouldn't fight against the plans of God. It doesn't help as it only frustrates us and make our lives miserable. We should rather take hands with God and walk this pathway with Him leading the way. Then whatever comes our way, we can be assured that He is with us every step of the way.

Now whilst David was still living in Philistine, the Philistines gathered together to go to war against Israel. They gathered together and encamped at Shunem. Saul was terrified when he saw the army of the Philistines. He desperately wanted confirmation from the Lord that all will be fine:

"And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets." 1 Samuel 28:6

So when Saul couldn't hear the voice of the Lord he became even more desperate and sought the guidance of a spiritual medium. They told him of a woman at Endor. He immediately went there. What made this quite ironic is that Saul had banished all mediums and spiritists out of the country, and here in his moment of need, he turned to one.

Now he came in disguise to the woman and didn't reveal his identity. He asked her to call up Samuel for him. And the moment she did, she knew he was Saul. After putting her at ease, he spoke to Samuel. Samuel confirmed his worst fear. His end has come. The whole of Israel, the King and his sons would be delivered into the hands of the Philistines the very next day. Saul's end has come. Samuel told him that he would be with him the very next day.

Saul was paralyzed with fear and fell down on the ground and refused to eat. After some persuasion, they convinced him to get up and to eat and to 'face the music'. It was a very dark day for Saul indeed.

I have also witnessed, experienced and seen Christians getting desperate when they feel that they don't hear from God. I know of Christians going from 'prophet to prophet', to hear what God is saying about their future. I know of Christians who read the star signs every day to determine what is going to happen in their near future. I know of Christians believing in the star sign they were born under and building their whole lives around the 'personality type' that they are according to their star sign. It is absolute nonsense and God is not pleased. He wants us to hear directly from Him. That is why Jesus came. He came so that He could release us from the power of sin and impart unto us righteousness so that His Holy Spirit can come and live inside of us. And because He is living on the inside of us, we can personally hear His voice. We can know what He wants us to do.

But one thing that I have learned through the years is that God doesn't necessarily show us exactly where He is leading us. He isn't going to reveal His exact plan and detail all at once. Step by step He will guide us on the way. Unfortunately we as humans don't like that. We want to know months and years ahead and therefore we resort to going to our modern day 'mediums and spiritists'. But look at what happened to Saul. God doesn't honor that. He wants us close to Him, walking this pathway with Him. He wants to guide us step by step. We should learn to take His hand and to walk this pathway and not run ahead of His perfect timing as we are used to in this rushed world, especially now during this COVID-19 epidemic. We want to know when all this will end, we want to know when we can go on with our lives. We want to desperately see into the future, but we can't. Fortunately we know the ONE who does. All we need to do is to trust in Him one day at a time and not fear. He is in control of our lives. We must just surrender to Him and allow Him to do His perfect work in us.

God knows best, we can trust Him and His timing. There is no need to run to all sorts of other people or signs. God will provide all we need to know for the present moment. And that should be enough for us. He knows it will not be good for us to know the future. We simply need to take one step at a time, hand in hand with Him. He will lead us unto the right paths. All glory to Him on high!

Dearest Father, I am so sorry that I get so impatient at times, wanting to know my future and to where You are leading me. I want Your Spirit to consume me to such an extent that Your patience will overwhelm me, that I can be content waiting for Your gentle leading hand to guide me. Thank you Jesus for making it possible to hear Your voice loud and clear. Amen

 

24. Do not fight God's plan

Last week we saw how Abigail saved all the men in their household from certain death, because she was prepared to humble herself and to give what she had to David and his men. She was a peacemaker in a dire situation. She allowed God to use her in a mighty way. In the end her actions was rewarded. She saved their household and became the wife of David.

David was however still in hiding. He was in the Wilderness of Ziph. Saul heard about this. Apparently he totally forgot about the previous time that David saved his life. He was back in full force, with three thousand men to kill David and his men. David sent spies and they confirmed that Saul was encamped close to them. David went himself and saw Saul and his commander Abner, lying asleep within the camp. He and Abishai crept closer. Saul's spear was stuck in the ground by his head and everyone was sleeping. Abishai immediately said that they should kill him. But once again David prevented him:

"Do not destroy him: for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord's anointed and be guiltless? As the Lord lives, the Lord shall strike him." 1 Samuel 26:9, 10

David was honorable once again. He trusted God without any doubt. He didn't hurt Saul, but he took his spear and the jug of water by Saul's head. God helped them during this process as the Bible tells us that God had made them all fall into a deep sleep. When David was far enough away he called out to the people sleeping. Saul immediately recognized the voice of David and repented once again when he realized that David could have killed him again and yet he saved the life of King Saul. Saul again realized that the mighty hand of God was upon David.

Saul stopped chasing David for that moment, but David knew that it wouldn't last long before he chased him again. And he was right. So David fled to the land of the Philistines as he knew that Saul won't come to look for him there.

Saul didn't learn his lesson. He has experienced time and time again that God was with David, he even spoke about it how he saw that God was with David. And yet he didn't give up pursuing David, trying to kill him. Saul was in fact fighting against the will of God and of course he never succeeded. And in the process he made his own life miserable. He could have been home in luxury as king and here he was running after David from the one wilderness to the next. It was not the most comfortable of places, evn if you were king. And yet he did it to himself.

We might also be fighting against the will of God in our lives. And in the process we might be in the wilderness where things are not as comfortable. It is solely our choice to be there. We could have been 'most comfortable at home', but because we chose to fight against God's plan for our lives we are struggling. It made me think of Jonah again. He also fought against the will of God. He didn't want to go to Nineveh, so he travelled in exactly the opposite direction. And we all know how that turned out for him.

Rather learn from Saul. Learn that it doesn't help to fight against what God want for you. I believe a lot of suffering in the world is because people are rebelling against what they know God wants them to do. They ignore Him instead and rather follow the fleeting pleasures of sin. And before they know it heartache and pain have knocked at the door.

Do not be like that. Do what you find before you to the best of your ability and then as the cross roads come, place it before God and allow Him to lead you. He will, He wants to, you are His special child. Do not fight Him, but rather walk with Him. It is a very special road.

Father thank you that we can know that Your plan for our lives are the best. We don't always understand and we don't always know why it would be the best for us, but You see the bigger picture. You see way into our future and will provide for us. We love You. Amen