Archive for March 9th, 2008

Power of Discouragement in the Heart

A great big “thank you” to all who have inquired about my missing blogs. I hate to report that it is because I just didn’t take the time to do it.

I’d love to whine about all the computer issues I have been having (as well as many of my friends), but I’ll spare you all that and just acknowledge the graciousness with which people touched base with me to ask about it!

Hopefully in the next few days, I’ll catch up to the readings where St. Philip’s is at, but until then I’ll just keep plugging along in 1 Samuel one chapter at a time!

Today’s chapter of 1 Samuel 27 shows signs of a discouraged child of God! The pressure of constantly running from place to place one step ahead of death finally took its toll on David. In spite of the Lord’s miraculous care for him, David’s faith wavered and he began to entertain doubts.

Would God deliver him from the hand of Goliath, only to deliver him into the hand of Saul? No, but circumstances have a way of distorting one’s outlook. Present dangers and cares often obscures the promises of God.

So David said in his heart “Now I shall perish…There is nothing better for me.”

Oh the power of words, especially those which we say in our heart. What we say in our heart has great power for good or evil.

  • If someone says in their heart, “God doesn’t care about me,” it will make a difference in their life.
  • if someone says in their heart, “I deserve better than this,” it will make a difference in their life.
  • if someone says in their heart, “I come before others,” it will make a difference in their life.

By the same principle,

  • if someone says in their heart, “God loves me and I don’t have to earn His love,” it will make a difference.
  • If they say in their heart, “I am grateful for every blessing I have,” it will make a difference.
  • If someone says, “Others come first,” it will make difference in their life.

David did accomplish his immediate goal of escaping Saul’s constant pursual of him. But now David is in a place of compromise. And though he looks quite content and secure, even finally having his own stable place (beats a camping in a cave) with his two wives to keep him company, this is a very dark period in David’s life.

Interestingly, according to my chronological Bible (which orders all the verses in the Bible in the order in which they happened), there are no Psalms that were written by David during this time.

During David’s 16-month stay with the Philistines, David made raids against
The Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites
David hasn’t totally turned against God and His people. For now, he only attacks the enemies of Israel. This probably gave David some comfort, but it is a small consolation to know that you aren’t as bad as you possibly could be.

In his raids, David killed all the men and the women, so his lie to Achish would not be exposed. Much later in his life, we will see a far more notorious season of sin with Bathsheba, and how he ended up killing Bathsheba’s husband Uriah to cover his sin.

Though that event is more famous, the root of sin that nourished it began right here in 1 Samuel 27. Here, many years before David killed Uriah to cover his sin, he kills these men and women in his raids to cover his sin. The roots of sin must be dealt with, or they come back with greater strength.

Remember the roots of David’s condition: this was a genuine crisis of faith, when he started trusting more in what he said in his heart (1 Samuel 27:1) than in what the Lord God said to him. David believed the lie that he was safer with the world than he was with God.

Thankfully, God did not bless David where he was at. But neither did God take away David’s calling or destiny to be the next king of Israel. God gave to David some of the mercy David showed to Saul.

Lord Jesus, gird up the my heart to be strengthened by Your words, and not the voice of circumstances and discouragement. Help me to be content to be a refuge rather than be satisfied to settle down in the enemy’s territory…and show me the difference!