Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"Who You Gonna Call?"

[From 6.27.13]

"David was in great danger; for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in spirit for their sons & daughters.  But David strengthened himself int he LORD his God."
(1 Samuel 30:6)

David is in exile (self-imposed) because King Saul wants him dead.  He's fled to the land of the Philistines.  However, he's convinced King Achish that he's on their side.  Though the Philistine officers won't allow him to join them on the field of battle, Achish has given David the town of Ziklag.  He lives there along with the families of the men who've attached themselves to him - outcasts, renegades, and the disgruntled.

One day, upon returning to Ziklag after being away for 3 days, they discover (to their horror) that their town has been sacked and their wives and children are gone.  It's devastating, as you might imagine.  The author tells us these grown men, these warriors, "wept until they had no more strength to weep."  Understandably so!  But then things get ugly for David.  The men turn on their leader, and speak about his death.

What David did next is brilliant.  He didn't try to talk them out of it.  He didn't react with an iron fist.  He didn't flee.  No.  He "strengthened himself in the Lord."  He did what Jesus would frequently do during his lifetime, over a century later.  He drew strength from God.  He didn't try to figure it out himself or "tough it out" on his own strength.  He rested in God.  He silenced the outside influences and looked to his Creator for courage & hope.  All of us (not just pastors) can learn from this when we face criticism, upheaval, and sticky situations.

(Oh yah, in the strength of the LORD, he eventually led his men to get back all of their family members, safe & sound!  Praise God for that!)

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