Here are some thoughts from Wednesday night’s FORUM study…
Over the last several weeks, we have been reading about David’s adventures… (mind you, it’s an adventure,not a journey) His life at this point is filled with ups and downs. He has been anointed king, but that is yet to be realized. It’s kind of like our salvation, we are saved, declared righteous, seated in heavenly places etc. but then reality looks a tad different. We have to remind ourselves that what is, as well as what is to come, is only ours by faith.
In chapter 27, we read about David’s crisis of faith, at least that’s how I see it. Rather than trust God for what He has promised, David flees to the enemy. We do not see David asking God about this move, rather he is simply “running it by himself”-not a good plan. He is accumulating multiple wives for himself, something God had already addressed and forbid. He seems to be spiraling, and it begins in unbelief. Then we see David go on a raiding party, not a military action ordained by God, but a murderous rampage! David is trying to do what he knows to do, but he is outside of the blessings of God. He has become a liar, thief, & murderer in short order. This is the “man after God’s own heart?” This is the same guy that slew Goliath by faith? Really? To understand David, one needs only to look into the mirror. Any one of us could find ourselves in similar circumstances, should we choose to abandon following the Lord,… even for a little while.
I love Michael Knott’s song, “Chameleon” about the life of David. He writes:
“I am the adulteress and the penitent man, I’m the cunning culprit and the little lamb”
When we get to chapter 30, we get one of the great, yes, truly great, lessons in scripture. David, has been sent home (from a battle he didn’t belong in) to his temporary city of Ziklag, only to find that it is burned out and all of his family and possessions are taken away. Of course, not only his, but his men’s as well. One can only imagine the emotion… it says, “Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep.”- Vs. 4 “David was greatly distressed.” This is the end of David’s rope. He is a hunted man, he is living from day to day with the constant threat of death. He is in sin, living with his enemies, in unbelief. And now -this! Everything is stripped away. He has a band of 600 that want to stone him,… he is their leader after all.
Have you ever been here, at the end of your rope? What do you do? What are David’s options? He could quit. He could run. He could fight. Or, he could break.
Thankfully, David does the right thing in this terrible moment, in verse 6,… just a simple little line, easily read over,… is a lifetime of instruction… “But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.”
We are not given any more information than that.
But what does it mean?
What does it mean to you?
How do you “strengthen yourself in the Lord?”