"give me understanding, and i will keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
direct me in the path of your commands,
for there i find delight.
turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
turn my eyes toward worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word."
i tell you what, i love God's word. "for the word of God is alive and active. sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (hebrews 4:12) it is refreshing, it is encouraging, it is the voice of the One True God made available to us here on Earth. maybe that's why satan distracts us with every possible hurdle in an effort to keep us from getting into it. he KNOWS it is "the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes" (romans 1:16) he fills our thoughts with excuses and rationales causing us to avoid getting into the word. he KNOWS there is power in the sacred script, he KNOWS God's word does not return void (isaiah 55:11) and that we WILL gain strength, wisdom, knowledge, peace, and encouragement from it and that scares the TAR out of him. it can be intimidating if you don't know where to start. face it, it's a big book with a lot of words - that scares me. :) first, pray that God would give you the desire to know Him more. sometimes, it just starts with a simple request. He sees it all anyway - just lay it out there. "God, right now i'm just not really interested in reading the Bible. can you please give me a desire to do it?" pray that He will bring specific scriptures to mind. Ask Him to lead you to just the right story, the right verse that will speak to you, in your situation, TODAY. sometimes i just sit on my couch, open up my Bible, lay my hands on those precious pages and sit in the quiet. He tells us to "be still and know that i am God" (psalm 46:10) just rest in His goodness and in His unfailing love for you. He really wants to spend time with you, to love on you a little bit. pray for the opportunity and the desire to do that today - to rest in His word. take a look at the psalms - a book in the Bible dedicated to praise and worship. it is powerful! i am praying for all of us, sweet sisters, that He continues to make us into strong warrior princesses, beloved daughters of the Most High God, raising up the next generation ready to do battle. love it. :)
ok, so let's get into checking out this david fella... we've all heard the numerous stories from our very first days in sunday school. david the little shepherd boy, david and goliath, david and bathsheba, etc. i've always been fascinated with his life because i knew that God had called him a "man after his own heart" and yet i heard the stories of struggles, the terrible choices (adultery and murder? so not good.), his wayward children, his battles with depression, and i thought, i really need to investigate this further. :) there i was, beating myself up on a daily basis because i wasn't "perfect" or the least bit consistent in my walk with the Lord, and then here's david, making a complete mess of things, and i think, maybe there's hope for me yet. well, guess what. there is. :)
david's story starts in 1 samuel 16. Saul is the King of Israel and he's messed up pretty badly. samuel has to break the news to Saul that "the LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and given it to one of your neighbors - to one better than you." OUCH. thus begins the quest for a new king - God has told samuel to go see a man named jesse in bethlehem (yes, THE bethlehem), that He's chosen one of jesse's sons to be the next King of Israel, but He hasn't revealed it to samuel yet. so david's father, jesse, brings out "all" his sons to march in front of samuel but none of them are "the one". samuel senses something is up and he asks jesse, "are you SURE these are all the sons you have?" oh wait. silly jesse forgot one. he's out with the sheep. wow - david's own father was like "no way. he is definitely NOT 'king' quality." for some people, that total lack of confidence from one's parent requires years of therapy to heal. i know i would be totally hacked. :)
so here comes david, fresh from the field, smelling of sheep food and sheep crud, standing before samuel, along with his 7 other brothers and his loving father who forgot he existed, awaiting the verdict... "then the LORD said (to samuel), 'rise and anoint him; he is the one.' so samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers'" (you know they were pumped up about watching their scrawny little brother being anointed the next King of Israel. or not.) it goes on to say that "from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power." now, he's not the King of Israel yet. Saul is still in charge but God has made it clear that the Kingdom of Israel is not his for long. if i were him i might be a little paranoid, you know? 1 samuel 16:14 says this "now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him." (i wonder if this was the exact time that the Spirit of the LORD came upon David. could be...) okay, i am not going to even attempt at translating this for you. my Bible commentary says that "perhaps Saul was simply depressed. or perhaps the Holy Spirit had left Saul, and God allowed an evil spirit (a demon) to torment him as judgment for his disobedience (this would demonstrate God's power over the spirit world - 1 kings 22:19-23)" i could sit and attempt to understand the Holy and perfect ways of God but it hurts my brain to do so. what on earth is an evil spirit from the LORD anyway? i tell you what, i'd rather not get to the point of disobedience where i actually find out. this just may be where the "fear of the LORD" comes into play. He is God and He can do whatever He sees fit - it's not for me and my feeble human mind to try to understand it all. and as we will discover with the life of David, there's not a whole heck of a lot that makes "sense" as far as what we may think a true servant of God "should" look like.
tomorrow we'll be getting into Saul's and David's relationship (he actually ends up marrying Saul's daughter - and you thought YOU had problems with the inlaws!) and his fight with this big guy named goliath. i hope you're loving this as much as i am - i'm a huge history buff and one of the main reasons is because you have the advantage of looking back over the years and the centuries and actually seeing God's hand of providence moving and working. it's pretty stinkin awesome. and it gives us hope on days like today (or yesterday, or tomorrow) when everything seems to be falling apart that God is still in control and that we can TRUST HIM with the outcome.
love you girls :) see you tomorrow!