"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain". (I Cor 15:58).
Who likes to start on a journey well, only to end in a disaster? For many you would rather start on a gloomy note which ends in cheer than the opposite!
There are two Biblical characters who bear witness to this contrast. King Saul is one man who started well when he was plucked from nowhere and anointed King. "Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the man the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.” Then the people shouted, “Long live the king" ( I Samuel 10: 24).
In spite of having a lead start, winning wars against Isreal's enemies, he then started doubting God's sovereignity. Eventually Samuel rebuked him. "You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure" (I Samuel 13:14). Saul would later perish on the battlefield, taking his life (1 Samuel 31:4).
Meanwhile his successor David had a rough start. Not only was he pursued by an insecure Saul driving him into exile, once to survive, "he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard" (I Samuel 21:13). Can you imagine sinking that low!
Yet, David ended well as a victorious king who passed on the throne to his son Solomon (1 Kings 1:28-53).
So, what made the difference? Along the way Saul lost his focus on the God who had made him king, instead going as far as to seek mediums for answers to his problems (1 Samuel 28: 3-15). Meanwhile David's faith in God remained steadfast. When it was brought to his attention his sin of causing the death of an innocent man, David fell on his knees in repentance, "Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD" (2 Samuel 12:13).
Both Saul and David had long 40 year plus reigns. But while one's would end in ignomy, for the other, all would end well because he never lost faith in a good God.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, as I walk with you I pray to be steadfast in my walk to culminate in your glory, this I pray in Jesus's name.
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!