“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” - Ephesians 6:16 (NIV)
The Bible has two huge contrasting characters, one who fell in sin, and another who was victorious. King David had an officer of his Uriah, sent to the front where he was killed, giving way to his having his wife, Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11). It was a terrible sin that David was initially not even aware of. But fortunately once the prophet Nathan brought it to his attention, David fell on his knees and confessed of this sin. “Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die” (2 Samuel 12:13).
Joseph contrasts with David who survived a snare by responding differently. When Joseph was put in charge of his master’s household, Potiphar, his wife had an eye for him and soon started luring him to sleep with him, “Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” (Genesis 39: 6-7). Joseph escaped because he was so concerned with taking care of his master’s property that he quickly rebuffed her advances. Eventually after attempting to trap him and failing she set him up with a cloak that caused him to be thrown in prison on false accusation (Genesis 39: 16- 20).
Here is the apparent difference in the lives of the two. One was lured into sin because while his soldiers were away at war he was apparently idle with a lot of time on his hand (2 Samuel 11: 1-2). Joseph, on the other hand was busy with work. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care” (Genesis 39:8). Idleness was clearly what did David in; while Joseph had no time to lapse, because he was pre occupied with his job.
The Bible cautions us to “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Certainly one easy way is when Satan falls upon an idle mind. Such a person would hardly be on guard and can quickly become fodder to the ferocious fangs of Satan. A clear way to overcome sin is by immersing ourselves in the Lord’s work, giving the enemy little, if any chance, to penetrate.
Prayer for today: Lord God Father of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, I thank you for the work you have given me and today I pray not to let myself slip into idleness and such things that give the enemy a chance to steer away from you!
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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!