Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mid-Day Devotion 10/1/09

David, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1623-24

“David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.”
1 Samuel 17:37

It doesn’t matter, the challenge or the danger, the struggles or the adversity, the trial or the plight, there is no evil that can stand between the child of God and the love of the Lord that He has for them, for He is a God of deliverance that will always and forever contend with the cause of His people in all times, in all ages, throughout the world.

This was the faithful assurance that David, the young shepherd boy from Bethlehem, put so much hope in as he looked to the greatest of challenges that was now before him. He was about to march off, to go into the valley to face Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, who stood so tall and proud on the battle field, striking fear into the hearts of even the greatest of Israel’s warriors. The boy had no idea that this would set him on a journey where this would be only the first of His struggles. Saul, the King to with whom he now spoke to, would chase him through the ends of the nation, seeking his death as David was left to hide in the caves, his son Absalom would rebel against him when he would later take the throne.

He would be caught against trying days of hurt and pain that would seek to destroy him, that would search for ways to lay waste to his spirit and his soul as hope was robbed from him and courage seemed fleeting.

Yet there would never be a day when David would give up that fundamental and basic belief that he would utter first to King Saul as he prepared to stand against the enemy of his people and his God on that battlefield, knowing that the Lord would be by His side. Perhaps it defied logic and the reason. Perhaps it defied the wisdom of this world. After all, it was spears and swords that won the day, it was armor that protected the soldier in battle from death. Yet David would have none of these. He would be protected only by the armor of the Lord and the prayer that His sling would be steady and true in the moment of truth.

By all wisdom of this world, by all the knowledge of it, David should have died that day against Goliath, and his people should have been taken captive, to be made slaves to the Philistines as they were faced with the inevitable defeat that was to come.

They were not though. Faithful to His promises and His assurances, faithful to the hope that is placed in Him, the Lord stood by David, taking his fear and his doubt and casting it away, delivering him from the hands of the Philistines just as He had “delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear.” He contended with David’s cause, and even in the most trying of times He walked beside him in the same promises He made to Moses and to Joshua, whispering gently in His ear, “There shall not any man who will be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Joshua 1:5)

If the promise of the Lord, faithful and true, is that He will not change and that His people will not be destroyed, (Malachi 3:6) if the promise is that “Jesus Christ,” His son, our Savior, who delivers us from captivity of the Spirit and the Soul, is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), then we know that the same promises that God made unto David are the promises that He makes to His children today even amidst the days of trial and the times of struggle.

There are going to be days of challenge in this world as the forces of evil seek, through their wickedness, to take people prisoner and captive, to make them into hostages and slaves, as they laugh in the face of God and mock His righteousness and His truth through their actions. Like the Philistines they will seek to assert their dominance as they plan to take people and hold them in dark bondage. They work through this world and amidst it, asserting themselves on others and ripping their lives away from them, holding it to be cheap and without purpose or meaning, without value or integrity.

Yet God is there for His people, just as He was there for David, to deliver them from the hands of wickedness and unrighteousness, to deliver them from the dark forces of the world that would seek to hold them, that would try so desperately to destroy them. He does not just leave them amidst the dark hold of evil hands that grasp at them and choke them, draining the life and hope from them amidst their wickedness and iniquity, He does not just forget about them or say that the challenge is too hard or harsh, that the struggle is too great. He is there to shield them in His truth and His righteousness in these, their hours of greatest need, for the cause of their deliverance, in the mercy, the grace, the love and the compassion that He has for them.

So trust in the faithfulness of the Lord. Though we do not know the depth of the challenges that will be faced or the darkness that may be ahead, He shall always and forever contend blessedly with the cause of His children, offering to them hope and deliverance even in the darkest of days of trial and despair.

He is there forever, to blessedly contend with the cause of His children, offering them the miracles of His hand, for the cause of their freedom and liberty, for the cause of justice and righteousness, so that it may not fade upon this earth, among the maliced hearts and the wicked intent of unrighteous people who seek to work their will and their way, ignoring the plan of God, ignoring the love of God. He shall always and forever contend blessedly with the cause of His children, seeking their deliverance even as gloomy and dark days lay ahead, even as gloomy moments of trial and adversity, as struggle and despair lay before them, what feels like such a great weight and burden upon their soul. He will be there to lift it from them, to make light their way so that they will be delivered from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear. Just as He did for His servant David, so shall He do for His servants now, today, amidst this world.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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