Monday, April 5, 2010

The Lord Sustains Me

Hello all. I hope you had a wonderful Easter break. My husband and I found ourselves moving into a new place this past week, so things have been quite crazy around here. Just the same, I’m so happy to get back to my Bible study. Today I read from 1 Samuel 23; Psalm 54 &63; and Luke 22:47-71.
The theme I’d like to pick up on from today’s reading is friendship. In 1 Samuel 23 we see two instances where David listens to guidance from his trusted friends. In the first instance David is trying to decide if he should fight against the Philistines. His first recourse is to turn to the Lord and pray. After praying, David turns to his friends to get their advice as well. The problem is that the answers differ. The Lord tells him to fight the Philistines, while his friends, in their fear, tell him to stay far away from any outside battles. There’s nothing wrong with asking those we trust for advise, but as David found, people are only human, and emotions such as fear, will trump the right answer at times. I believe David handled this situation correctly. Instead of making the final decision on his own, he turned back to the Lord for a second time and asked for help once again. When he heard verification from the Lord, he went and fought the Philistines victoriously, in spite of the advice of his trusted friends.

David inquired of the Lord before he made a dangerous move. He heard the Lord’s response, and then told his men.
His men, whom he must have trusted pretty readily, did not want to go. Taking their advice, he went back to the Lord to inquire once again, heard the Lord’s response, and fought victoriously against the Philistines.

Sometimes even the advice of those we trust is wrong. We have to truly listen for the guidance of the Lord in our life.

We all need the encouragement of friends. Jonathan came to David in the dessert and encouraged him to find strength in the Lord, even in these scary times when Saul was out to kill him.

This first example was one in which the advice of friends didn’t line up with the advise of God. The second, found later in the chapter, is one in which a friend encourages and upholds a friend in need. Consider these verses: “While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. And Saul's son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. (vs. 15-16). Jonathan must have known how confused and afraid his friend David would be by this point. And so, 1 Samuel tells us that Jonathan came to him and encouraged him to look toward the Lord for strength. What a good friend. I hope that I, too, can look around me and see ways to encourage and direct my friends toward the Lord. For he really is the only thing that matters in this world. As David writes in Psalm 54:4 “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” How true this is of me, each and every day. God and God alone is the one who helps me with both big things and small. He is my rock and my salvation. How thankful I am for him today and everyday

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