Thought for the Week - 5th AugustPastor Gareth Watkins
John 10: 9-10
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.
They will come in and go out, and find pasture.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
1 Chronicles 14: 8-12
When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel,
they went up in full force to search for him,
but David heard about it and went out to meet them.
Now the Philistines had come and raided the Valley of Rephaim;
so David inquired of God: “Shall I go and attack the Philistines?
Will you deliver them into my hands?”
The Lord answered him, “Go, I will deliver them into your hands.”
So David and his men went up to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them.
He said, “As waters break out, God has broken out
against my enemies by my hand.” So that place was called Baal Perazim.
The Philistines had abandoned their gods there,
and David gave orders to burn them in the fire.
In the verses above we read of King David. Earlier in his life he had been on the run and had known times of persecution. Later, he was established as the king of Israel. Did he have a blessed life? Yes, he did. And yet we also find a life that’s full of struggle and warfare, fear, loneliness and difficulty. Yet David hung onto God.
David was a founding father for both the Jewish and Christian faiths. It was his lineage that ran right through to the times of Christ. Indeed, Christ was called the son of David. Do you think that is a life that would have been contested?
If we are going to do right in the sight of God, we going to have our troubles. We read in John above, that the thief comes to steal and destroy. He wants to rob us for the life God has for us. He wants to destroy those plans and purposes that God has just for us.
David was chosen by God and knew God. In some way God chose him. Why were we chosen? The call went out to David. The call goes out to us too – we can choose to do what is right under God and know the life that David knew, or we can choose our own way.
Jesus knew the intentions of the devil. As soon as He started His ministry, the devil took him out to the desert to tempt Him. Time and time again we see that as we take ground from the devil, the thief comes to steal and destroy.
If we live this life under God, we are going to attract the attentions of the devil. If you don’t, then are you on the path in a direct , purposeful enough way?
The devil came out to try and kill David. He also tried to kill Christ through Herod. He tried to kill the Jews through the pharaohs and then later, through Hitler. Anything that comes from God comes under assault by the devil.
It says David faced the ALL the Philistines. He faced the army, the soldiers, the workers – he faced them all, fathers, brothers and sons. They would have been a formidable enemy, fueled by their bitter memories of past battles and losses back as far as Joshua. Did David feel threatened and fearful? Yes, he did.
These things come at us like a bully. These things came at David and threatened his faith. But it also threatened far more than that, after all, this was the beginnings of the family of God.
David’s answer was to turn to God and ask “how do I get through this?”
We, like David, must turn to God for His answer for our circumstances. What Philistines would come to kill us? It doesn’t have to be a physical enemy, it can be an illness, an authority in certain situations, the laws of the land over us, money, or our thoughts. It can be physical, emotional or spiritual.
David said “I will go enquire of God”. That was his first action – to turn to God. Do we enquire of God? When we face our Philistines, do we first turn to God? The invading force is coming, regardless of whether we take it to God or not.
We read how David waits for God’s response. He knows there needs to be an answer or response from God. David knew he had to deal with things the way God wanted him to. In the same way, we need to wait for the answer to come from Him. Otherwise, we end up stepping out in our own strength.
We see the results of this faith in verse 11 – God broke through his enemies like a breakthrough of water. In the New Living Translation we read:
He used me to burst through my enemies like a raging flood!
God breaks through like a raging flood! God can break through and dissipate any problem. God can come through in such a way that whatever it is that is against us is left with no power at all.
After the victory, we read that David gave God the glory and then burnt the gods of the Philistines. They might have been ornate and valuable, but still David burnt them. He acknowledged that God alone had given him the victory, and he ensured that all the glory went only to God. He was obedient to the commands in Deuteronomy to burn the gods.
Do we want a blessed life? Do we want a prosperous life, do we want a life connected with God ? If so…
We need to keep on doing what God tells us. We need to keep bringing back our troubles to Him. We need to give Him and Him alone the glory.