Thursday, July 5, 2012

Praise - Take 5 David

Some of the readings: I Chronicles chapters 11 through 29.

Have you ever seen a warrior such as David? He was courageous from his youth when he killed the lion and bear while shepherding. He was the hero in David verses Goliath. He was a splendid harpist. He was a remarkable psalmist. He loved God. He was a fast thinker and a quick runner. Otherwise Saul would’ve killed him. He fled from Saul and knew how to hide.  He was exiled due to Saul’s jealousy. He feigned insanity. He was good looking. He loved women. He sure knew how to pick them. He was too busy for his many children. He brought about many great victories for Israel. He deciphered friend from foe. He demanded respect. He set up temple worship. He made extensive preparations for the temple building. He constantly praised God. This list is far from complete. Have you ever seen such a hero?

Imagine for a moment that you are a refugee. No, wait. Let us back up a bit. Imagine that God made a promise to you like David and the kingship. Everything is peaceful. Then you sense a spiritual shift. Opposition comes at you from every side. Instead of finding yourself running towards achieving the promise, you find yourself being pushed far, far away. Every time you come out alive from each situation, you anticipate death to overtake you at the next ordeal. You look around you at your companions and notice all the misfits of the world are commiserating with you for you alone understand them. A year approaches and passes by without finding you a place to call your own. Someone is constantly seeking your life. Tears are your best friends. You struggle to stay away from the darkest place in your soul. The saddest thing is: you did not do anything to deserve any of these circumstances. You learn to fight. You learn true heroism. You learn to pray. You learn to praise God for in Him is the real victory.

One of the themes in the Bible is the promise one. After a promise is made by God, a person or a group of people enter the wilderness. This wilderness does not have to be a real place like in the Exodus story. It is mainly internal where God is testing and pruning. Some make it to the other side and God brings His promises to fruition. Some die in the desert without any fulfilled promise. Which one are you?

Rulers persecute me without cause, but my heart trembles at your word. I rejoice in your promise like one who finds great spoil. Psalm 119:161-162.

Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: your promise preserves my life. Psalm 119:49-50.

Thomas Kinkade Painting

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