“So David inquired of the Lord, Shall I go and attack these Philistines? And the Lord said to David, Go, smite the Philistines.”
“Then David inquired of the Lord again. And the Lord answered Him, arise and go…”
“[David asks] Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his [Saul’s] hand? Will Saul come down, as Your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I beseech You, tell Your servant. And the Lord said, He will come down.
Then David asked, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into Saul’s hand? The Lord said, they will deliver you up.”
“And David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them? The Lord answered him, Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them…”
I spent Cohen’s nap time today finishing up the book of 1 Samuel, purple pen in hand. I swear sometimes that Cohen thinks my Bible is a large, strange coloring book. If he’s awake and I am reading (mind you, that’s not often since the boy can create a tornado-like mess in a minute flat) he will grab his crayons and come and sit next to me like, hey mom! let me in on the fun! *grin*
As I was reading and enjoying the quiet the above verses jumped off the page at me.
Direct connection… David had that direct connection with the Lord. As I read about his conquests and battles and running from King Saul, I couldn’t help but picture David as a man in a maze, wondering at each turn which way to go, not knowing the twists and turns and barriers that lay ahead of him. Saul, in the same maze, also wondering at each turn which way to go, also not knowing whether a thorough fare or impassible road block was coming. David stopped at each turn to inquire of God and was given the inside information he needed to make the right moves. In striking contrast, the Lord would not even answer Saul and even Saul admitted this “…and God has departed from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams..”
So Saul made the wrong assumptions and put himself time and time again in a position to be killed (not that David would kill him…) Not even all of the thousands of “chosen” men of Israel could help Saul. David on the other hand traveled with a band of 400 who had gathered to him and were “everyone who in distress or debt or discontented” and still he had great success. Because the issue really doesn’t boil down to who is on your side… unless of course, that “Who” is God.
If God is for you, who can be against you?
A direct connection to inside information.
Isn’t that what we all really need? I was talking with a friend on the phone last evening and that was the sum total of our conversation. She needs the inside scoop on job-related concerns. Should she put out her resume for a higher paying job since her husband will be without a job in a month? Should she stay put and just wait on the Lord to bring something to her? Should her husband use this opportunity to go back to school? I could easily make a list of five things I need to hear directly from the Lord about; some more important than others. Couldn’t you?
As I was stewing on these things this afternoon, the Lord brought another verse to my mind.
(John 16:7) “However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I [Jesus] go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].”
Right before Jesus makes this statement, He was telling His disciples that He would die. He was giving them a heads up about soon-coming events and I like the way the Amplified version says it…“sorrow filled [their] hearts [taken complete possession of them].”
I don’t know about you, but many many times I have thought about how great it would have been to have lived at the time Jesus walked on the earth. I have even wondered if it would have been easier. I have mostly thought that at times when I wanted to hear from God and wasn’t being able to… Gosh, wouldn’t it be great if I could meet God at Tim Horton’s for a cup of joe and a face to face conversation? Then I would know what to do!
Jesus’ followers must have felt the same sentiment when they heard He was going to leave them. Sorrow took possession of them- how could they ever live life without His teaching and His guidance?
They get a pass because they didn’t have the advantage of reading the Bible to get the whole context. They didn’t know who this Helper would be or how He could measure up to having Jesus in the flesh. And yet Jesus promised that His leaving and the Helper’s arrival would be profitable to them…? They must have been left scratching their heads.
Before Jesus when the Spirit came, its described as coming upon people… forgive my Disney-influenced imagination, but in my mind’s eye I see the Spirit coming like a brightt hue that envelopes a person’s body for a period of time making them do things they could not and would not normally do (for a cool example, check out 1 Samuel 19:20-24)
After Jesus died and ascended into heaven, the Promised Helper did come.. and He does just as Jesus said He would,
“But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future].
He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.
Everything that the Father has is Mine. That is what I meant when I said that He (The Spirit) will take the things that are Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.” (John 16: 13-15)
That’s some very good news for those of us in the maze, at yet another fork in the road, not knowing what is around the next bend let alone the next five years of twists and turns. The Spirit well lives up to His name… Helper. He speaks what He hears from God and discloses the pertinent information to us that we need to make the next move in keeping with the will of God for our lives. He prepares us for what is to come. He gives us the whole, full truth.
Today I am thankful for the Spirit who makes His abode in me, who is working so that Christ be formed in me, who teaches and reproves and disciplines me…
…and I am thankful for the life-breathing Word of God which reminds me of the comforting words Jesus spoke to his friends and to me,
“In a little while you will no longer see Me, and again after a short while you will see Me.”
Even so, let it be!