When the difficulties of life flood in like a storm do you lose confidence in what course or action to take? When I’m overwhelmed with seemingly one obstacle after another I love reflecting on the story of David. It brings a peaceful perspective that always turns to prayer. Anointed by Samuel to be king, David had to wait approximately twelve years before sitting on the throne. And even worse he spent most of that time on the run from King Saul who, enraged with jealousy, wanted to kill David! But . . .

David refused to interpret obstacles as signs of God’s opposition to him; rather they provided opportunities to see what he would do in answer to the prayer of his servant.[1]

Praying for the encouragement that I need to keep going on this dairy and sugar fast is exactly where I have turned. Hurricane Dorian has been threatening my peace and the amount of concern I have for my children who are much closer to it promotes indulgences of the worse kind: eating. And I’m not talking about fruits and veggies! So where do I turn? A previous post I titled NEEDED: Cheering Section but I realized it wasn’t the human cheering section I needed but God Who created food and created me and knows me best. So once again I remembered the example of David . . .

“. . . but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God” (1 Samuel 30:6b, KJV).

He expected to find the resources he needed in the Lord his God. [2]

There are times when we will face giants without any encouragement from the outside world. We might even find ourselves abandoned without the strength to carry on. If you examine the pages of 1 Samuel 30, you discover David returning with his men from battle to find their women and children have been carried away by an enemy. David, still waiting on God’s timing to be king in Saul’s place, seems to never catch a break; now his own men want to stone him. I love this part of the story:

When David and his men arrived back home, they discovered Ziklag empty of inhabitants and burned down. David joined his men in weeping over the tragedy that the enemies of God’s kingdom had caused (cf. Matt. 23:37). David’s supporters then turned on him and almost stoned him giving him trouble on two fronts simultaneously. In his distress David, as usual, strengthened himself in the Lord by relying on Yahweh and inquiring of Him.[3]

Too many times I view the obstacles as a sign of God’s disapproval instead of an avenue for Him to grow my faith or bring about His desired end. What keeps me from turning to Him in prayer and asking to be strengthened in the inner man?

And we further learn that what seemed to be a tragedy was what Yahweh used to help promote David as King in Saul’s place . . .

The Amalekites’ capture of Ziklag at first looked as if tragedy had struck, but later it proved to be a great blessing. In this respect this event resembled David’s whole career. As a result of this victory, the people of Judah came to regard David as the obvious successor to Saul’s throne.[4]

As I move through another year, another September of no dairy no sugar, I’m encouraging myself in the Lord. I do not have the strength on my own, but I certainly know where to turn. There are obstacles all around. It would be easy to give in to a few dozen cookies, but I’m turning to the Lord instead.

From what might you need to fast: food/sweets, your phone, Facebook, television, spending money, coffee or some other “have to have” ruler of your life?

               [1]Joyce G. Baldwin, 1 and 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 8, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 181.


               [3]Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), 1 Sa 30:1.

               [4]Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), 1 Sa 29:6.

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