Saturday, March 22, 2014
"Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God." I Samuel 30:6
I read these words of encouragement this morning and how they ministered to my soul. David and his men had been with the Philistines, because David was running from Saul the King of Israel, who wanted to kill David. Seeking refuge there, all went well until the Philistines were going to attack Israel.
At that point, the princes of the Philistines decided to get rid of David and his men. So David and his men went back to their camp at Ziklag, only to find that it was burned with fire and all the wives and children had been carried away captive. That is why his men spoke of stoning David.
Could you imagine being in David's shoes. Your whole camp of men are against you, so David goes to the only place he knows that he will find help: to God.
I looked up the word for strengthened in the Hebrew. I wanted to know what it meant to strengthen my heart like David did. Here is the meaning of strengthen: I.to strengthen, prevail, harden, be strong, become strong, be courageous, be firm, grow firm, be resolute, be sore
It comes from the Hebrew word #2388 chazaq.
David and his men ended up recovering all that was lost because God was with David. David passed the test beforehand when everyone was ready to kill him by putting his trust solely in God.
What does it mean to strengthen my own heart in God? Well, today it means for me to believe what He says about me instead of what I believe about myself. When I look at myself, I feel hopeless. But He does not see me that way, praise Him!
I keep thinking He sees me the way I see myself. But God is not like us! He does not know us after our sins, but after the finished work of Christ. This was one of the things David understood, even before the Messiah came. For David understood that God did not see him the way he saw himself. After his great sin of premeditated murder and adultery, David knew that his sins were atoned for and that God did not see him in his sins, for he wrote in Psalm 32:1-2:
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit.
The word for covered is kacah (H3680) and it means: I.to cover, conceal, hide
A.(Qal) conceal, covered (participle)
B.(Niphal) to be covered
Wasn't God's very first act after man fell in the Garden of Eden to cover them with the clothes of skin?
We are brand new creatures in His sight, and every day is a new beginning. (II Cor. 5:17)
Indeed, every moment is a new beginning. We can start over anytime that we need to, and He will never reproach us when we come to Him. I write these things to encourage you, but not only to encourage you, but to encourage myself, for I need to stir myself up by way of reminder.
What encouragement we get from the "weeping prophet" Jeremiah 3: 21-24:
This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
I don't know about you, but I surely need new mercies every morning. To know that I am forgiven by God, so I can forgive myself and then forgive others. Oh, how I need His mercies.