November 12 2022
Today, Saturday November 12
God Prepares Us for Service
“For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places. He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, So my feet did not slip.”
Psalm 18 is a great song and Psalm of praise and victory! In verses 1-3, David begins this Psalm with an expression of his devotion and love for Jehovah. After expressing his devotion, David described his distress (vv. 4-6). Then in verses 7-19, David described how God delivered him from his distress! In verses 20-27, David wants us to know that God rewards and blesses us when we live a life of integrity and obedience.
God is always at work to accomplish His purposes! Even when we can’t see Him, He is behind the scenes providentially and divinely directing people, events and circumstances. What was God accomplishing during those difficult years of Saul's reign? For one thing, He was punishing the people of Israel for running ahead of Him and making Saul king. “Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, "No, but we will have a king over us that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles” (1 Samuel 8:19-20).
Years later Hosea the prophet spoke about this in Hosea 13:10-11: “I will be your King; Where is any other, That he may save you in all your cities? And your judges to whom you said, 'Give me a king and princes'? I gave you a king in My anger, And took him away in My wrath.” God will hold both a nation and a people accountable for rejecting Him and His authority over us. It cost Israel 40 years with having the wrong king.
Another thing that the LORD was doing in His longsuffering over the course of many years, was giving Saul opportunities to repent. But it appears that Saul only grew more proud, bitter, jealous, and vindictive. Over the years, Saul’s heart great harder and harder and finally he had no access to the Lord and had to go to witch for advice. How sad for someone who started out so humble and with so much potential.
At the same time though, the LORD was equipping David for his years of service as God’s anointed and chosen king. God never appears to be in a hurry to accomplish His purposes and He takes time to prepare His servants. Remember God took thirteen years preparing Joseph to save both Israel and Egypt from the devastating effects of a famine. God took forty years to prepare Moses to be a great leader and lead Israel out of Egypt. God took forty years to prepare Joshua to lead Israel to victory in the Promise Land.
The lessons David learned about himself and God during those years of exile helped to make him the man that he was. The images that we see in Psalm 18:28-45, reveal how God is developing a great warrior, a compassionate leader, and a godly man. God is preparing you and me in the same way to obey Him, submit to His authority and accomplish His divine purposes.
The image of the lamp (v. 28) speaks of God's grace in keeping David alive during those dangerous years (Job 18:5-6; Prov. 13:9). It also speaks of the perpetuity of his family and dynasty (Psalm 132:17; 2 Sam. 21:17; 1 Kings 11:36, 15:4; 2 Kings 8:19; 2 Chron. 21:7), culminating in the coming of Jesus Christ to earth (Luke 1:26-33). Because David trusted God (v. 30), God enabled him to run, leap, fight, and defeat the enemy (vv. 29, 32-34, 37-45). He could run through a troop, scale a wall, or leap like a deer up the mountains (see Hab. 3:19).
This is not a glorification of war, for God trained him to fight His battles (v. 34) and protect Israel so they could accomplish His purposes on earth. David did not invade other countries just to add territory to his kingdom. Whatever land he gained was the result of his defeating armies that first attacked Israel.
What is the Lord doing in your life today? Are you willing to repent of your disobedience and your self-will, and humbly submit to God’s plan and purpose for your life? May the Lord help us to do so!
Don’t forget this great promise in Jeremiah 29:11-13, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”