May 9, 2014

The Lord is full of surprises

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1)

David called the Lord his Shepherd, and from what I know about sheep, this only works if the sheep are willing to be so attached. That is, David had to allow himself to be shepherded. He had to trust the Lord. Instead of allowing fear to keep him from tackling whatever the Lord asked him to do, he needed to rely on God to watch over him . . .

He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121:3–4)

Every child in Sunday school and most all adults know the story of David and the giant, Goliath. David was a mere boy when this large enemy told the army of Israel that whoever could defeat him would be defeating the entire army of the Philistines. The Israelites quaked in fear and mulled around their camp, stymied by this challenge.

Then David brought food to his older brothers, sized up the situation, and connected it to the power of God, his Shepherd. He went to the king and offered to tackle Goliath. Of course King Saul was dismayed for this was just a boy, not a soldier. But David insisted . . .

Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God . . . . The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. (1 Samuel 17:36–37)

We know the rest of the story. God gave David wisdom for his strategy and victory over Goliath. Because of his faith in his Shepherd, David later declared, “For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? — the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless.” (Psalm 18:31–32)

After yesterday’s devotional, I asked God to give me whatever I needed for the major renovations I expected in our house. He put peace and joy in my heart, which in itself is an amazing source of strength. But that was not the only lovely surprise. It turned out that the required repairs will be much less than expected. That in itself was a blessing, but even more, the people who came to do the repairs are absolutely delightful. Three workers came in with tools and a light-hearted, joyful attitude seldom seen in any trade. My heart was filled with thankful praise. They will be back, but instead of dread, worry, anxiety, and tension, my Shepherd calmed me down and then blessed me with this crew. I suspect that they too are sheep that belong to Him.

All I can think of today is 1 Peter 5:6–7 and the song that has been written using these words . . . “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” Amen!

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