November 8, 2017

Looking for love in all the wrong places

By: Larry Shaffer

These precious girls are in the African Children’s choir from Uganda. They travel the world with Watoto’s ministry as ambassadors for Africa’s orphans. We attended their concert and also enjoyed having these three stay in our home. From their smiles, you would never know the pain of their stories before Wotato rescued them. They blessed us immensely.  https://www.watoto.com/

Looking for love in all the wrong places

I Samuel 30

David’s motives are not clearly revealed but without seeking God’s guidance, he sought refuge with the king of the Philistines, Israel’s sworn enemies. David found much favor with king Achish but the commanders of the Philistine armies do not trust David. They insisted that he depart and so Achish informed him that he must go. David was back on his own with his small but faithful followers hiding from Saul. But that is really the point, isn’t it? Was David felt like he was back on his own but was he really on his own?

It’s lonely out here

Over and over God made it clear to David that He wasn’t alone. God was with him. God had revealed His protective hand over David’s life time after time. Nevertheless, David sought refuge from the king of the Philistines. Without seeking God’s guidance, David placed his trust in a pagan king, instead of God. So, what did God do? He placed mistrust in the hearts of the commanders and they refused king Achish’s desire to keep David as part of their army. David was sent away. God was working in this way, I believe, to bring David back to Him. Otherwise, David would have continued to cultivate his friendship and allegiance with the enemies of God’s people, the Philistines. This would be like a faithful, American general turning his allegiance from the US to Isis. As deplorable and despicable as this action is by David, God drew David back to Him. But the price David would pay for his sinful turn of allegiance would be great.

I’ve had it

When David and his men returned to their camp, they found total devastation. The Amalekites had made a raid, burned it all to the ground and had captured the women, children and all who were there. David sought refuge from Achish and God responded by removing His protective hand from David’s followers. The men wept until they had no more strength. In their despair, they turned on David and wanted to stone him. There were many, I’m sure, that questioned in private his actions of going to the Philistines. They knew it was wrong, but the chain and command of the army required them to follow. But now seeing this devastating result, the capture of their loved ones, they had had it. They turned on David.

David finally did the right thing. Vs 6 says, “But David strengthened himself in the Lord His God.” Sometimes, God does this to us. He takes our weak, wandering hearts, gives us no options, leads us to the end of our rope and…..with nowhere else to go, we finally turn to God. I don’t know about you, but this has happened to me many times. I’d like to write about how stupid David was to venture out on his own, seeking refuge and comfort in all the wrong places, but I am he. I’ve done it. It makes no rational sense. In our youth and immaturity, our hearts wander. Fortunately, in my old age, it happens to me much less. Surrender to God. Surrender early, surrender often.

Let’s make things right

David turned back to God and God strengthened him and the men were once again inspired to follow David. David inquired of the Lord whether they should pursue the raiders who took their loved ones. God said, yes, pursue them and you will have victory. David did, and God blessed them and gave them victory.  Lord, You are kind to restore us when we wander but there is always a price we pay for the natural consequences of sowing sin and reaping consequences. I once again commend myself to seek You always, submit to Your guidance always and avoid the foolishness of seeking fulfillment in the temporary things of this world. Amen.