Saturday, March 4, 2017

Seventy-Two Hours

God gave him a banner of victory over his enemies and his life and it only took 72 hours from the lowest point to the highest!
My heart keeps going back to something I read in the One Year Bible nearly a year ago. I’m not exactly sure why on this particular week the Lord seems to want me to remember it but I do and I think it holds profound truth to looking at situations in our lives.
The story involves King David. It is essentially the lowest point in his life. He has battled Saul for a long time. He has hidden in caves. He has been on the run and wondered if somehow he has missed the big picture with God. He has questioned how God can still use him after all this. His life seems to be marked for heartache. God has never failed him before but if he is being honest it looks very bleak.
Despite David doing nothing wrong, he loses his position in the battle. The Philistines fear he will turn on them and demand he be sent back home. David and his men return to Ziklag only to find that the Amalekites have raided it. The area has been burned and everything has been taken captive. David has lost his entire family and even his friends seem to turn on him as they discuss stoning him.
David is left empty handed; he has lost his position, his possessions and his persons. The tragedy is stacking up and he wonders how much more he can take before he is defeated. His life has hit an all-time low. But he has a choice.
David can allow the circumstances to cloud his perspective. He can wallow in fear and discouragement. Surely God is done with him; he might as well be done with God. He can choose, even though he has seen God do the impossible, to give up.
Or David can remember the days of being a shepherd boy and how God specifically choose him for a divine task. He can think of the strength the Lord gave him when He faced a giant named Goliath. He can ponder the many times before God has spared his life and forgiven him for past mistakes. He can choose to serve the Lord no matter what he faces.
If I’m being honest I’ve had that choice before and sometimes I choose to wallow. Sometimes I feel depressed and like it will never get better; like it will never happen. But then I remember all the places and things God has brought me through and I know that my heart belongs to Him. Forever. For Always.
Psalm 86: 11- 13 says, “Teach me your way, Lord, // that I may rely on your faithfulness; // give me an undivided heart, // that I may fear your name. // 12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; // I will glorify your name forever. // 13 For great is your love toward me; // you have delivered me from the depths, // from the realm of the dead.”
I love that line: “I will praise you, Lord MY God, with all my heart.” What if we made that our heart cry?
David’s choice: he remained faithful and leaned on the Lord’s strength. Larry Stockstill writes, “Someone has pointed out that at Ziklag David was only seventy-two hours away from a miracle. Unknown to him, all the years of his running from Saul were about to come to an end. The test was almost over, but the final part of the test was the hardest. Afterward, not only did David recover everything, but he also gained a tremendous amount of wealth. He used that wealth to spread goodwill throughout Judah, and this initiated the process of his becoming king of Judah. What a turnabout from the deep depression of Ziklag” (One Year Bible Devotion May 21)!
God gave him a banner of victory over his enemies and his life and it only took 72 hours from the lowest point to the highest! That little phrase God kept reminding me off: “You may think you have waited forever, but you may be only sev-enty-two hours from your miracle” (Stockstill). Believe it today!
-Only Hope
This story can be found in 1 Samuel 29:1-31:13 through 2 Samuel Chapter 2.

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