The Ways of the Safe and Strong

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One morning years ago, I couldn’t get the car engine to start after i pushed the on button. I thought I got the wrong key. Pushed the button 2x, nothing.. then I realised i was stepping on the wrong pedal. Instead of the brake, my foot was on the gas pedal. Whew! The safety feature of the car saved me from going straight into my neighbour’s car across.

God too has his safety devices installed in His children’s daily lives. It’s sad that we often ignore these safety features and go ahead with our own ways only to suffer for the consequences of our choices.

As I read about the life of King Saul and David. I can’t help but compare how these two fought their wars. They both started out small – the least of the tribes, the youngest of the clan, etc. They were both God-chosen kings despite their lowly status.
Yet, Saul eventually decided to take matters into his own hands. His first misstep was being impatient. He couldn’t wait for Samuel to arrive and offered sacrifice himself coz there’s a war to fight. Then his 2nd mistake was to disobey God when he left some booties of the war alive even as God told him to kill everything. His excuse was the people urged him to spare the best of the war loot to sacrifice to God. The lesson to learn from his mistakes is that God desires our obedience more than any sacrifice.

David on the other hand, “strengthened himself in the Lord.” 1 Sam 30:6. David depended on God even as he had to run for his life. Saul wanted to kill him yet again and again, David spared Saul’s life. David always asked God for directions each time he’s faced with his enemies. David had to flee to the Ziklag in the land of the Philistines to get away from Saul. The Amalekites then raided and burned Ziklag and took all the women along with David’s wives and everyone as captives. The men who were with David were distressed they wanted to stone David. How does one feel if his family is taken captive by the enemies and his ‘supposedly’ allies want to kill him? So stressful, isn’t it? Yet David drew strength from God. He inquired from the Lord whether he should go and attack the Amalekites. God answered him as before.

Saul had no such response. Because of his disobedience and self-sufficient ways, God was silent and left him to his own devices. Saul had to ask a medium to call back Samuel who was already dead so he could ask Samuel what to do.
How sad it is that continued acts of disobedience led Saul to this end. He started well – he was humble. He was timid he went to hide when he was anointed king. As time passed, he became self-sufficient, he thought he could do it on his own. He became self-dependent instead of God-dependent.

Not so with David, David depended on God in all his battles. His safety device was God himself. God was with David in all his battles… God kept David safe even when Saul tried so hard to kill him. David did not kill Saul even though he had more than one chance to do so. Eventually Saul was killed by the enemy. David was patient in his trials in life. He depended on God to keep him safe. His trust and obey method is his security measure.

How about you? How about me? What is my security device when challenges in life strike? How do I respond? Do I take things into my own hands? Am I impatient? Where is God when the way is dark and the future uncertain? Am I secure and safe? David strengthened himself in the Lord. The joy of the Lord is my strength. Let me not forget.

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