David was a great king. He was a man after God’s own heart. He was a warrior. David’s time on the battlefield, however, was not always a time of victory and parades. There were times in David’s life, particularly when Saul was pursuing him, that he was running and hiding. He was not the pursuer – He was the hunted. Sometimes we feel like that, don’t we? We feel like we’re being hunted down by sin, addiction, bills, worries, etc. We’re running and hiding out in caves of insecurity and doubt. Questioning the purpose of our life and whether or not God even cares about our situation. Other times we do what King David did when he was before the servants of Achish, king of Gath….
David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish King of Gath. So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard. 1 Sam 21:12-13
…. we find ourselves in enemy territory with no place to hide so we do the next thing that comes to mind. We change our appearance. David acted crazy to lead them to believe he was not the man they thought he was. Sometimes we do the same thing. We act crazy. Not ”psycho” crazy – but we do crazy stuff like blending in with the crowd. We change our speech to match those around us. We change our convictions ”temporarily” to better fit the environment.
All out of fear.
King David was a man after God’s heart. To me, that statement always seems strange in a way, knowing some of the mistakes that David made. But it also brings comfort because, even though I can really make a mess of things sometimes, I know God still has a plan for my life. Even though I become afraid and may even doubt God at times, He will restore me and rescue me when I come to my senses and trust His word. Even when I am pursued by some of my greatest foes and feel the need to hide, He will be my hiding place and will defend me – if I will allow Him. Thanks, King David, for showing me that an imperfect man can still reflect the heart of God.
Joshua the warrior. When I think of him I think of a man who was not concerned with pleasing the crowd or trying to blend in with the opinion of others if those people and opinions did not line up with what God promised.
Moses sends 10 spies into the Promised land to see if it was all that they hoped for and to see what people inhabited it. 8 of the spies come back and report that the land is indeed fruitful and beautiful but that the people who live there are giants and too big for them to overcome. Joshua and Caleb bring a different report – yes, the land is bountiful and yes, the people are big, but God will surely deliver them into their hand. Unfortunately the crowd sides with the 8 unbelieving spies (who are later destroyed by God) and they end up wandering the wilderness for 40 years. None of the original people were able to enter the Promised Land with exception to Joshua and Caleb. The rest died in the wilderness.
We as men of God will continually be required to stand against popular opinion and beliefs for the purpose of representing God’s truth and word. At times it may seem that we are believing in the impossible. Others may think we are crazy for choosing to believe God when circumstances look overwhelming and the odds are stacked against us. But when we choose to believe God and stand in the face of opposition, God will always remain faithful. What He promises, He delivers. And many times He does it in a way that lets those around us know – without doubt – that it had to be Him. That’s what it’s all about anyway right? God getting the glory and allowing Him to become famous in our life? Seeking ways to make much of Him and little of us so that onlookers see God when they see us?
Today I encourage you, as I also am determined, to be a Joshua. Be the one who will believe God and take the land He has promised. Even if you think you are doing it alone. Stand. Even if the face of mockery. Believe. Even when the odds seem stacked against you. Take it.
He is the God of Joshua.
And He is the God of you and I.
Strength & Honor
As I was talking with a friend today we discussed how the mighty men – the warriors – in the bible are no different that we are. They were ordinary men. Most of them had jobs, families, responsibilities, and similar every-day problems that we have to deal with today. However, many times when we read about them or hear their stories we view them as a sort of super-hero, special breed of man who God used because of a unique ability or strength. But one look at Gideon and it’s easy to see he was no super-hero, at least not in the world’s eyes. He was a regular guy from a regular family doing a regular job in a regular town. When he encountered the angel, he was not leading an army — he wasn’t even a leader in his family! He was from the weakest of the tribes of Manasseh – and on top of that, he was the least in his tribe! In man’s eyes he was certainly no one special and he was surely no warrior. But in God’s eyes he was the perfect man for the job. In God’s eyes he was already a…. mighty warrior.
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior. – Judges 6:12
The Lord picked Gideon not because of who he was but because God knew He could work through him. Gideon, with all his weaknesses, trusted the Lord and obeyed His direction. Because he did, a great battle was won and God was glorified. That seems to be how the Lord does things. He uses people and situations that seem so helpless or hopeless that the work He does through them demands God be recognized as the Giver.
The next time we feel like we are the least of all those around us, remember that God is searching for those that He can show His power through. Just be available and watch what the Lord can do!
Strength & Honor.
I just finished reading “Real Valor” by author, Steve Farrar.
In his book he follows the character of Boaz throughout the book of Ruth and points out traits that he exhibits that caused him to stand out as a mighty man – a warrior – for God. When we talk of warriors many times we think of those on the battlefield leading great armies into victory beyond all odds. While Boaz’ story did not include him leading mighty men into battle, he was no less a warrior. He was a great protector. He was a redeemer. He was a man of honor.
He was a hero.
Yes, Boaz was a hero – especially to a woman named Ruth. Ruth was a Moabite and Moabites were a rough civilization. They killed their young by sacrificing them in fire. The abused their women. Their minds and culture were utterly corrupt. Ruth had married into the family of Elimelech and was the daughter-in-law of a woman named Naomi. When Naomi’s husband and two sons were killed in battle, one of which was Ruth’s husband, she decided to go back home to Jerusalem and Ruth committed to join her rather than staying in her own country.
Through a God-ordained string of events Ruth met Boaz who treated her very kindly by allowing her to get grain and barley from his field to feed Naomi and herself. He instructed his workers to treat her with respect and not to bother her – even to intentionally leave extra grain for her to pick up. As months passed and through additional blessing and favor from God, Boaz ended up marrying Ruth because he was considered a “kindsman redeemer” due to his relationship to Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law. Boaz made the choice to step up and take Ruth, a Moabite woman, as his wife. They were married and had children, one of which was Obed, father of Jesse, the father of King David.
Because of Boaz’ obedience, he is included in the lineage of King David, and even better, that of Jesus Christ.
In reading “Real Valor” and also the book of Ruth, there are several traits that Boaz had that we as Christian men should consider. Here are a few:
- Boaz followed and obeyed God – he was faithful.
- Boaz’ true character was made known in crisis – and it was honorable.
- Boaz brought security to his family.
- Boaz put others needs before his own.
- Boaz was pure in heart.
So, the question is: Will you be a bozo or a Boaz?
A bozo of a man will put his interests, his career, his desires over those around him – including his family. A Boaz man is steady, well grounded, and listening for God’s direction. He is looking for ways to bless those around him.
Be a Boaz.
Strength & Honor.