My soul is among lions; and I lie even among them that are set on fire. Psalm 57:4.
Oh, how precious is the sweet influence of the Spirit of God as it comes to depressed or despairing souls, encouraging the fainthearted, strengthening the feeble, and imparting courage and help to the tried servants of the Lord! Oh, what a God is ours, who deals gently with the erring and manifests His patience and tenderness in adversity, and when we are overwhelmed with some great sorrow!
Every failure on the part of the children of God is due to their lack of faith. When shadows encompass the soul, when we want light and guidance, we must look up: there is light beyond the darkness. David ought not to have distrusted God for one moment. He had cause for trusting in Him; he was the Lord’s anointed, and in the midst of danger he had been protected by the angels of God; he had been armed with courage to do wonderful things; and if he had but removed his mind from the distressing situation in which he was placed and had thought of God’s power and majesty, he would have been at peace even in the midst of the shadows of death….
Among the mountains of Judah, David sought refuge from the pursuit of Saul. He made good his escape to the cave of Adullam, a place that, with a small force, could be held against a large army. “And when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him.” …
In the cave of Adullam the family were united in sympathy and affection. The son of Jesse could make melody with voice and harp as he sang, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). He had tasted the bitterness of distrust on the part of his own brothers; and the harmony that had taken the place of discord brought joy to the exile’s heart. It was here that David composed the fifty-seventh psalm.
Conflict and Courage p. 166
When Ronnie Jay was four years old, we lived in a tiny trailer park in rural North Carolina. In a nearby trailer, there was a little boy named Sammy who was about the same age. Most of the time, the two boys played together happily, but there was one habit Sammy had that caused problems between them. Like all little boys, Ronnie Jay would often forget to bring all of his toys inside after he was finished with his play. Sammy would come back over to our place and take whatever toy he wanted. He would put Ronnie Jay’s toys in his toy box and count them as his own.
Eventually, Ronnie Jay would notice that his toy was missing. After hunting for it awhile to make sure that it was not misplaced, we would walk over to Sammy’s house. His mother would get very angry that we would even suggest that her son would do anything wrong. Each time we told her that something was missing, she would close the door for a moment, say she was looking in her son’s toy box, and return to tell us that all the toys were his. We did not argue: there was no point in it. We just tried to keep the two boys apart as much as possible. More importantly, we tried to teach Ronnie Jay to make sure that he did not leave anything outside when he was finished playing with it.
One day when I was away, Eileen saw Sammy’s mother drive away in her car. She grabbed her little brother’s hand and walked over to Sammy’s house to see if he had left any of Ronnie Jay’s toys lying around on the ground of his trailer. When she did so, she noticed that Sammy’s father was outside working on his car. She explained what had been happening to the father. He was saddened by this bit of news, went inside and brought out Sammy’s toy box which was loaded with nicer toys than Ronnie Jay had. He told them that they could look through the box and take whatever was Ronnie Jay’s. He said that he did not want his son to think it was OK to take other’s things and grow up to be a thief.
This made a big impression on Eileen and when I got home she told me what she had learned. Sammy’s mother spent many hours telling us what a great Christian she was, and how bad her husband was because he did not go to church. Yet the husband did the right thing and was concerned for his son’s future. Eileen wondered if the biggest hindrance to the man’s conversion was his wife.
How careful we must be in our dealing with others. The way we live our life can draw others to our Loving Saviour or make them turn away from Him. We must ask ourselves the question posed in this familiar chorus, Can the world see Jesus in you? Can the world see Jesus in me? Do our hearts to Him ring true And our life and service too? Can the world see Jesus in me, in you? Our Dear Saviour commands, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt 5:16
Just before He ascended to Heaven, Jesus commissioned His followers to be witnesses for Him. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8 This is also His plan for us. We are to start their witnessing close to home and from there the gospel message will spread to the entire world. We must daily ask ourselves, “How is my witness in my home, to my neighbors, to my co-workers? Am I concerned for their souls? Am I leading them to my Loving Saviour by my example as well as by my words?
May we, as we behold Him through His Holy Word, be “changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor 3:18 May we “follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness, fighting the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto [we] also [are] called, and [profess] a good profession before many witnesses.” 1 Tim 6:11,12 May our daily prayer be, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Ps 19:14