And the king said, Thou shalt surely die, Ahimelech, thou, and all thy father’s house. 1 Samuel 22:16.
Men cannot depart from the counsel of God and still retain that calmness and wisdom which will enable them to act with justice and discretion. There is no insanity so dreadful, so hopeless, as that of following human wisdom, unguided by the wisdom of God.
Saul had been preparing to ensnare and capture David in the cave of Adullam, and when it was discovered that David had left this place of refuge, the king was greatly enraged. The flight of David was a mystery to Saul. He could account for it only by the belief that there had been traitors in his camp, who had informed the son of Jesse of his proximity and design.
He affirmed to his counselors that a conspiracy had been formed against him, and with the offer of rich gifts and positions of honor he bribed them to reveal who among his people had befriended David. Doeg the Edomite turned informer. Moved by ambition and avarice, and by hatred of the priest, who had reproved his sins, Doeg reported David’s visit to Ahimelech, representing the matter in such a light as to kindle Saul’s anger against the man of God. The words of that mischievous tongue, set on fire of hell, stirred up the worst passions in Saul’s heart. Maddened with rage, he declared that the whole family of the priest should perish. And the terrible decree was executed. Not only Ahimelech, but the members of his father’s house … were slain at the king’s command, by the murderous hand of Doeg….
This is what Saul could do under the control of Satan. When God had said that the iniquity of the Amalekites was full, and had commanded him to destroy them utterly, he thought himself too compassionate to execute the divine sentence, and he spared that which was devoted to destruction; but now, without a command from God, under the guidance of Satan, he could slay the priests of the Lord and bring ruin upon the inhabitants of Nob. Such is the perversity of the human heart that has refused the guidance of God.
Conflict and Courage p. 167
—–Abigail flew to ____ with the _____ mother last Sunday (God moved things fast – no more foster care!) and she has already fit in beautifully with her new family. She plays with her new “siblings” as if she has known them all her life, a new sister and brother for her. Grandma is there and Abigail’s parents are delighted to see their child’s happiness returning. Debby
About two years after Ron and I were married, we wanted to buy something to live in. Since there were only two of us and we weren’t making much money, a trailer seemed to be a good solution. Up to this time we had been living with relatives.
After work, we began our search. We visited all of the trailer sales lots in town so we could find just the one that was right for us. When the salesman showed us one trailer after another, we began to grow weary. They were all so small. Finally we entered an 8×28 used trailer that had a slide out just big enough for the sofa. “That will give you more room,” the salesman assured. The slide out was shoved in, but he explained how it would look when it was shoved into place. He artfully kept our minds on the good features of the ancient trailer and hoped that we did not notice the problem areas. We were young and inexperienced. We believed every word he said. We had such high hopes and plans. We could see ourselves so happy in our own little home. We visualized years of wedded bliss in this trailer that was now our very own.
After it was set up and we moved in, however, all was not bliss. We began to notice those problem areas that the salesman had hidden. With the slide out shoved into place, we saw what the salesman did not want us to see—a large spot in the floor where the wood was rotten. As we pressed our foot on it, it sunk down ominously. Looking up, Ron saw the cause of the problem—a leaky roof.
Soon it was winter and our trailer developed other problems. With sinking heart, we discovered that our trailer was not made to live in year round. As the Michigan temperatures dropped, we developed more problems. The heater just did not keep us warm. The trailer had no insulation and Michigan gets very cold in the winter. When I mopped the floor, the water froze and we had our own private skating rink until the temperatures got warmer. One day, as I walked into our tiny living room, I noticed that it was snowing—-inside! A fine mist of snow was spraying from around the slide out. I was so discouraged.
Finally spring arrived with all the normal rain. It was like living under a waterfall there were so many leaks in the roof. I placed buckets under them all and miserably huddled on the sofa trying to keep dry. I was thinking rather uncomplimentary things about that salesman who had sold us this “albatross.”
Summer brought its own disappointments. Mosquitoes took over our living quarters. Not just one or two mosquitoes, but clouds of them moved in. We were miserable. If we went outside, we were covered with those blood sucking insects. If we stayed inside, we were covered with those biting creatures. There was no escape. In desperation, Ron pitched his pup tent in the living room, so we could at least sleep in peace.
How much like that crumbling travel trailer are the allurements of sin. The evil one shows us the “good features,” but carefully hides sin’s consequences. Only after we have “bought” his “bill of goods,” do we realize that we have made a grave mistake. Only after being caught in his snare do we see the folly of our ways. With sinking heart we realize that we are bound with the cords of sin— cords that we cannot break. Day after day passes, bringing with it more and more misery.
Praise God! We do not have to stay in that condition. Our Loving Saviour has provided a way of escape. He will break those cords that hold us so tightly in the grasp of the enemy if we ask Him. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 What a great sacrifice! What great love! Think of it. Jesus left the glories of Heaven to die on the cross that we might have eternal life. The adoration of the unfallen inhabitants of the universe meant nothing to Him as long as we were ensnared in the enemy’s trap. His Great Heart of Love filled with “compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.” Lam 3:32
Isaiah foresaw our Dear Saviour’s sacrifice. He says, “He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him, he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Isa 53:3-6
“And spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” Luke 15:3-7 Jesus tells us, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
Let us accept His free gift of salvation, following our Good Shepherd wherever He leads. Let our heart swell with love and gratitude for His great sacrifice that we might be freed from the snares of the devil. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Phil 2:5-13 Amen.