Friday, May 17, 2013

The Making of a Man of God

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Friday, May 17, 2013:  I Samuel 20:1-21:15

Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and went and said to Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my iniquity, and what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?”  I Samuel 20:1 (NKJV)

There are two processes that are essential in the making of any man or woman of God.  They are 1) tearing down, and 2) building up.  Another way of stating this would be REMOVAL and ADDITION.  God wants to ADD to us.  But sometimes (really always) He removes things even as He add things.  Repentance and faith go hand-in-hand.

David had a high calling on his life.  Samuel had anointed him as the future king of Israel (I Sam. 16:13).  The obvious favor of God was on David.  Because of his successes on the battlefield and popularity among the people, King Saul promoted him to the top military position in the kingdom (I Sam. 18:5).  He had everything going for him including marriage to the King's daughter.  Because of his triumph over Goliath, was exempt from paying taxes for the rest of his life.  David had it good!

Then the "tear down" process began.  Just as it seemed everything went right for David, suddenly everything starts going wrong.  He might easily have felt that spiritual warfare was kicking in big time, and the devil was trying to rob him.  But really, behind this "tear down" process was the hand of God Himself.  God was at work in FIVE NEGATIVE DEVELOPMENTS that were integral to the making of one of the greatest men of God in the Bible.

1.  David lost his POSITION.

One minute he was a hero, the next minute he was a zero.  He went from executive to fugitive.  The worst part of this dramatic fall was the knowledge that he had done nothing wrong.  The loss of position strikes deeply at a man's sense of self worth.

2.  David lost his WIFE.

David's wife found herself in the cross-fire between her father and her husband.  Initially, she helped her husband (I Sam. 19:12-14).  But, when her Daddy arrived, she fabricated a lie.  She switched sides and betrayed her husband (I Sam. 19:17).  Her marriage to David never fully recovered from this crucial moment.

3.  David lost his MENTOR.

When David fled from Saul, he made a bee-line for Samuel, his mentor.  But Saul's long arm reached even there.  As a result, Samuel was forced to send David away.  Never again, short of heaven, would these two -- Samuel and David -- meet.

4.  David lost his BEST FRIEND.

The last person on earth that David could trust was his best friend, Jonathan.  By the time David meets Jonathan he is on his last leg (I Samuel 20:1-42).  It is wonderful to know that a trusted friend is rooting for you -- is believing in you -- is in your corner no matter what.  it is also a frightening thing to realize that you are truly alone in your battles.  When he and Jonathan parted ways, he said good-bye to perhaps his greatest advocate.  That had to be painful.

5.  David lost his SELF-RESPECT.

David fall was complete when he arrived at Gath.  Remember, Goliath was David's greatest triumph, and was from Gath (I Sam. 17:4).  So, David flees arriving at the very place he had once defeated.  But even worse, he is forced to "change his behavior" (I Sam. 21:13) in order to survive.  He feigned insanity.  He scratched on the door.  He let his saliva dribble down his beard. This was truly a low moment for this great man of God.

It is also the moment that he wrote one of his greatest songs -- Psalm 34.  "I will bless The Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth."

It is a hard thing to see God reduce you to nothing.  But then it is an awesome thing to see what God can do with nothing!

This terrible set of reversals was only the set-up for the arrival of the Kingdom of God.  David's destiny was rulership.  The path to the throne leads through the valley.  Thank God David had a heart "after the Lord".  He would not quit. He would not stop.He paid the price.

Perhaps you today are somewhere in this "tear down/build up" process, too.  May the God of grace and power strengthen you today for the journey.

Questions to Ponder:  

How are you handling God's tear-down process in your life?

Have you ever felt you are all alone in your journey -- and is that healthy?

Why do you think it is necessary to have a "tear down" season to set up a "build up" season?  Do you think God works that way?

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