When Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, heard that Abner had died at Hebron,
his courage failed, and all Israel was dismayed.
––2 Samuel 4:1
That was the first sentence I saw this morning, when I opened my Bible to the day’s scheduled reading –– a sentence about a man who had set his confidence on a foundation other than God, and felt that confidence crumble when the foundation was removed.
It had seemed solid enough. After all, Abner, the son of Ner, had been the commander-in-chief of Israel’s armies for years. He was the man on whom Ish-bosheth’s father, the first king of Israel, had most depended. He was the man who had led the nation’s armies through campaign after campaign, against all of its enemies. And he was the man who had so proven his worth as a warrior and strategist that even the young David remarked, “Who is like you in Israel?”
But now he was dead. His once so-formidable-form lay broken and limp in the town of his enemy. And as we read up above, the courage of the king who had trusted in Abner now withered and fled, and all his kingdom was dismayed.
Contrast that with these lines from Psalm 60, composed by the poet who would next rule Israel…
Oh grant us help against the foe,
for vain is the salvation of man!
With God we shall do valiantly;
it is he who will tread down our foes.
That poet was David, whom God named “a man after my own heart,” because he understood what Ish-bosheth did not: that any confidence, any courage, would inevitably dissolve unless it were built on trust in the Lord. And how different a history David’s life made when compared with the picture of this trembling king! Which leads me to a devotional thought-experiment…
Take a moment and imagine––really imagine––if the same divinely inspired author who penned the histories of the Biblical books of Samuel were to write about your life too. What would you guess would be written?
When the job you had hoped for doesn’t work out?
When that person you look up to disappoints your expectations?
When your health is threatened by an unwelcome event?
Or maybe the hardest of all…
When everything’s going just the way you like it.
The truth is that whatever you’re facing, whatever your hurdles, whatever you have before you in life, those things are your chance to trust in the Lord. You are writing a history with each moment He gives you.
Pastor Daren Redekopp
p.s. Click here and listen to last Sunday’s sermon on our building a church together in the Lord.
p.p.s. Awaken KIDS is in need of new toys! If you or someone you know might have trucks, dolls, board-games for ages 5 and older, or other new or gently-used toys that can fit in a large storage bin, please hit reply and let us know! We’re especially on the lookout for a newer toy kitchen set.