Vol. 8-07 – 02-12-2023 – Does God Really Hear; Who do You Trust?
Who do You Trust?
And when the people came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.” –1 Samuel 4:3
Some of our politicians say, never let a crisis go to waste. Are the decisions governments make always the best? Can we trust them? It is not unusual for us to misplace our trust, even when we know better. Government is very weak in our time, being foundational for the people and by the people—those elected do not seem to be interested in the people who elected them, just their newly acquired powers.
If we are a student of history, we know weaknesses of governments are not a new issue. Our passage is from a few years back (1051 B.C.). 😊 There was a crisis. The Israelites prepared for war against the Philistines—a challenging nation. If you are a reader of Scripture, you remember when the shepherd boy, David, faced a 9’ tall warrior, Goliath.
So, Israel pulls out one of their secret weapons, the strategic armament of their time—a golden box. The Ark of the Covenant. The box contained artifacts of Almighty God. How could they not be victorious in this crisis? But they treated it like their lucky rabbit’s foot.
Did you really read their thinking? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies. No thought of seeking what God would have them do. No thought of what might honor Him. No thought of following His Word; His covenants.
How so much like the Israelites we are!
So, they made these claims that they would continuously serve the omnipotent God, instead of calling upon Him for His grace and mercy, they trusted in a golden box. The Philistines defeated the Israelites—soundly. Nations do not always make the right choices. When the U.S. entered into Civil War (which was not very civil), entered a war with Vietnam, entered a war with Afghanistan, and had long sieges with others, were they relying on golden boxes? Were the outcomes beneficial for the people?
When financial crises came to our country, what did we learn? We learned to repeat them. When pandemics came to our country in 1918, what did we learn? If COVID is a teaching pandemic, we have not learned much from our history. What is said regarding history? If we do not learn from it, we are very prone to repeat it.
What is the other choice? We can trust in the living Almighty God.
The good outcome for the Israelites was that following their defeat they repented for their mislaid faith. They sought God’s omnipotent protection as they should have at the beginning of their war with the Philistines.
God calls us, and expects us, to be good stewards. To be a people that when we get off track to run to Him for restoration. To recognize Him as our ultimate provider. We do not need a gold box; we need the kind of relationship with God that speaks of His value for us.
How are we doing?
Does God Hear?
In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God, I called. From His temple, He heard my voice and my cry came to His ears. –2 Samuel 22:7
Yes. God hears us
Donna and I have had the privilege of raising four sons. Then we received the gift of daughters (through our son’s marriages). When our sons were small, they would wake up in the night and cry out. When I think back on that, I should have expected that. Waking up in the middle of the night, in the dark, with the deafening quiet, except for some strange sounds they did not understand, produced great discomfort.
When that happened, it would jerk us suddenly awake. And up. And quick to be at their side. I will confess that it was often Donna who was first at their side. That should not have been. But you cannot go back and correct things.
Cries say something. 1) Something is bothering me; I think you should know about it; 2) I am lonely, and I do not know where you are; I need you; 3) I am frightened; don’t you care? I am sure that a parent out there can make this list longer.
Is David like that? Does he cry out to Almighty God in that verse above? Yes. Did God respond? Yes.
Because he holds fast to Me in love, I will deliver him; when he calls to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. with long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation. –Psalm 91:14-18
David, the writer of many Psalms is reflective. He details what God has done, particularly in his life. David writes in reflection of what God has said. The greatest experiences for David are those times when God responds to his faith.
Is that your experience? God is not our bellboy; He is the sovereign, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, Almighty, and True God. He is much more.
The Scriptures are replete to invite us to trust in God; to spend time in our relationship with Him. Speak to Him.
He, God, knows everything we need to learn. He is able to prepare us for every crisis in life.
The question, then, will remain: how do we live this Christian life? There are so many puzzles and situations. How do we approach them?
Why is it that when we pray, we become instructive to Almighty God? Not only do we bring Him our concerns, but we also tell Him how he should resolve them. We even schedule His activities and responses. Have you done that?
There are times in His infinite wisdom, God chooses to delay His response to our cries. He knows our every need to prepare for life ahead. He could give a thought and take care of things for us, but He wants us to grow in our faith.
Maybe we need strengthening. Maybe we need to learn patience; how to wait. Maybe the answer will come as you meet that individual that needs to see faith in action, to turn their own life over to Christ.
Maybe He simply says yes. Maybe He says no; you can trust in His no as well. He may say wait.