Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 5, 2015

“Do not fret because of evildoers, … Trust in the Lord and do good”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Samuel Chapter 31.

“1 Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons;  and the Philistines killed Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua the sons of Saul.  3 The battle went heavily against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was badly wounded by the archers.  4 Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword and pierce me through with it, otherwise these uncircumcised will come and pierce me through and make sport of me.”  But his armor bearer would not, for he was greatly afraid.  So Saul took his sword and fell on it.  5 When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword and died with him.  6 Thus Saul died with his three sons, his armor bearer, and all his men on that day together.

7 When the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, with those who were beyond the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities and fled; then the Philistines came and lived in them.

8 It came about on the next day when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa.  9 They cut off his head and stripped off his weapons, and sent them throughout the land of the Philistines, to carry the good news to the house of their idols and to the people.  10 They put his weapons in the temple of Ashtaroth, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan.  11 Now when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all the valiant men rose and walked all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and they came to Jabesh and burned them there.  13 They took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.”    1 Samuel Chapter 31.

———————–

The men of Israel were defeated and humiliated.  “… Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities and fled …”  Verse 7.  And, the Philistines fastened Saul’s body to the wall of Beth-shan.

The men of Israel could have literally and figuratively hid in caves.

But, “all the valiant men rose and walked all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and they came to Jabesh and burned them there.  They took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.”    Verses 12-13.  Although they were defeated and humiliated, they rose up and did good.

We may also experience defeat and humiliation.  But, how do we respond? 

There is nothing wrong with crying and fasting.  We see the righteous do it in Scripture.  But, we also see the limited time of seven days for fasting in today’s Scripture.  And, we also see that before they fasted, they rose up and did good.

Sometimes, we can cry and fast first.  But, other times, like the valiant men in today’s Scripture, we need to immediately rise up and do good (before we cry and fast) even though we may not feel like it.

The summary of all this can be found in Psalm 37:1-3.

“1 Do not fret because of evildoers,
Be not envious toward wrongdoers.
2 For they will wither quickly like the grass
And fade like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.”    Psalm 37:1-3.

Reformed Doctrine can help!

Other doctrine focuses on man and his alleged free-will and continually looks and frets at what man is doing.

But, Reformed Doctrine focuses on God and what He is doing.  Reformed Doctrine pounds the table on God’s sovereignty and that the purpose of God will be established and that He will accomplish all of His good pleasure.

“Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other;  I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure‘; Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass.  I have planned it, surely I will do it.”  Isaiah 46:9-11.

For example, the death of Saul and his sons was not outside of the purpose of God.  We remember it was prophesied just three chapters earlier.  “The Lord has done accordingly as He spoke through me;  for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, to David.  As you did not obey the Lord and did not execute His fierce wrath on Amalek, so the Lord has done this thing to you this day.  Moreover the Lord will also give over Israel along with you into the hands of the Philistines, therefore tomorrow you and your sons will be with me.  Indeed the Lord will give over the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines!”  1 Samuel Chapter 28:17-19.

When we gain that confidence through Reformed Doctrine that the purpose of God will be established and that He will accomplish all of His good pleasure, then it is easier for us to not fret because of evildoers.  It is easier for us to trust in the Lord and do good.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: