Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The CURE For Discouragement

And David was greatly distressed…but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God" (1Sa 30:6).

The context is very solemn, showing that the best of men-are but men at the best.

Seeking help from the ungodly, David had placed himself under obligation to the king of Gath.

He had pretended to be a friend of the Philistines, and the enemy of his own people.

Accordingly, Achish determined to make use of David and his men, in the attack he had planned upon Israel.

But the Lord turned the hearts of the other "lords of the Philistines" against David (1Sa 29:2-7), and Achish was obliged to dispense with their service, so that they were allowed to depart.

Unconscious of the sad disappointment awaiting them, David and his men made for Ziklag, where he had left his wives and children.

Arriving there on the third day, "When David and his men came to Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 

So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep" (1Sa 30:3-4).

That was an experience calculated to overwhelm the stoutest soul.

Arriving at the place where he had left his family and possessions, the city was a mass of smoking ruins, and those whom he loved were not there to welcome him.

Broken-hearted over this calamity, further trouble now came upon David, for his men murmured and mutinied, "for the people spoke of stoning him!" (1Sa 30:6).

They blamed their leader for having journeyed to Achish and leaving Ziklag defenseless, and for provoking the Amalekites (1Sa 27:8-9), who had thus avenged themselves.

To add to his grief, David knew that his own folly had brought down upon him this sore chastisement of the Lord.

And David was greatly distressed. He had cause to be so! Never before had he been called upon to drink so bitter a cup. 

What, then, was his reaction?

Did he yield to his sorrow and sink into abject despair? No!

He "encouraged himself in the LORD his God." That was where he found relief: that is the grand remedy for faint-heartedness!

David had sinned grievously-but conviction and contrition were now wrought in him. 

First, then, he took heart from the mercy of the Lord: 

God had promised His people that "if they shall confess their iniquity" and "be humbled" and "accept of the punishment of their iniquity," He would "remember" His covenant with their fathers (Lev 26:40-42).

It was on that ground he now acted: "David encouraged himself in the LORD his God"-that is, his covenant God.

I acknowledge my sin unto you…I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and you forgave the iniquity of my sin (Psalm 32:5).

However low the saint may fall, if he humbles himself before God, and confesses his sins, he may encourage himself in the divine mercy, for "the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting" (Psalm 103:17). 

Second, he encouraged himself in God's righteousness: 

 I know, O LORD, that your judgments are right, and that you in faithfulness have afflicted me" (Psalm 119:75...and that took the sting out of it.

Third, David encouraged himself in God's goodness:

He reviewed God's favors to him in the past, and recalled how often He had delivered him from trying situations.

Fourth, he encouraged himself in God's omnipotence:

Realizing that nothing is too hard for Him, no situation hopeless unto His almighty power, assured that He was able to overrule evil unto good, and to bring a clean thing out of an unclean.

Fifth, he encouraged himself in God's promises:

He "hoped in God" (Psalm 119:74), counting upon Him to undertake for him.

When we are at our wit's end-we should not be at faith's end-but trust in God's sufficiency.
David had sadly departed from God-but now he turned unto Him in penitence and faith.

Nor did the Lord fail him:

Read the sequel (1Sa 30:7-8) and behold how God enabled him to overtake the Amalekites and recover "all" (1Sa 30:18-19)!

When discouraged, encourage yourself in the Lord your God!

~Arthur Pink~

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