Friday, May 20, 2022

Empty Bag

"Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine."  (1 Samuel 17:40)

I am an organizer. I'd like to prepare in advance, arrive early and be ready. It's the administrator in me.

David, a young man, was sent on an errand to bring lunch to his brothers at the front line of a battle. This young man had no fear and it seemed like no concern about delivering food to the frontline.

I wonder how I would have prepared. Perhaps I would have packed my own lunch just in case I was delayed. Take plenty of water and have my camo gear on!

David is on a mission from the Lord, and he doesn't even know it. His lunch delivery will be intercepted, and David will be used by God to bring victory to Israel and glory to the Lord!

Preparation and planning is a great quality to have nevertheless when God is doing something in us and through us we must remember he will accomplish what he started. He will do it with our empty hands and everything at his disposal.

David had a lunchbox not a sword.

God will accomplish what he wants even if it seems we are unprepared. King Saul tried to help him and offered his armor. But the armor was too big. David rejected the armor.

David was a young worshipper and a psalmist. We know he was anointed by God because Saul himself called for him when he was tormented by an evil spirit, and the evil spirit left.

He honored God and acknowledged God’s authority as he spoke to the Philistines. “David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:45-47)

He was a humble shepherd. He verbally recited his resume to King Saul. “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”          (1 Samuel 17:34b-37a)

So, when thrusted into life’s difficulties, why worry? I don’t have to be concerned whether I have planned all things out. Truly I never can.

“Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:40)

David’s reliance on the Lord is noted here. His pouch, the shepherd's bag, was empty. He really was on a lunch delivery run. Nevertheless, he was ready to be used by the Lord.

I guess it was no strange thing for David to go to the brook and grab a few stones and put them in his bag. David picks up 5 stones. But, all he needed was one.

Whatever situation we are in or the one we might face tomorrow, we must in humility acknowledge God in all our ways. He makes the way for us.

For David the enemy was conquered with a stone from the brook. For us it may look a little different.

The battle for us may be won if we keep our tongue in check.

The enemy may be overcome as we quietly pray through our pain and tears. God brings the victory.

Like David the worshiper, the sacrifice of praise brings breakthrough. Though sorrow may last for the night joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4) And sometimes God will use a stone.

God will accomplish victory for himself. We must be willing vessels. He will use frogs, locusts, turn the sky dark, part bodies of water, bring down walls as we shout in praise, 'cause the sun to turn back and provide daylight, and on and on.

We have nothing to fear. Indeed, my God owns the whole earth. (Psalm 24:1) If he wants to use a stone from the river to bring victory for himself, let his name be praised!

Our armor consists of prayer and submission. The victory is his and he provides the weaponry.

Listen, can you hear the river bubbling. Incline your ear as David splashes through the water. No fear. He is listening to the Lord’s instruction. His sandals are wet, his legs are sturdy. He bends down to pick up 5 stones. Perhaps from the distance he can still hear the taunting from the enemy.  He is determined. He takes one stone at a time and places them in his shepherd’s empty bag. He walks away from the brook with his garment wet. He is focused. He marches right back to the front line. His confidence was not in the size of the stone or how many stones his bag could hold. His trust was not in his skill. His faith was in the Lord!


“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.” (1 Samuel 17:45-46a)

God bless you!~Liz  

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Deep calls to Deep

“Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping?
Why don’t you eat? Why are
you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” (1 Samuel 1:8)

A woman in distress. Her longing cannot be met with physical things. Food won’t satisfy; her brokenness comes from a place that only God can mend, and it’s for his glory.

Elkanah meant well. Her husband tried to bring comfort to his wife. She wanted a child. This was something the Lord had to do to bring glory to himself.

Her longing was deep. Indeed, deep calling out to deep.

“The deep of man’s need calleth unto the deep of God’s fulness; and the deep of God’s fulness calleth unto the deep of man’s need. Between our emptiness and His all-sufficiency there is a great gulf. . . . Deep calleth unto deep. The deep mercy of God needs our emptiness, into which it might pour itself. . . . Nothing can fully meet the depth of our need but the depth of His Almighty fulness” (SMITH, JAMES AND LEE, ROBERT, HANDFULS ON PURPOSE FOR CHRISTIAN WORKERS AND BIBLE STUDENTS, EERDMANS, 1971, VOL. 8, P. 11.)

God’s desires cannot be satisfied with earthly or material stuff. It can’t be satisfied with emotions, a temporary “joy-fix”. Other people can't appease the emptiness that only God can satiate. It must be birth from God for God's purposes and use. Elkanah’s questions missed the vast emptiness that God was trying to satisfy.

Are you waiting on God? Then wait. Man cannot fulfill the purpose that God his birthing within us. God does all things well in his perfect timing. Yes we must continue to cry out to him for he put the desire within us and he alone well satisfy it.

“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!” (Psalm 42:11)

Hannah waited and God delivered. She gave birth to Samuel who became a prophet unto God. Samuel anointed King Saul and King David; two men, one after the flesh and the other after God’s heart. King David in all his frailty, mistakes and sin was used by God mightily. He is in the lineage of Jesus Christ the only begotten son of the Father who brought salvation to all mankind.

If you wonder why the struggle is big, that’s because what we do not see is even bigger.

Father glorify yourself in us. We wait on You!

God Bless You!~Liz

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