I know what most of you will say—my confidence comes from the Lord! Oh really?
The truth is that we seek self-confidence from many areas. Many people find it in their talent or abilities:
I sing amazingly—like an angel.
Everyone tells me what a great preacher, writer, actress, etc. I am.
Everyone ‘likes’ my pictures on Facebook.
I am a beautiful model.
I am successful at my job.
I get straight A’s.
And in Israel, I’m a big shot in the army!
Others get their confidence or self worth from their spouses, their children or friends. Many who are in ministry find their entire worth from what they do in ministry or the nice things that those they minister to, say about them. I know that I am often tempted to measure myself this way—and sometimes it makes me feel good about myself and other times like a failure.
What happens when all that turns against you? How then will you cope?
What if your spouse says, “I don’t love you anymore!” or worse, cheats on you!
What if you are fired from the company where you assumed you were indispensible?
Or you encounter better singers, smarter students and younger, more beautiful models?
What if everyone turned against you? Would you stand strong or panic like Macaulay Culkin in the picture above? Only then could you truly know if your confidence is in the Lord or other fleeting false foundations.
Young David is Attacked
I said all that to get to this. Before David was ever king he found himself in this exact situation. When he and his army returned to their camp in 1 Samuel 30, they found their encampment had been raided and burned to the ground. What was worse, the Amalekites kidnapped all the women and children and surely planned to make them slaves.
You are David! The hero that killed Goliath, the leader of a former ragtag band, now a fighting force and prophesied future king of Israel. If your confidence is in that, then you are in big trouble because right now your wives and children have been kidnapped, along with those of your men and “the men [are] talking of stoning [you]; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters.” (v. 6)
The Bible says that “David was greatly distressed.” (v. 6) Yeah! I guess so. Your whole life is falling apart and now your men want to kill you! Can you imagine the pressure he felt at that moment? In fact, from the Hebrew word for distress, Mitsuka, we also get the word Tsuk, or cliff. The idea is that David felt as if he were on the edge of a cliff—ready to fall—or in his case, get thrown off!
Can you imagine the pressure he felt at that moment – as a failed leader? How do you fall asleep at night or wake up in the morning? How do you find the strength to move forward? I think most people in such a situation would simply quit or commit suicide! It reminds me a bit of the second David, Yeshua, just before going to His death. He was also greatly distressed, but ultimately gave in to the will of the Father.
Fortunately David, too, had discovered the source of courage, strength and self-worth long before any of his public exploits. On the farm, as a boy-shepherd, he had developed a rock-solid relationship with the Almighty. The Bible simply says that in the midst of all this disaster– wives kidnapped, children, too and his men ready to kill him:
“David found strength in the Lord his God.” (v. 6)
If David did not know the Lord—intimately—he would not have been able to trust the Lord in this situation—to stand against all those who wanted to hurt him.
How about you?
My question to you is simply this: Do you know the Lord in this way? Sure it is easy to be self confident and assured when everything is going great. But what if everyone—co-workers, family, friends—turned against you? Could you find peace in the Messiah? Would your first instinct, like David, be to find “strength in the Lord?”
I think for many of us, the answer is no…we would collapse. But why?
We will answer that tomorrow in Part 2.