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David and Goliath…some thots.

David and Goliath 1 Samuel 17
We have to start with David before Goliath, then we understand David after Goliath.

David before Goliath

He was the least in his father’s house. He tended sheep.
He was busy doing that, when God called him and set him apart through Samuel. David learned a lot about handling people because he spent so much time with those sheep.
He also spent time playing a musical instrument enough that people who heard him play recognized his ability, and when the time was right, told Saul about him. It makes me wonder if David ever minimized what he was doing with those sheep, playing that music to them, and no other audience for so long.
Then the times he had some victories… he killed the lion and he killed a bear. We don’t know anything about that until later. In all the time he is playing for Saul, before Goliath, David never speaks about those victories, until he needed to use them as an illustration of God showing him what to do in the face of danger and adversity. What does this tell us about David’s character? He was not too proud to do menial tasks with consistency. He took even the task of being a shepherd very seriously, to the point that he was willing to risk his own life to guard his sheep.
When David was asked to go and play for King Saul,
he didn’t hesitate,
he didn’t excuse himself,
he didn’t say he was less than…. whatever…
he just went and did it.
It was the next thing to do.
Then the Bible says he went back to what he was doing, but also became an itinerant… traveling to minister to Saul when needed and going back home and tending his father’s flocks the rest of the time. He was divided between two places.
Whenever he was summoned, he did as he was bidden, quickly and efficiently while still making sure his flocks were taken care of at home.
When he got to the battle, even there, he methodically left his stuff with somebody to take care of while he went out to greet his brothers.
Even in the excitement of battle he was careful, methodical. Those habits had to have been built in before now.
He used his relational skills and went out to greet his brothers and talk with them. Knowing who he is from reading his Psalms, I am sure he was simply finding ways to encourage them.

David meets Goliath.

Then Goliath comes strutting his stuff. It says all Israel was fleeing and Afraid…
including his brothers.
David has a whole different assessment of the situation than they do.. Instantly.
It’s like what I’ve read often in Maxwell’s books “leaders see more and they see before other people.”
All the others could see was a big bad man who could defeat them.
David saw a big bad man who was nothing in the eyes of God and must be defeated because he was mocking God!
The men of Israel said. “Look at that guy!! He’s scary! He’s big!! He’s bad!!
But boy if you can kill him you’ll get riches and honor and all those kinds of wonderful things.
David, however, saw it differently. He asks, “What will be done for the man who takes away the dishonor of Israel?” His Focus was more on honor and righteousness than it was the man or on riches.
It is interesting how quickly his brother Eliab gets angry. Fear genders anger.
The individual, as a member of his family, who should have been supporting David, was the first person who attacked him.
David answered righteously, “What have I now done? Is there not a Cause?” Accusations harden the will, questions prick the conscience!
After he has to deal with that attack from family, he asked the others the same question and they all answered in fear. No one stood with David at this point. But some of them were brave enough to go and tell Saul what he was saying.
They recognized a leader and they put him before the king who could use him.
Saul sends for him.
David says he’ll take on the task.
Saul points out all the negatives.
David is not dissuaded. Instead, He remembers All the Way God has led him thus far and draws on it. At this point, David does speak up and mention other things that he was able to do in the strength of the Lord: killing The Lion and the Bear.
He knew he had taken on other challenges and God had given him the grace to overcome. He used these examples to show Saul that he knew he had an advantage. David focused on the victories in his life, not the defeats. David did not allow the fact that he was the youngest in his family and devalued by his brothers to prevent him from doing what God had called him to do. He simply focused on the task at hand and did it to the best of his ability.
 When Saul agrees, David initially submits to Saul’s suggestion to try to use his armor. But then David clearly demonstrates that using that armor is not going to work, and steps out and does things the way he knows it will work for him.
Saul, a man in a powerful leadership position over him, gave David a suggestion that was not good and David had the courage to simply say “I can’t do this, because it’s not the way I have learned how to do things. I won’t be effective doing it your way.”
To Saul’s credit, he let David do things the way he knew how to do them. He had the foresight to recognize he had a competent man standing in front of him!
David had the confidence to say, “I appreciate your suggestion, but I have to do it the way I know I can.”
He picks up his slingshot. He picks five smooth stones. He was exhibiting some interesting foresight at that point because Goliath had four brothers. So if he was going to take down Goliath, he was also anticipating that he might have to take down his four brothers as well. It wasn’t just looking at the current obstacle, he was anticipating other obstacles that could come and prepared for them too.
When Goliath taunted him, David came back with truth because he knew he would win. He had the power of God with him so he spoke the truth and then he made it happen.
He RAN at that Philistine. No fear just action!… Knocked him out with the stone and then cut off his head.

David After Goliath

Once he demonstrated these strengths as a leader, Israel regained courage and took on the Philistines defeating them.
David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Saul so all Jerusalem could celebrate, but he did keep some important things as memorials in his tent. The sword or Goliath.
The thing that’s amazing to me is Saul has had David coming to play for him for a while now, but he still turns to his commander Abner and “says whose son is this kid?”
When David is brought by Abner, to the king and he stands before him with that head in his hands, he just quietly says, “My dad is Jessie your servant.”
No arrogance, just a simple statement of fact.
It is at this point that God gives David a friend for life who is the other side of his soul… Who goes to him in the wood when he is discouraged, who defends him before his father the king and who strengthens his hand in God.
What’s interesting here is even after this battle, David simply just continues to do what he supposed to do every single day, but he does start getting put into more challenges.
And very shortly after this, he is put on the run from Saul to a point of obscurity for a period of time to develop his maturity.
And I can’t help but think Israel was not ready to have David as their King yet either.

Statement of Faith.

Statement of Faith

This page affirms and teaches:

  • the inspiration of the Bible (both the Old and the New Testaments) 2Ti 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work.
  • the creation of man by the direct act of God; Genesis 1-2
  • The fall of Man passing sin to all men Genesis 3 and Rom 5:12 Therefore, even as through one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed on all men inasmuch as all sinned:
  • the incarnation and virgin birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; Luke 1-2, Matt 1-2 Isaiah 9:6
  • His identification as the Son of God John 8:58
  • His vicarious atonement for the sins of mankind by the shedding of His blood on the cross Romans 5:8
  • the resurrection of His body from the tomb
  • His power to save men from sin; John 3:16 Rom 5:10-11 For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation.
  • the new birth through the regeneration by the Holy Spirit; Romans 10:9-10
  • and the gift of eternal life by the grace of God. John 3:16, Titus 3:5

 

Beside Gentle Streams Music CD

This collection of 17 vocal and instrumental pieces is designed to comfort the hurting or discouraged heart. It is set in the classical sacred music style with pieces that will soothe the mind and body. Cost is 12.99 US plus shipping.  You can pay with any credit card or click buy now to be redirected to PayPal. or if you prefer, contact me directly for information on how and where to mail a check. Ruth.meed@gmail.com.  For Canadians, the cost is close to $17.00 by the time you figure in exchange rates and you can send Interact transfers to the above address as well.

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When someone thinks they needed you and you did not do what they wanted.

I was reading a blog today that talked about dealing with the accusations of someone who was demanding attention and the blogger discussed the fact that the individual who was attacking was essentially not trusting God enough.  Having experienced some things in my life these are my thoughts.

Several topics are needing to be addressed here, Forgiveness, trust, boundaries, true love, confrontation, blame-shifting, mercy.

Having experienced my own situations like this and unfortunately once being the one making the accusations I have a double-sided perspective on this that has caused me to pursue answers. These are things I have learned.

When someone accuses me I start by asking a very important question.

  1. Am I guilty of this selfishness that has been levied against me. If so, how must I change and be more Christlike? If not, how must I carefully confront the sin? You can’t do this till you ask some careful questions because “he who answers a matter before he fully hears it is a fool..” Proverbs 18:13
  2. Have I misread her confusion as accusation. 1Co_2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? There are situations where people genuinely do not know how to engage in relationships and I need to be willing to deal with some anger to help them see how to relate as adults but only if they are demonstrating the humility to change and look at their relational misunderstanding. I was in a situation once where I was seeking counsel and at a time of very real need and confusion reached out to someone who said she would help. She left me hanging instead of following through on her commitment. It left me confused because she had invited me to ask.  When I came back with a hurt, questioning email (never a good idea BTW– go talk to people who say they care at that level and Biblically go back again with someone else if you can’t get resolution Matt 18) she accused me of manipulation. I can honestly say, as God is my witness, because of the things I was dealing with, that manipulation was the farthest thing from my mind. I needed genuine help.  That accusation devastated me.  To discern this takes two things.. Patience and careful questioning.  The next time this happened the new person was more mature and wiser and started asking questions and went to the root of my confusion knowing what she was really dealing with (first by not assuming I was intent on evil thinking) and with genuine loving, carefully-crafted Biblical questions and guidance helped me gain a whole new level of understanding in relationships.

I have also been in relationships that despite continual attempts to help them see and change, they refused and asserted their rights.  Then the Word of God is also clear. (More below)

  1. Forgiveness cannot be granted unless it is asked for on the human level, otherwise every person on this planet gets to go to heaven, no matter what, because God is the ultimate forgiver. So what does this look like biblically?

Forgiveness is first Vertical. Mar 11:25  And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Mar 11:26  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.  Before God I choose to hold no animosity towards this person. We all MUST do this. This means letting go of my right to retribution before God where He can truly make it right.

Forgiveness is also Horizontal. Luk 17:3  Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

That means I rebuke the other person (in a spirit of meekness knowing I can also be tempted Gal 6:1) But s/he also has to repent. Which means s/he has to ask for forgiveness before I can grant it.  This does not mean I am holding on to anything because I already placed it before God. It simply means that I can’t say “I forgive you” to someone who does not ask for it.  God does not forgive us until we ask Him.  A very important point here is the term “repent” which means change your mind AND change your direction. If people ask for forgiveness but they make no attempt to change, they have NOT repented and you need to consider if you should “cast them out” (Proverbs 19:25; 22:10) of the ability to associate with you or if you are “casting pearls before swine and they will rend you”(Matt 7:6) so you must flee if they continue in sin. (More under boundaries below).

  1. Forgiveness is not a one-time act. It is an ongoing choice to not engage in negative thoughts about that person and as things are triggered, even when they are not there, we have to choose once again to take it back to God until it no longer triggers us.  For some that is a once or twice process because the wound is a skin scrape. For others it is an ongoing process because the wound is deep, like heart surgery, and like a physical wound, needs time to fully heal.  Modern medical research has shown that the same area of the brain is activated when you suffer an emotional wound as is activated when you suffer a physical wound. Emotional wounds do leave scars inside that need to heal. They cannot be seen but they are VERY real!
  2. Thankfully God has never commanded that we trust anyone but Him. Trust is earned and can be broken. Once broken it must be re-earned and as Proverbs 18:19 says “a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city.” There is a reason for this!  It is not about the brother being bitter. It is because offenses deeply wound and healing takes time and can be very hard to do.  This is completely separate from Love. Unconditional love is NOT the same as unconditional trust and just like you don’t cast your pearls before swine, you do not trust someone who has not earned it by long use and reliability. Or a demonstration of true repentance in action.
  3. Healthy relational engagement means that at times we have to say “no more!” Jesus got away by Himself at times. He eluded the angry, accusing crowd. He confronted the accusing Pharisees. In Acts, Paul escaped in a basket from his accusers. He confronted his accusers as well. More examples are in the Word. The verses “They went out from us because they were not of us (1 John 2:19).” and “cast out the scorner so contention will cease.” (Pro 22:10) come to mind here.  We hate to call a fellow believer a scorner, but at times this is actually the case.
  4. True love does not allow sin upon a brother. (Lev 19:17) Love is not all mushy. It is compassionate and it is also. It is also neutheteo, (the greek word “admonish” in Romans 15:14 I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another) means able also to exhort one another and means at times confronting Jude 21-22 says “on some have compassion making a difference.” But it also says “others pull from the fire, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.”  Compassion comes first but repeated unrighteousness needs to feel the fire.
  5. Questions prick the conscience, accusations harden the will.
  6. One of the most gracious experiences I have ever had was when I reacted in anger to another person’s failure to follow through and she responded in anger back, initially, but later came back to me and did what I would consider over restitution for the offense because she cared more about the relationship then her agenda to prove I was demanding too much. I needed to learn that, I, in fact, was not considering everything that was on her schedule and needed to think more of what she needed. She put so much value on the relationship that she sacrificed later in a way that greatly humbled me!  It taught me a whole new level of what love looks like!  It let me know how much more I NEED to learn of what AGAPE looks like. She did this because she knew I was invested in truth and in the relationship with her as fellow believers. She would not do this with someone who was unrepentant.

Just my thoughts😉

From the beginning of the next book in progress.

A “Faithfulness of God” Walk through the Bible

Why this book?

Psa_40:10  I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.

Why a book on the faithfulness of God?

What qualifies anyone to write anything about God?  Truly nothing does. We are in and of ourselves frail flesh and our loftiest ideas are chaff in God’s eyes apart from the cleansing blood of Jesus washing us and giving us the mind of Christ. 11Co_2:16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. And of the making of many books there is no end (Ecc 12:12)  In my life I have learned that simply reading the Word of God daily is enriching but also doing subject studies and finding a path through God’s Word related to a subject is another delightful way to grow in understanding the many ways God presents Himself to us.  I have found books like Andrew Murrays “Waiting on God” that simply studies the subject of Waiting on God from verses with that phrase, to be enriching and to spend a month on a theme simply cements that truth into my heart at an even deeper level. Knowing this I have done so with other phrases or passages. For example, I have this dear friend who challenged me to read 1 Thess 5 daily, for a month, when I was going through a difficult time. As I did, God opened my eyes in all new ways to the riches of what I needed to learn of Him in that one passage.

I first got interested in this particular topic study of the Faithfulness of God back in 2005 when I was teaching in the public schools of Greenville County. My pastor suggested doing a word study on the phrase “God is faithful.” I took the time to look up the verses at that point and found that study to be very encouraging to me. We talk a lot about God being faithful but we often don’t talk about what God is faithful to do or How He is faithful! This became an enriching exercise for me to trace and find out what exactly the Word of God says on that subject. Another thing I have learned from teaching is that it is not about me coming up with proof texts and ideas to share with people. But rather taking what God is drilling into my heart and sharing the verses with others and as I have done so, God takes His Word and makes it grow in theirs as well. In 2006 I went to Cameroon and was asked to do a Ladies Bible study.  Knowing how it had grown me to look more at my Savior’s faithfulness, I shared the verses with those wonderful Cameroonian ladies. We were all greatly enriched with that study as they talked about how these simple yet profound verses about God’s faithfulness had been evidenced to them when they considered the different scriptures and the stories in their lives of how God had made His Word and Himself real to them.

When I became sick in 2010 and was completely incapable of working for 7 months, I was cleaning some paperwork out one day and found that study again. It was deeply enriching and encouraging to once again review that truth in those days. When I thought about doing a book project, God immediately impressed on my heart this study again.  If God was wanting me to write, then He could dictate what subject to start with. Asking my friends Rebekah and Brenda to add their comments in and write their stories was a natural Segway. Both of them have learned what is it to dwell on the faithfulness of God through their own unique trials and challenges and have learned how to demonstrate an absolute trust that God was faithful to them even when human frailty and reason seemed to demand otherwise and have responded back in incredible faithfulness to the Lord.

Just this last summer I was asked again to teach a ladies’ Bible class and immediately felt God impressing me to revisit this subject again. I love that God’s Word is unchanging and fits every season of our lives. Once again the feedback was that it was timely and encouraging.

So the purpose of this book in my mind is simply to present each one of the biblical references to God being faithful, talk about how He’s faithful based on that context and then share real-life illustrations of how God has demonstrated His faithfulness, often in spite of our weakness and unbelief,  as single and  married women, and as people with varying levels of illness and other challenges. As individuals who have exalted in how God demonstrates His incredible personal love, steadfast love, and faithfulness. We decided to develop this into a devotional that could be read a day at a time where you could slowly learn and digest the meaning of each of the verses, in their context and how it applied to us and hopefully to you.

We invite you to Walk Through the Bible with us as we learn in a whole new way God’s faithfulness and how He demonstrates it.

About Me

I was born the first of twin girls in Ethiopia, back before ultrasound etc. So no one knew my parents were having twins but God and my mom who dreamt twice that she was carrying twins.  At age 9 I moved with my family to Ontario, Canada (that was a traumatic time in my life that I will develop more in other blogs or books) and then on to New Brunswick, where I finished my school years. I earned a Diploma of Biblical and Theological Studies from New Brunswick Bible Institute, (spent a year working with a foster family in this time, more stories) a BA in Counseling from Washington Bible College, an MAT in Special Education, and MEd in Biblical Counseling from Bob Jones University. I am a “Highly Qualified” certified Special Educator. I am a John Maxwell Leadership Certified coach and speaker. (Those credentials simply tell you I believe in hard work to develop and grow as a leader and that it takes a lifetime to do it.)

Adding value to people through Local Community and church ministry has been my life mission, including opportunities for the service to the Lord as an AWANA youth club leader/Director, and singing in choirs and other music groups. My experiences include: acting as the resident social worker in a group home for girls in Manchester, NH, (more stories to come) teaching in Greenville County, SC (lots of stories ) and Bob Jones Academy in Special Education Classrooms, 3rd-8th grade, and most recently as an Assistant Professor of Education in the Special Ed Division at Bob Jones University, for a total of 25 years teaching and making a difference in the lives of people young and old.

During the last seven years, significant health challenges have given me a toolbox of perspectives on the meaning of suffering and endurance. I still travel speaking and consulting at various venues in North America on a restricted basis and has also traveled to Africa to teach as God gives strength.  I am also taking the reams of writing I have done in the past few years and working on getting it into books for people to read.