Trust in God – Absolutely
By Dennis Huebshman
AT the end of the Judges era (1 Samuel 8), the people wanted a king like the other nations around them. Up to now, they had Judges who ruled over them. Many of the Judges were corrupt and inept. Samuel was actually the last Judge.
God picked Saul to be the first king and told Samuel the people had not turned against him but had turned against God. Saul did ok for short time and then went against God’s will more than once.
a. Did not eliminate Amalekites as was instructed to do. Kept best livestock and king. Samuel ended up killing the king of the Amalekites.
b. Did not wait for Samuel to do a sacrifice before a battle. Did the sacrifice himself which was sacrilege.
c. Later, killed all the priests at Nob for helping David.
d. Saul admitted sins but did not truly repent. Was sorry he got caught.
e. God was not surprised with any of this.
David was a young teenager when anointed king, however he did not take the throne until he was 30. Saul got to know David and became very jealous of him. Here’s Satan in action trying to interfere with God’s Chosen. Saul tried to kill David, so David fled with a group of men away from Saul’s immediate presence.
There were two times David had the opportunity to kill Saul but did not do so. (1 Samuel 24 & 1 Samuel 26) On the first occasion, Saul had entered a cave to relieve himself while hunting David. David and his followers were at back of cave out of sight of Saul. His followers advised David to kill Saul, but he would not, saying it would be a sin to lift an arm to kill the Lord’s anointed. Instead, he cut a piece off the hem of Saul’s cloak. After Saul left the cave, David felt guilty about cutting the robe and called out to him. He told him he could have done him harm but didn’t do so because that was never his intent. Saul mellowed and asked David to go back to Jerusalem with him, but David would not. Saul’s moods were too erratic.
David would have been justified in the eyes of the Israelites if he had killed Saul, but he believed and had faith that God would put him on the throne when the time was proper.
There was one other time when David could have killed Saul, but again refused to harm the Lord’s Anointed. Shortly after this Saul was killed. (1 Samuel 31)
David sinned several times while king, but each time truly repented. God honored this and assured him he would always have a male heir all the way to the Messiah. This is highly unusual, but not for God. Even though God disciplined him, his very serious sins of adultery and murder were forgiven. He did however have problems with his children from then on.
The main theme of this is God honors those who put their faith and trust in Him As with David, we can expect discipline, but if we ask forgiveness He is faithful and just to do so. (1 John 1: 8-10).
Now for some examples of others God honored for their faithfulness.
The first that comes to mind is Joseph. If anyone had a cause to be bitter, it was him. He was next to the youngest of 12 brothers, but was the favorite of his father, Jacob. His 10 older brothers were extremely jealous of him, and when they got the opportunity they sold him for 20 shekels of silver – about 10 less than the Lord was betrayed for.
Joseph was about 17 years old when this took place. Joseph had a strong belief in God, and even though he may have had good reason, he did not lose faith in Him. God gave him the ability to interpret dreams. Even when tempted by Potiphar’s wife, he refused her advances saying it would be a sin against God. Potiphar had Joseph thrown into prison. This was unusual because the punishment for what he was accused of normally was instant and painful death. I believe God influenced Potiphar on this, as well as everyone he came in contact with. (Also, I believe Potiphar knew what his wife’s character really was but had to put Joseph in prison to save face.)
At 30 years of age, Joseph became the second most powerful person in all of Egypt. Because of this, Jacob and all his family (about 70 persons in all) were spared from the famine, and God’s chosen people survived, and are with us today. In this case, God did not act immediately, but allowed Joseph to be a slave for 13 years. The Israelites are still with us today after all these centuries.
Another example of faith is Joshua and Caleb. There were 12 spies sent into the land of Canaan. Even though the majority of the Israelites believed the 10 other spies that said they could not conquer the land, Joshua and Caleb stood fast behind the Lord. As a result, they were the only ones of that generation that were allowed to enter the promised land. After Moses, Joshua became the first actual Judge as mentioned earlier. While he was the leader, the people worshiped Jehovah.
Finally, no study of faith would be complete without talking of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. Here again, teenagers taken from their homeland by force and put into slavery. God helped them find favor with the Babylonians, and especially Nebuchadnezzar. If Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah don’t sound familiar, how about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and the fiery furnace. They told the king they would put their faith in God, and not bow to his idol. As a result, God spared them. We don’t hear about them after this, but I believe they continued to worship to the end.
Daniel is a strong lesson in following God’s will no matter what. God gave him the ability to interpret dreams much like Joseph, and because of this, he was elevated to a high position in Babylon. He served under three kings, and survived attempts on his life. He was also given the ability to foresee the future including the actual day of the Messiah riding into Jerusalem and is one source of end-time prophesy. Even though Daniel did not return to the land of Israel, he was very influential on other prophets of that time and later as he is mentioned in several other books of the Bible. Jesus spoke of a term used in Daniel – The Abomination of Desolation – which comes in the tribulation.
All of these have one thing in common – they trusted and worshiped the one true God. As a result, He gave them Blessings. We were not promised we would be free from troubles and pain, but if we keep our faith in the Father no matter what, we will receive eternal rewards that far outshine the bad. He has made us a promise that if we accept Jesus we will have eternal life. This was not made to just a select few people, but to ALL who call on the name of the Lord. (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13)
It would be remiss of me not to mention I believe we are very close to the time when the Shofar/Trumpet will sound with the shout of the Arch Angel calling all true Believers to meet the Savior in the air. (1 Thessalonians 4: 15-17) This is the Rapture and only believers will be involved in it. All who are left behind will face the 7-year tribulation that will start when the peace treaty is signed with Israel. This will introduce the anti-christ who will be the most powerful dictator this world has ever seen.
If you wish to go with the Believers, you must accept Jesus as your Savior. It’s not a punishment but is a blessing that the Creator of this World wants a relationship with you. The time here is short compared to forever. Call on Jesus today to forgive your sins and to be your Savior and have the Holy Spirit dwell within you until He comes for us. It could be any day or any hour now, but the time is drawing very close. If you will read God’s word and compare it to today’s events you should see how close they are a match. Don’t delay because it could cause you some very uncomfortable times.