1 Samuel 4, Psalm 18, Jeremiah 42, Romans 4

Life is a Battlefield

Do you ever think about life on those terms? Lately, I feel this to be quite the theme. Sometimes life seems to be going along pretty smoothly and I seem to be “winning” the battle of life. But other times, the battle rages harshly around me and I feel on the “losing” end, as it takes its toll on my body and soul. How do I stay strong and fight the battle?

In 1 Samuel 4, the Israelites have just been defeated by the Philistines and they are distressed.

“When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, ‘Why did the Lord bring defeat upon us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that it may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.'” (vs.3)

But keep reading and you’ll see that their human plan, without consultation with God, to use the ark as a good luck charm, failed.

“The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died. ” (vs.10 & 11)

God does not wish for us to “use” Him as a good luck charm to help us out of sticky/painful/yucky situations. He desires an ongoing relationship with open communication and total dependence through the good times as well.

In Psalm 18, we get a clearer picture of God equipping us to fight the battle of life.

“I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.” (vs.1 – 3)

“As for God, His way is perfet; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?” (vs.30 & 31)

“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me Your shield of victory, and Your right hand sustains me; You stoop down to make me great.” (vs. 32-35)

God desires to strengthen and train me, as well as be my refuge and shield. How does He train me?

I believe the answers are found in vs.25 “To the faithful, You show Yourself faithful.” in vs.30 “The word of the Lord is flawless.” and in vs.49 “I will praise You among the nations, O Lord; I will sing praises to Your name. “

I need to be fully committed to the Lord’s army, faithful in all I do. I need to be feasting on His holy words, which are flawless food to my body and soul, and giving Him praise and glory through song and prayer, no matter what. That’s how the Lord strengthens me for the battle of life.

In Romans 4, we read about Abraham being justified by faith. Abraham could have easily given in to the battle of doubt and disbelief, when God promised him that one day he would be the father of many nations, and the years and years passed without the promise being fulfilled. But Abraham remained faithful and in constant communion with the Lord and he fought the battle of life with God’s strength.

“Yet [Abraham] did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.” (vs.20 & 21)

Lord,

You know that life is not all fun and carefree, but also full of hardships that can cause doubt and a wavering of my faith in You. I know that You are not the author of hardships, but You do allow me to go through them, hoping to make me stronger as I rely on You through thick and thin. I want to be made strong and trained for battle by You and not rely on myself and my silly human plans to get me through.

I praise You God, because only You are worthy of all glory and praise. You are my stronghold. You are my rock. You are my commander in this battle of life.

Amen.

– Beckie (look2thehills)

*Scripture taken from NIV*

2 Comments

Filed under 1 Samuel, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Romans

2 responses to “1 Samuel 4, Psalm 18, Jeremiah 42, Romans 4

  1. Courtney

    Beckie, I can’t tell you how timely this is! I have been worrying for days lately, wondering if I dare trust … thank you for this great reminder.

  2. Jon

    Thank you for your post. I liked your statement about using God as a good luck charm, I have been guilty of that. Going forward I want to praise him daily because of who He is and not dependent on my circumstances.

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