Make faith your companion – Part 2
Fear and self-management, which are contrary to faith, make people act out of character. This was what happened to David. He uncharacteristically told a lie to Ahimelech, the priest, when he came to him to ask for bread and a sword. To make his lie sound believable, he told the priest that the King, claiming that, “the king’s business required haste”, sent him on an errand. Bereft of the gift of the Spirit, such as Prophets Elijah and Elisha had, Ahimelech believed without hesitation, and gave David the bread and sword he requested.
Without praying, probing and being discerning, believers still make similar grievous mistakes with deadly consequences in life, family and ministry, when people disguise to take advantage of their simplicity in Christ. God, Who saves and sanctifies also baptises and bestows spiritual power and gifts. Believers should always pray for these gifts from God. David didn’t just tell a lie, he also began acting irrationally. He should have known that it was unwise for him to take the sword of Goliath and head for Gath, the city of the slain giant, where the Philistines could easily spot the sword and seek to kill him. Fear will make the believer run in the wrong direction in trying times.
Moments of confusion, fear and harassment are not the best of times to take a good decision. David took many unwise decisions, which were borne out of fear and led to lying and disguising as a mad man. Consequently, eighty-five priests and many others, who might not have been ready for heaven, lost their lives. The effect and consequence of lying on other people, the presence of God and His power in moderating the fury of persecutors should make us maintain our conviction and abide in the truth.
Believers must not tell lies because of the painful shame of foolishness, perpetual sorrow of falling, persistent guilt of causing others’ death and permanent suffering in hell. Entry into heaven is impossible for “whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Revelation 22:15) in order to gain recommendation, promotion or favour of the rich and powerful in church or society. God is no respecter of persons. While liars must repent and be cleansed by the blood of Jesus to be able to see God, believers should be ready to lose earthly privileges and prefer to remain unloved and unknown, while holding to the truth, to gain heaven at all costs.
God has power to protect His children. Lying and deception cannot secure our lives. He uses different methods to deliver and preserve His own. On one occasion, He made Saul return from pursuing David, by sending to him news of the Philistines’ invasion of the city. At another time, He weakened Saul and his army of three thousand men that were pursuing David by putting them to deep sleep. Since He delivers His people from danger in different ways, we do not have to become lawless to be protected. God once made the armies of the Syrians to hear a strange noise of “chariots”, “horses” and “a great host” and had them fleeing from the people’s faces in Israel.
To the boastful Assyrian General Sennacherib, God sent an angel that killed 185, 000 of his soldiers without Hezekiah, the king of Israel, and his men fighting any battle. The believer, therefore, should stop running helter-skelter for protection. It is as we stand for righteousness and truth and exercise faith and confidence in God that He will protect, deliver and preserve us from all the machinations of the enemy.
Further Reading (King James Version): 1 Samuel 21:10, 12; 17:32,39,45,47; Amos 3:2; Psalm 56:1-4; Deuteronomy 31:6,8; 1:6,7,9; 2 Chronicles 32:7,8; Psalms 3:6,8; 27:1-3; Nehemiah 6:11; Proverbs 29:25; 1 Samuel 15:24,26; Isaiah 51:12,13; Proverbs 28:1; 1 Samuel 21:8-13; 22: 13 – 19, 22; 27: 1 – 3, 11; 29: 3 – 5; Isaiah 57: 11, 12; Revelation 21:27; 22:15; 1 Kings 13:4; 1 Samuel 23:25-27; 26:2,7,12; 2 Kings 7:5-7; 19:7,35; Psalm 27: 5 – 8; 112:6,7; Jeremiah 36: 26 – 30; 2 Timothy 4:18.