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God Will Help in Time of Need

Erkki Joensuu | The Voice of Zion June/July 2024 - The Sabbath Word 4 Article --

He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward. For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks. For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. – Psalm 18:16–19,25–28

David’s life and battles were historical truth. More importantly they have a spiritual meaning, teaching us how he endeavored as a believer throughout the stages of his life. We can also have an inner glimpse into the heart and feelings of David.

David praised God in 2 Samuel 22. This victory song to God is included in Psalm 18 as well. God delivered David a victory from the hands of his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. David’s mind was filled with thankfulness and praise.

During his life, David had found himself in many great, deep waters: “Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God” (Ps. 69:1–3). He was surrounded by the enemy: “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me” (Ps. 18:5,6).

David fought against individuals like Goliath, Absalom, Saul and Joab and battled also against several nations like Philistine, Moab, Ammon, Syria, Arameans, Edom and Amalek. He also had his personal battles when his son died, when he committed adultery with Bathsheba, when he arranged the death of Bathsheba’s husband Uriah, when Bathsheba’s child died, when he was raising his children, and when his nation was infected by a deadly plague after the national census. During those dangerous stages of life David felt that God had forsaken him, and sin and doubts were taking over. The road of sin is like “a horrible pit” and “the miry clay” (Ps. 40:2), a lake of quicksand, which will slowly swallow a traveler if there is no one near to help. David was struggling in his faith life and even fell into unbelief. He needed help.

Today, a believer can face many kinds of dangerous battles. It can be dangerous to engage in fruitless debates trusting one’s own wisdom and knowledge. Human curiosity, pride, and enthusiasm can pull a person deeper and deeper into the surging waters of religious pondering and debate. The old believers used to caution young ones: “Do not go into deep waters. The water might reach over the shafts of your boots and your steps will get heavy.” For that reason, the Bible also cautions believers of the rich, all-pleasing, and seducing false prophets (Luke 6:24–26; 1 Kings 22:8; Mark 13:12), of fables and jangling, which provoke controversy and debate, and of those misrepresenting the law with intention to oppress the righteous. “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt” (Isa. 57:20).

The Bible also acknowledges the need to protect the weak faith of God’s children. Scripture instructs to avoid “foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law.” We are also instructed to leave alone those who do not receive the Word of God or admonition after they have been reprimanded a few times (1 Tim. 1:4–9; Titus 3:9–11). 

How should we then live with heretics, unbelievers or our spiritual enemies? David gives us a good example. Despite all the spiritual battles against King Saul, David was given a respectful and loving heart toward Saul. After Saul’s death David said, “Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death, they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel. How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle!” (2 Sam. 1:22–25; Luke 6:27,28).

God gave David miraculous strength and courage during his battles and led him to victory. Often, a child of God feels fear and vulnerability when the enemy surrounds. Do I have strength? How do I proceed past stumbling blocks? Temptations are intense. The waves and surges of this world swirl around. Faced with such, a believer remembers, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).

The source for help is the same as it was for David. The heavenly Father calls a sinful person near to Him in His kingdom. God’s Word exhorts believers to cling to “the godly edifying which is in faith.” He offers His hand, He wants to take you to His haven, to His kingdom from deep waters, from the ways of sin and unbelief. He wants to light your candle and enlighten your darkness with the message of forgiveness of sins (Ps. 18:28).  

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