(We have amalgamated 3 of our devotionals to bring you a 3-point sermon on one page about how God cares for His children.)
Introduction:In an interview with The Reader’s Digest magazine, Grammy Award winning pop singer Gloria Estefan spoke graciously about her year one teacher, Dorothy Collins, who helped shape her early English language skills. Gloria has in fact spoken many times of that period in her life and the challenges she faced (including severe teasing), as a foreign student, particularly due to her inability to communicate in English. However, Gloria received assistance in her language skills and was given the confidence to persevere by her teacher, Dorothy Collins.
Eventually, Gloria won the class reading prize and went on to study languages at University. She also built a highly successful international career in pop music. Said Gloria, “My year one teacher didn’t just teach me the language; she helped me find my voice.“
A thought that came to me about God’s protection as I was reflecting on Isaiah 43:2 which says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you”.
It is said that Missionary John Paton’s mission house was once surrounded and on the verge of being attacked by hostile natives. As darkness fell and the threat became more serious, Paton and all in the compound, used the only weapon they had; prayer. As they prayed, the attack did not materialize and the threat ended. Much later, as one of the tribal chiefs turned to Jesus, it was discovered that on the eventful night, the attackers had seen a vast army (God’s army) surrounding the mission house with a protective cordon. They realized it would be futile to attack as the compound was securely and strongly protected.
Living in an increasingly insecure world has its real challenges. Dangers, terrorism, new strains of viruses, economic struggles and broken/displaced families surround us on all sides. In the midst of these tensions that can crush our peace and increase our levels of anxiety, it’s comforting to know that we can look to our God, the living God, to surround us with His protection.
(This is an edited version of a sermon preached at the People’s Church on Sunday, 22nd January 2017. It deals with David’s distressing situation at Ziklag and the lessons we can learn)
Scripture: 1 Samuel 30:1-27
As the background to the story in this chapter, David and his band of 600 warriors had been living in a town called Ziklag in Philistine territory, under King Achish (27:1-7). They now faced the difficult predicament of having to fight as part of the Philistine army against their own Israeli brothers (28:1-2). God however, providentially intervened so that they were released from the battle by the Philistine elders, worried that David and his men might betray them (29:4-11).
(It must be noted that King Saul died in the ensuing battle which meant that David might have been held accountable for Saul’s death if had he been involved in any way in the fighting).