Advent 2016 – Day 8

Welcome to any who are newcomers to this site! We are in the midst of an Advent series of devotionals on the theme of “Thanking Jesus.”

King David was one of the most thankful figures in the Bible. David faced many setbacks in life before he stepped onto the throne of Israel. Just as things looked like they were going smoothly – he had killed a giant, was a national hero, and had married the king’s daughter – Saul tried to kill him. David escaped to the desert and for over a decade lived the life of a nomad, always just a step ahead of Saul’s armies. Ten years is a long time to live the life of a fugitive.

During this time in the wilderness, David composed many of his psalms. In 1 Samuel 22 and recorded again as Psalm 18, David was in the pit of despair; the waves of death threatened to overwhelm him. Yet he writes, “You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies. . . . For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations. I will sing joyfully to your name.”

Later, in 2 Samuel 25, David was angry and his men were ready to attack Nabal, but the man’s wife, Abigail, persuaded David not to take revenge. He calmed down. “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you to meet me today! Thank God for your good sense . . . for keeping me from murdering the man and carrying out vengeance with my own hands.”

As an old man, he looked back on his life and wrote in 1 Chronicles 29:10f, “O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever! Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. . . . O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name!”

David experienced weakness and praised God for His help. He experienced strength and praised God for keeping him from abusing that power. God blessed him all his days.

Today, are you weak or strong? Are you barely holding on to the bottom of a fraying rope or are you standing in victory at the top of the cliff? God can help you wherever you are. Just remember to give Him thanks.

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