Andy Hollifield 6-20-18
Psalms 120:1 In my distress I cried unto the Lord and he heard me.
When we are in desperate straits and have done all we know to do, then we will cry unto the Lord. One of the definitions of desperate is having a feeling of hopelessness and giving in to despair. Why do we wait until things get to that point before we cry unto the Lord? I have often heard the statement, “When all else fails just pray.” Why wait until all else fails? If a breaker got tripped in our home and some of our lights went out, none of us would go and reset every breaker in the box, we would go look for the one that would make the power come back on. That being said; how many times have we let the power dwindle down and go out in our lives and try flipping every breaker we can find so to speak, rather than going to the one that can turn the power back on.
If we read about any of the people in the bible that God used to accomplish great things, they were able to do them because they called on God as first choice instead of a last resort. When the children of Israel started giving Moses problems, he didn’t usually rant and rave at them, he just got alone and prayed. Abraham, a man after God’s own heart, always experienced the blessings of God when he prayed before doing anything. He in turn had more trouble than he could handle when he failed to pray first. If you remember, he didn’t pray before he told Sarah to tell the Egyptians she was his sister. That deceitful act nearly cost men their lives by the judgment of God. He obviously was like us and didn’t learn the first time. He later failed to pray at the time Sarah told him to take her maid Hagar to bear his children. This resulted years later in Abraham having to send Hagar and their son away because of Sarah’s jealousy.
Those instances were kind of mild compared to other people. In 2 Samuel 11, David did not pray before he stayed home from the battle. As a result, one glance at Bathsheba he was overtaken with lust. Later, after their affair when she told him that she was pregnant, he conspired to cover up his sin. When that didn’t work like he had planned, he conspired to commit the murder of her husband Uriah the Hittite. At this time in David’s life, we read nothing of him having a relationship with the Lord until Nathan the prophet came and, by way of a parable, showed him his sin. The book of Ruth tells us of Naomi, a woman who willingly followed her husband as they separated themselves and their sons from their homeland and took off to Moab without praying. The result of her actions was the loss of her husband and sons and apparently all their possessions. She made the statement upon arriving in Bethlehem, that God had brought her home empty. It pays to stay where God puts you and pray about everything before you do it.
The good news is still to be told. Although Moses sinned by smiting the rock instead of speaking to it, he still enjoyed communion with the Lord and was buried by him when he died. Abraham, in spite of various circumstances and trouble created by his own doing, was still a friend of God and his obedience brought about the birth of the nation of Israel. Although David had went against all that he believed, after repenting, he went on to become the greatest king Israel has ever known. David, being the grandson of Ruth, was also one of the great grandfathers of Jesus. He also received a promise from God that there would always be one of his descendants on the throne of Israel. Ruth, even with the fact that she was an outsider and not a Jew, went on generations later, to become one of the great grandmothers of Jesus.
It is obvious, by looking at the life stories of these bible folks, that just because you may have messed up in your life by not following God’s will, doesn’t mean that God can’t use you. We can learn from their mistakes if we will. Don’t wait until you are in trouble to call on God. All of these people could have likely avoided their heartache by simply praying before they acted. If they had of only went to God first and sought his will, instead of using him as a last resort. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!
Andy Hollifield 6-20-18