Hope you are having a good week and recognizing that God is our Refuge.
But as for me, I will sing of Your mighty strength and power; Yes, I will sing joyfully of Your loving kindness in the morning; For You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress.
This past Sunday I encouraged the congregation to take time to look at the 53 verses in the Book of Psalms that speak of Refuge. In each of these verses there is a story behind the story. Each of us, have gone through things in life where there was a story behind the story. Have you ever heard the expression “JUST DO IT”? You will probably be surprised to find out that these are the last words of a murderer standing before a firing squad. When asked if he had any last words to speak he said, “Let’s Do It”. Dan Wieden an advertising agent was recalling this story, when came up with the new Nike slogan.
The man was Gary Gilmore who grew up in Portland, where he was doing criminal acts and then murdered a man and a woman. Wieden changed “Let’s do it”, to “Just Do It”. Are you surprised? Yes, there is a story behind every story. The Word of God is full of stories behind the stories and as you study the Bible these stories are ripe with intrigue. Nothing is more inductive than a good story line and you are a good example of what I am writing about. This why we are to
share our faith, it is how we fish for men but you become the bait. When Jesus saves us, we have a story to tell and He can use you to win men and women for Him. There has never been a better time to share what God has done for you. You have security in Him when the world at large is
Just look at what we have in Christ, which the world does not have:
Be to me a rock of refuge and a sheltering stronghold to which I may continually come; You
have given the commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress.
I am as a wonder to many, For, you are my strong refuge.
You are rich in the Word of God, today and Jesus is our continuing shelter.
God’s Eternity and Man’s Transitoriness.
A Prayer of Moses the man of God.
Lord, You have been our dwelling place [our refuge, our sanctuary, our
stability] in all generations. There is a contrast between those who make God their Refuge and
those who do not. There is a story behind the story in Psalms 52.
“Look, [this is] the man who would not make God his strength [his stronghold and fortress], But
trusted in the abundance of his riches, Taking refuge in his wealth.”
Who was this man?
Psalms 52: 2,3
Your tongue devises, destruction,
Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
You love evil more than good,
and falsehood more than speaking what is right. Selah.
Yes, there is always a story behind a story. This man was Doeg the Edomite who withstood
David, his story is found 1st Samuel 21,21.
David is fleeing from his father in law, King Saul, Saul is demon possessed and is chasing David. David makes a pit stop at Nob, hoping to find something to eat. The Ark is there in the ancient tabernacle. Ahimilech the priest is there when David shows up. David, is hungry and ask Ahimilech for bread. Even Jesus takes time to mention this experience in the life of David. Do you remember where Ahimilech got the bread he gave to David to eat? It was the Pilgrims Meal,
from off the Table of the Lord in the Holy Place.
David not only needed bread he also needed a weapon. Listen to what he asks, in this story behind the story, “Is there not a spear or a sword on hand?” What did he find there in Nob? This is where the Sword of Goliath the Giant, David had slain with a slingshot was being kept. “There is none like it; give it to me.” What do you think in the story behind the story that David felt and remembered when he took Goliath’s Sword back into his hand, Cascading memories like a flood came to him of the day not to long ago when he used it to cut off the giant’s head. But there is an unsettling saga that is about to unfold found in 1 Samuel 22 “Now one of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord; and his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds.”
DOEG A MAN AFTER SAULS ON HEART
Israel and Edom were enemies (1 Sam 14:47). Notice this seems to unravel at the place of worship.
“Detained by the Lord” doesn’t speak of Doeg’s devoted heart to the Lord, but speaks of a shallow, superficial hypocritical display. Fast forward with me where we find King Saul sat with his own spear in his hand, his servants are sitting around him as he complains: he is having a pity party of all pity parties. “All of you have conspired against me . . . there is none of you who is sorry for me.” We find him complaining about the special covenant between David and his son Jonathan.
It is then Doeg reveals what he really is, a tale bearer who has a story to tell. “I saw the son of Jesse (David) coming to Nob, to Ahimelech . . .. He inquired of the Lord for him, gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.” This was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak.
Saul called for Ahimilech the priest was, and he begrudgingly came with his entire household—a large number of fellow priests. Only to be tried and condemned to die, though he was an innocent man. There is no one who will become the executioner but Doeg and he killed 85 priests that day,
and “he struck Nob the city of the priests with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and infants; also, oxen, donkeys, and sheep he struck with the edge of the sword.” Only one priest escaped to tell the story behind the story to David.
Here is David’s sad requiem “I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have brought about the death of every person in your father’s household.”
Legend says that Doeg died a leper at 34 years of age. In the end he died a leper. "As it often happens with those who strive for something to which they are not entitled, he lost that which he possessed. God sent the three "angels of destruction" to Doeg; the first caused him to forget his learning, the second burned his soul, and the third scattered the ashes.”
But the story does not end there, actually we need to go back to the story of Eli and his two sons.
Many commentators have observed that Doeg’s massacre of all these priests (except one) is more than just a random evil act: it is, rather, the fulfillment of the Lord’s promised judgment against the priestly house of Eli. Years before, God had sent a prophet to Eli, in response to his sons’ escalating wickedness, to declare, “Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house” (1 Sam 2:31). His two sons Hopni and Phinehas died in battle, but it is not until the massacre at Nob that God makes good on this promise by ending Eli’s line entirely. The lone survivor Abiathar escapes Doeg’s wrath and joins David’s cause; however, later Abiathar supports Adonijah instead of Solomon, and Solomon subsequently exiles Abiathar (1 Kgs 2:26), which completes the curse against Eli.
Furthermore, Doeg’s destruction of the remaining priests in the line of Eli prepares the way for the rise of the new line that God had foretold to Eli: “And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind” (1 Sam 2:35). This faithful priest is Zadok, who originally serves alongside Abiathar (the survivor) and becomes the founder of the all-important Zadokite line that would rise to prominence under David and continue for centuries thereafter, there importance is significant through the major and minor prophets, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Sadduccees of Jesus’ day.
YES, THERE IS ALWAYS A STORY BEHIND THE STORY AND TODAY YOUR STORY IS SIGNIFICANT TO ALL YOU KNOW AND WILL COME TO KNOW. YOUR
STORY IS A SEED THAT CAN BECOME A POWERFUL TOOL IN THE HAND OF GOD TO OPEN PEOPLE HEARTS TO GOD.
As I always say, “WE BELIEVE IN YOU AND THE POWER OF THE SEED THAT LIVES IN YOU.”
Love in Christ Jesus,
Pastor Cleddie and GayNell Keith,
Thank you for praying with and for us as we pray for you and yours and Thank you for your faithful support to the work of God through Heritage