Summary: What we are seeing today is what is often described in Scripture as, “For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution…” (Isaiah 34:8) What the world needs to see is a Body of Christ which is able to get “revelation” from God in desperate times-
I am going to read to you from 1 Samuel 30:1-6
Title: A Word for Desperate Times
Theme: Hearing from God In Bad Times
Topic: A New Years Message
Listen as I read 1 Samuel 30:1- 6, “David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, and had taken captive the women and all who were in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way.
When David and his men came to Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. David’s two wives had been captured--Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.” Let the Holy Spirit of Christ place this truth deep into your spiritual heart, “…But David found strength in the Lord his God.” Let us pray!
Introduction: What we are seeing today is what is often described in Scripture as, “For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution…” (Isaiah 34:8) Considering that this world and everything in it is God’s creation, Christians and nations are to heed to what is written in Psalm 2:11, “…Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.” Psalm 19:9 says, “The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.”
The exhortation from the New Testament is “…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12)
The Word of God holds blessings for obedience and chastisement for disobedience. Serious scholars of God’s Word know that there are times when God has a day of vengeance (naqam) and long seasons of retribution or recompense (sillum) for the sins willfully committed by people who live in a nation with the motto, “In God we Trust.” (Leviticus 26:25; Deuteronomy 32:35, 41,43; Ezekiel 24:8; Micah 5:14; Isaiah 34:8; Hosea 9:7; Judges 5:8)
Isaiah 34:8 is the key passage for the introduction of this message which is placed under the heading “Judgement Against the Nations.” God allows war to come and He allows conflicts to arise within the spiritual heart, (Romans 7:23; 2 Corinthians 10:3; Ephesians 6:12; 1 Timothy 1:18) to show us our great need of Him in every part of our lives. Romans 1:18-32 warns of the many sins that will be manifested in lives of people because they did not think it “worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God.”
“Jesus” said, “…You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” (Matthew 24:4-6) Jesus is describing the events leading up to His return from heaven and the events that will precede His second coming. In the Middle East we hear of wars and peace treaties and then in no time at all, again there is war. This world is seeing major natural disasters and financial instability.
Everything people find security in has been or may even now be stripped from them. People have lost jobs and homes, and many of our armed forces are out in some kind of battle. These service men are returning home to find that an enemy has invaded their camp. Their spouses and children have been dragged into some kind of captivity that includes bondage to the flesh, the world or the lies of the devil. While calamity strikes, everyone is blaming anyone in authority and rebellion of the tongue breaks out. Bitterness of spirit is found in the hearts of many today, just as in the time of David in Ziklag.
Proposition: I would propose to you that David, the man after God’s heart had illumination of the God he served and he sets before us truth that can be grasped in desperate times.
Interrogative Sentence: Just what is that truth and how can Christians live a life worthy of the gospel they proclaim? The Bible says, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” (Philippians 1:27)
In our opening text David was a regular human being holding a place of leadership, a man chosen by God to do a work for Him. David was greatly distressed because his family was taken captive, his place of security or rest was burned by an enemy, and the men he led were considering killing him.