Summary: During Memorial Day weekend, we celebrate the sacrifices of those who died that we might live in freedom and in peace. While remembering their accomplishments, we must also ask ourselves where is God in the history and human events?
I Chronicles 29:10-20 “God in the Middle of Human Events”
People often comment that they see God in numerous places in nature like a beach sunset, on a mountain top panorama, and the gently flowing water of a forest stream. It is more difficult for us to see God in history.
Not only is it difficult for us to see God, we often find ourselves wondering if God is involved in world affairs and influences the course of history. “Where is God,” we ask, “In the death of a police officer?” “Why didn’t God intervene when two girls were abducted?” “Why hasn’t God brought a peaceful end to the war in Iraq?”
This weekend we remember those people of previous generations. We reflect on these people who have sacrificed to give us what we enjoy today. As we reflect, we wonder where God was in their lives. Was it solely human effort, or was it divine power that has provided us with freedom and abundance?
As we reflect on the past, we may learn a little about how we need to live as people of faith today. To help us in our reflection, we’ll turn to one of David’s prayers that is found in the book of Chronicles, in the Old Testament.
David is nearing the end of his reign as king, which was part of the golden age of Israel. David is also nearing the end of his life. As he does, he writes this prayer in which he reflects on what God has done in the history of his people and in his life.
David lived a blessed life, but it was not a charmed life. David’s was a true rags to riches story. He started life as a mere shepherd boy with no prospects of rising any higher in Israelite society. Then God stepped in and chose David to become king of the people of Israel. David experienced the riches and all the trappings of being an Oriental king. But David also experienced hardship. One of his sons died in infancy. Another son lead a rebellion against him and almost dethroned him. This son, Absolom was killed in the rebellion.
From the mountain top experiences to the valleys of despair, David saw that God was always present in his life. God was always a part of both nature and history.
David is effusive in his praise of God. He looks back on his life and sees God’s rich blessings and abundance.
David bears witness that God is over all. God is the God of creation and God is active in creation.
David praises God for blessing the people of Israel richly and abundantly.
David stresses that God has blessed the nation of Israel because of God’s will and love, and not because of the people’s achievements or worthiness.
David asserts that God blesses people so they can share their blessings with others. Hoarding blessings and miserly actions are not consistent with the Christian lifestyle.
LIFE OF FAITH
As Christians, we are confronted with the challenge of responding to the fact that God has been present in history and is active in current events. Though we may have difficulty seeing God through the evil that pervades our world today, this does not negate the fact that God is present and active. How then do we live as Christians the life of faith?
We praise God in the assembly. We often fall into the temptation of confining our praises to our worship services or our prayer closets. David led by example. He praised God in the assembly of people. Our praise bears witness to others that God is living and active in our world today.
We cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Over and over again, the Scriptures point out that worry and anxiety are not part of a life of faith. We are challenged, as Christians, to replace these thoughts with thoughts of praise and thanks.
God has blessed us to be a blessing. We are challenged to take what we have been given and share it with others. This includes sharing our wealth with missions that touch lives and ministries that meet the needs of people. We are also exhorted to use our talents to serve others and our time to make a difference in the lives of others.
These are difficult and challenging times—like most times in history.
These are not times to despair, however. Christians can live in hope and have lives filled with praise because God is a part of our lives and of world events.