Summary: The story of how God led the smaller Israelite people to victory over a large and fortified city tells us much about what He will do for us today. Using lyrics of older hymns to reflect on our reliance upon God.
I remember, as a child, sitting in church on light maple colored pews between my mother and father. They would never let my brother and me sit next to each other because we would end up hitting each other, or worse.
But those memories are now very precious to me. And some of the memories that give me the greatest warmth and satisfaction are of the hymns we sang, both in church and at home. Let me share the words with one of them with you. They go like this -
“Jesus has a table spread, Where all the saints of God are fed, He invites His chosen people, to Come and dine;
“With His manna He doth feed, And supplies our every need: Come and dine, the Master calleth, Come and dine."
Those lyrics paint a picture of a loving Lord; a Lord that yearns to take care of us and give us all our needs. It tells us all we have to do is go to Him and receive.
PSALM 23:5-6 paints the same picture.
“5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. 6 Surely your goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”
When David talks about eating a feast in the presence of his enemies, he is speaking not only about the devil, but every single thing in this life that pulls our focus and attention off Jesus Christ. As Christians, our duty is to keep our focus on Him at all times. That is the only way we can keep far away from the snares of Satan. It is when we take our eyes off Jesus and start looking at the world around us, that we end up falling prey to Satan’s wiles.
Now, some may argue the point and say that it is perfectly fine as a Christian to have one foot planted firmly in the kingdom of God and let the other foot occasionally wander out into the world. Hear me when I say that you cannot be in this church right now while also being in the parking lot outside.
There are times in our lives that we must make a definitive decision on what we should do or where we should be at different times. They may not be what we want to do, find comfortable in doing, or even what others want us to do, but we must make those hard choices nevertheless because God wants us to.
And when we stand firm and choose the things of God over the things of this world, God will bless us for our faithfulness, even in front of our enemies. He wants to completely overload us with His Godly blessings.
PSALM 68:19, attests to this fact.
“Blessed is the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits. He is the God of our salvation!”
The only thing that stands in God’s way of blessing us is … us! When we glance away from the Lord, even for a moment, we instantly become prey to the snares of Satan and that is when the damage begins, not only to ourselves but to our relationship with God.
But even so, how much more can a Father love a child? How many times have we, due to our own spiritual neglect, found ourselves in a terrible storm with what appears to be no way out of it, when suddenly and without warning, the storm ends and we are walking once again in bright sunshine? In reality, we had nothing to do with our escape from the storm as it was all due to a very loving Heavenly Father, who continued to love us despite our sinful nature.
And that is when we find refreshment in singing the lyrics to another old song: “Every day with You, Lord, is sweeter than the day before.”
To see just how much our Father loves us, we need to look no further than Adam and Eve. God created the most luscious of gardens for His children to live in and be safe in. The only thing they had to do was love God enough to obey Him, and then simply enjoy what He had given them.
That is what God wants to do for us today. He wants to create a most beautiful place for us to maintain our spiritual souls. He wants to provide our every need.
The lyrics to the song say … “He invites His chosen people to “Come and dine”; With His manna He doth feed - And supplies our every need.”
But they were focused on their physical senses rather than their spiritual senses, and when Satan tempted them, they took their eyes off God for just one moment and fell right in Satan’s snare. Of course, when God found out they had turned their spiritual backs on Him, he had to discipline them. He ordered them out of the Garden because they had become sinful and God cannot exist where sin abounds.