Dear Prayer Partners,
This month we are preparing here in Jerusalem for the biblical festival of Succot or Tabernacles. From 29 September to 6 October, we expect to host over 2500 Feast pilgrims from about 90 nations. We also expect to have several thousand more taking part in the Feast experience online. As we draw closer to this prophetic gathering, I am challenged by the passage of 1 Samuel 30:6: “But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”
This chapter begins with David and his mighty men returning home to find their town pillaged and burned. Their wives and children along with all their livestock had been taken captive. In verse 30:4, it says: “David and the people with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more strength to weep.”
Then verse 6 begins: “David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him, because the soul of the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughter…. BUT DAVID STRENGTHENED HIMSELF IN THE LORD HIS GOD.”
We live in confusing times. War again in eastern Europe; the threat of war in Asia; economic decline, inflation, moral decay, and spiritual confusion. Evil is being called good, and good is deemed evil.
We must compose our hearts. We must trust in God, that He is not surprised and continues to reign supreme. We must give thanks that He has chosen us to live and be His witnesses in these challenging times. We need to draw away from the news media with its constant stream of negative reports and – like King David – strengthen ourselves in the Lord our God.
Like the three Hebrew children Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in Daniel chapter 3, we must remain strong in faith – believing, saying and living out the truth. “Our God who we serve is able to deliver us … and He will deliver us … but if not, let it be known … that we do not serve your false gods nor will we worship the image you have set up.”
Whenever we are distressed, threatened or fearful, we must – like King David – draw our hearts away from the world and into the presence of our Redeemer.
After King David strengthened himself in the Lord his God, he then inquired of the Lord what to do.
When we compose our hearts and draw away from the distress and fear, we also can ask the Lord our God what we should do. We will only hear His still quiet voice when we have composed our hearts and strengthened ourselves in Him.
May the Holy Spirit, the very same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead, fill and empower you to compose your heart and strengthen yourself in the Lord. May the Holy Spirit guide you in your next steps. And may we all give Jesus the glory that he deserves for His sacrifice on the Cross.
Shalom from Jerusalem!
Barry R Denison
Vice President for Operations
International Christian Embassy Jerusalem