Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; I Samuel 23:17
Suggested Scripture reading I Samuel 23
High school can be a hard place to live for the Lord and have a consistent testimony but Bill tried hard. He wanted to please the Lord in every part of his life. At school this had become hard. The P.E. teacher had decided that every Friday’s physical education class would become a “sock hop.” That was when all the classes went to they gym and instead of playing basketball, they took off their shoes and danced in their socks. The CD players and speakers were brought out and the latest popular music was played while the students danced. For Bill this was a problem. He felt that the modern dance was not something that he as a Christian could participate in. The overt sensuality and the associations of the rock music offended him. The physical contact with the girls during the slow dances was in contradiction to his promise of purity. He spoke to his teachers and though they did not agree with him and tried to persuade him to participate, they agreed to allow him to substitute another physical activity for the class. However, the other students were not so understanding. They teased and taunted him unmercifully. They laughed at his devotion to God and at his being offended. Even some of the other Christian kids did not understand and joined the teasing. He was very discouraged and hurt. That night the phone rang. It was a kid from school. This boy told him that he understood what he was doing and appreciated the courage it took to not give in to the pressure. That call meant a great deal to Bill. It encouraged him and strengthened his resolve to stand true to his convictions.
David was also very discouraged in I Samuel 23. King Saul was his discourager. David and his 600 men had almost been trapped in the city of Keilah by Saul’s army. They escaped just before Saul arrived but they were forced to scatter everywhere. “David abode in the wilderness in strong holds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day.” (I Sam. 23:14) He was alone and frightened by Saul’s unrelenting persecution. The Lord then raised up Jonathan, King Saul’s son, to come and bring encouragement to David. Jonathan said to him in verse 17, “Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee.” The words from this friend strengthened David. He remained true to the Lord and became the great leader of Israel.
That phone call to Bill made all the difference. The other kids still taunted but it gave him the strength to stand firm on his convictions. Years later those other students would remember his courage, and it would give them strength to stand for their convictions. There are times when you will need to stand firm. There will also be times when you see someone else who is in the battle and needs a word of encouragement. Stand with him! Be that Jonathan who would, strengthen “his hand in God.” (vs.16b) Your encouragement will say to them, Fear not . . . for the discourager shall not find thee;
Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
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