Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

David Archive



May 2023

Why do the heathen rage?

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There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12) | Read more of Why do the heathen rage? on hopereflected.com

“And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said, We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel. So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri:” (2 Samuel 20:1-2).

Just when it seemed that things couldn’t get any worse for David, he was faced with a rebellion, led by Sheba, a man of Belial and the son of Bichri. It seemed as though things would never go right for David. On the heels of one uprising, Sheba caused another, and quickly new allegiances were formed: The men of Israel followed Sheba; the men of Judah followed David.

Rebelling against God

Upon reading through 2 Samuel, Sheba doesn’t appear to be a significant character in the life of David. He’s mentioned a few times near the beginning of chapter 20, and then disappears until the end of the chapter, when his head gets cut off and thrown out of the city to Joab (vv. 21-22). Why should such a minor character matter at all? There’s a greater lesson here. Rather than follow David and submit to his leadership, Sheba opted to go his own way, and he took others with him. Maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but upon realization that David was God’s anointed, Sheba was really rebelling against God.

When people rage

David wrote in Psalm 2, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed…” (vv. 1-2). Whether in ancient times or present day, there’s no denying the damage and discouragement that result when people rage, and when they live only for themselves. Raging for “the right” to kill a baby in the womb, right up until birth, or raging on other people because they have a different opinion.

No question at all to Him

While we deal with all kinds of rage here on earth, Psalm 2 continues, “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.” (v. 4). The things that work us up here, that make us question God’s purpose, or how or why things are going the way they are, are really no question at all to Him. Matthew Henry wrote that “Sinners’ follies are the just sport of God’s infinite wisdom and power; and those attempts of the kingdom of Satan which in our eyes are formidable in his are despicable.”

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man,
but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

Proverbs 14:12

Sheba’s rebellion, while it was worrisome for David, was of no matter to God. Sheba met a tragic end, hunted by David’s army and having his head cut off (2 Samuel 20:21-22). We may think we know better than God or that we have a better way than His, but in the end, it will only lead to our demise. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12).

Originally published as “Why do the heathen rage?” Independent Plus. June 2, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



January 2023

Disobedience is our downfall

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"The fall is simply and solely disobedience—doing what you have been told not to do; and it results from pride—from being too big for your boots, forgetting your place, thinking that you are God." (C.S. Lewis) | Read more about disobedience on hopereflected.com

Recently, Wes and I were reading through 2 Samuel 6 and we came to the part where David and the house of Israel transport the ark of God out of the house of Abinadab to bring it to Jerusalem. What stood out to both of us was how Uzzah was killed when he reached out and tried to steady the ark of God.

“Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.” (2 Samuel 6:6-7).

Wasn’t Uzzah trying to help?

Wasn’t Uzzah trying to do the right thing by steadying the ark of God so that it didn’t fall?

God is perfect and we are not

To the average reader, we may question how God could kill Uzzah for touching the ark of God, when it appeared that Uzzah was just trying to help. There may be portions of Scripture that appear to us to be wrong or outdated, but as many theologians have pointed out, God is perfect, we are not, and it’s not up to us to question His Word.

Digging a little deeper, it turns out that while Uzzah was trying to help, he was actually directly disobeying God’s commands. Had David, Uzzah, and company obeyed God, they never would have been transporting the ark of God by cart in the first place. God instructed only His children – more specifically the sons of Kohath (Num. 4:15) – to carry the ark, according to His specific design of the ark in Exodus 25.

The consequences of disobedience

One might ask then if only one group of people was allowed to carry the ark, and the ark wasn’t to be moved by cart, then how come God didn’t kill the Philistines for transporting the ark in 1 Samuel 4 and 6?

As Christians, one of the indicators of our salvation is that we will act differently than we did before we came to know the Lord. Our salvation is not dependent upon our works; our works are demonstrations of our salvation. We are called to obey God.

Because the Philistines did not know God, they didn’t understand God’s rules. David, Uzzah, and the rest of the children of Israel did know God, and they understood God’s rules, but chose to disobey them and do their own thing. Hence why God allowed for Uzzah to be killed. There are consequences when we directly disobey God’s Word.

“The fall is simply and solely disobedience –
doing what you have been told not to do; and it results from pride –
from being too big for your boots, forgetting your place,
thinking that you are God.”

C.S. Lewis

In A Preface to Paradise Lost, C.S. Lewis wrote that “The fall is simply and solely disobedience – doing what you have been told not to do; and it results from pride – from being too big for your boots, forgetting your place, thinking that you are God.”

On the outside, Uzzah’s intentions looked good – I certainly questioned why God would kill him – but God could see his heart, that “proud presumption”, as Matthew Henry called it.

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18).

Disobedience was Uzzah’s downfall.

Originally published as “Disobedience is our downfall.” Independent Plus. May 26, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



November 2019

Be strong and of a good courage

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"The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?" (Psalm 27:1) | Be strong and of a good courage - read more at hopereflected.com

We are each called to find our confidence in Christ

The Bible is filled with examples of epimone, a rhetorical device that uses frequent repetition to emphasize an important point. Whenever a word, phrase, or command is repeated in Scripture, take note: It is important and requires our attention (and often our obedience).

In Deuteronomy 31:7, when Joshua is appointed as Moses’s successor, Moses encourages Joshua for the task ahead: “Be strong and of a good courage….” Only a few chapters later in the opening phrases of the Book of Joshua, our Lord repeats these same words three times to exhort Joshua. Then, Joshua’s own people embolden him with an echo of the edict: Be strong and of a good courage.

Seven words with such significance: Be strong and of a good courage.

We can learn from Joshua’s example of courage

Joshua, the man who led the Israelites as they crossed the Jordan, who defeated the Canaanites and divided the land among the tribes of Israel, under whom – as most are familiar – the walls of Jericho came tumbling down. While our walls of Jericho may look different than the ones in Joshua’s time, while we may be frightened by the flow of the Jordan River that we need to cross, or whether the Canaanites we face have changed from the ones of Joshua’s day – whatever our challenges, we are called to be strong and of a good courage.

Your Jordan River may flow faster than mine, the walls of your Jericho may seem taller than your neighbour’s, and the Canaanites you face may be more cunning and crafty, but the one thing we share in common as Christians is this: We are each called to be strong and of a good courage and we are each called to find our confidence in Christ.

We aren’t called to be weak; we’re called to be meek (and yes, they are two completely different qualities). We aren’t called to be pushovers; we’re called to prevail. We aren’t called to be losers; we’re called to be – and we are – loved by Christ.

David found his courage and strength in the Lord

In the midst of his flight from Saul, David wrote, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1) My Grandmother wrote in her Bible beside this verse that David’s confidence came only from keeping his faith trained on God. David went on to write in Psalm 27:14, “Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart.”

Just as we can’t strengthen our physical bodies unless we eat right and work out, so we can’t strengthen our hearts and spirits unless we’re taking in God’s Word and purposing to live for Him.

Where do our eyes go when we’re facing challenges, and where do our minds go when we’re feeling afraid? As humans, it’s not our natural inclination to go first to the Lord. We have to train our spirits and make it a habit to seek God first in all of our circumstances. Strength and courage aren’t qualities that we’re born with; strength and courage are developed as we grow closer to God and spend more time feeding from His Word.

Originally published as “Be strong and of a good courage.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest ConfederateWalkerton Herald-Times. August 22, 2019: 7. Print. Web.



September 2018

Hope Reflected | 5 things to remember for whatever you’re going through

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"Commit thy way unto the LORD, trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:5 | 5 things to remember for whatever you're going through | Read more at hopereflected.com

Commit thy way unto the Lord: 5 things to remember for whatever you’re going through

David’s advice in Psalm 37 is wisdom that we should all remember.

David, often referred to as a man after God’s own heart, led nothing short of an adventurous life. Equal parts heartache and heart-warming, the Bible gives a detailed account of David’s life from his humble beginnings as a Shepherd boy to a battle-worn King who conquered many nations.

If you’re familiar with David’s history, you know that he killed a giant named Goliath, he was chosen to be king, he was a gifted musician, he was a poet, he was a bit of a lady’s man, he had his lover’s husband killed, as a result he lost his child, he was Solomon’s father, and he conquered many nations. David lived a colourful life. He went through many things from which we can learn.

David wrote Psalm 37 near the end of his life, so you can be sure that the wisdom he shares in this Psalm come from experience. If you’re anxious or if you need encouragement, here are 5 things to remember for whatever you’re going through:

  1. Fret not. “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.” (Psalm 37:1) Fretting, also known as being anxious, worried, concerned, overly analytical, or upset, is something that’s common to all of us! This notion of “fret not” is so important that David mentions it not just once, not just twice, but three times in Psalm 37. “Fret not thyself because of evildoers”, “fret not thyself because of him who prospers in his way”, “fret not thyself in any wise to do evil”. Notice the similarities? Usually our fretting is related to other people. David advises that we shouldn’t worry about those people who do evil, or those who are prosperous, or be envious or concerned about what other people are doing.
  2. Trust in the Lord. “Trust in the LORD, and do good, so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” (Psalm 37:3) Trusting in the Lord can be very difficult, especially when you only have enough light for where you’re standing and you can’t see the path ahead. Our faith isn’t built on something we can physically see per se. But when you purpose to put your trust in the Lord, He promises that He will direct your path (Proverbs 3:5-6).
  3. Delight yourself in the Lord. “Delight yourself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalm 37: 4) Delight, joy, take pleasure in the Lord. We’re promised in God’s Word that when we make Him our delight, He will give us the desires of our heart. “Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob.” (Isaiah 58:14). When you find your fulfillment in Christ, when you choose to keep your eyes on Him, when you take the time to delve into His Word, and when you make Him the centre of your life, that is delighting in the Lord.
  4. Commit it to God. “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37:5) How often are each of us guilty of making plans for the future without first seeking the Lord? When you commit your way to God (i.e., praying in advance about big and little decisions and life choices), and when you put your trust in Him, He shall bring it to pass. Does it mean that God will always work things out exactly how you want? No! Sometimes things will not go as you expect. Sometimes you’ll feel like God’s not answering your prayers. And sometimes, when you ask for A, B, or C, God will exceed your expectations and give you the entire alphabet (as Charles Stanley says).
  5. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him.” (Psalm 37:7) Rest and patience. So often the two go hand in hand. We are able to rest when we learn the virtue of patience, and we are able to be patient when we resolve to rest. When you choose to rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him, you can rest assured that He will act with your best interest in mind. “It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord,” (Lamentations 3:26). You’ve likely heard the quote that it takes 6 months to build a Rolls Royce and only 13 hours to build a Toyota. The difference between “good” and God’s best for your life is patience.

American blues guitarist B.B. King once said that, “the beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” When David wrote Psalm 37, he had lived and learned throughout his often-challenging life. And yet, at the end of it all, David still claimed God as his buckler, his rock, and his power. You can avoid a lot of heartache by taking the advice of those who’ve gone before you, and David’s advice in Psalm 37 is wisdom that we should all remember.

Originally published as “5 things to remember for whatever you’re going through.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. April 5, 2018: 6. Print. Web.



January 2017

Encouragement | Psalm 147:3 | God Heals the Brokenhearted

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“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

The Psalmist David throughout his life, likely experienced more heartache and emotional wounds than we will ever know. When I’m looking for encouragement, the book of Psalms is one of the first places I head in the Bible. Filled with examples of God’s promises and how God heals the brokenhearted,—from Moses and David to Asaph and Solomon,—the book of Psalms is filled with chapter upon chapter of examples that demonstrate God’s care and grace toward us.

One truth that is particularly evident? God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3) Whether you’re looking at the life of David, Moses, Asaph, or Solomon; in each man’s life, we see examples of how God healed broken hearts and bound up wounds.

Whatever you are seeking, rest assured that God is the only One Who can heal the brokenhearted and bind up your wounds.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3