As you know, I have been teaching on the life of David this summer. It’s been an encouraging and challenging study for you on a personal level. The message that I’m giving this weekend has hit very close to home! I wanted to share one of the resources that I’ve found especially helpful as I am interacting with 1 & 2 Samuel. It’s a book called Leap Over a Wall by Eugene Peterson. Many know Eugene for his work on The Message translation of the Bible, but he is is a prolific author and excellent pastor. Leap Over a Wall is a devotional (and very applicable) look at David’s life. I would highly recommend picking up this book!
Here are a few quoted from his chapter that go along with the text I’m teaching this week. He calls his chapter Wilderness:
“There are things we can only experience in silence and solitude. There are essential things about being human that can be known only in the shadow of a beech tree, beside the rush of a whitewater stream, or after a long climb up a mountain. ‘The wilderness,’ writes Nancy Newhall, ‘holds the answers to questions man’s not yet learned to ask.'”
“What happens is that no matter what else David is doing; he’s basically dealing with God; and the more he deals with God, the more human he becomes – the more he becomes “David.” Holy is our best word to describe that life – the human aliveness that comes from dealing with God-Alive. We’re most human when we deal with God. Any other way of life leaves us less human, less ourselves.”
“David’s wilderness-trained eyes looked on Saul and saw not Saul the enemy but Saul the God-anointed. In the solitude and silence and emptiness of the wilderness, uncluttered and undistracted by what everyone else was saying and doing, David was able to see God’s glory where no one else could see it – in Saul.”
The reality for all of us is that times in wilderness will come. It’s a common experience of all humanity. The question for us is, “will the wilderness shape us or will is break us?” I love the example of David and the way that the wilderness shaped him to be a ‘man after God’s heart.’ My prayer is that it would do the same in you and I.