God Shows Up
Psalm 18:1-19 NKJV
Much of my theology, how I think about God was formulated in my early years from reading the Psalms, particularly David’s Psalms. David had very difficult early years. In I Samuel 16:11-12 we read that the Lord sent the prophet Samuel to anoint the next king of Israel from the house of Jesse. One by one the boys were brought to Samuel. After all of Jesse’s older sons had been presented to Samuel, he asked, “Are all the young men here?” Then he (Jesse) said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!”
God chose the youngest of Jesse’s sons to be the next King of Israel. It’s important to note that the house of Jesse was from the Tribe of Judah in the line of Jesus. God choosing the Shepherd boy, David was intentional!
David was taken to live in the palace of King Saul who was looking for a boy to play soothing harp music for him. In I Samuel 17, Jesse sent David to deliver food to the battlefield for his 3 older sons. The giant Goliath had issued a personal challenge to Saul’s army to fight him. David the Shepard boy accepted the challenge. David only had a sling and a rock for a weapon (by King Saul’s blessing). In I Samuel 17:45-46, David faced the giant and said to him, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”
That day, David, the Shepherd boy defeated the giant Goliath and news of the victory spread throughout Israel. David became a great champion for Israel and King Saul eventually came to think of David as his enemy (I Samuel 18:29). We read in I Samuel 19-26 that King Saul openly pursued David in order to kill him because he was jealous of him. In I Samuel 31, King Saul and his sons were defeated by the Philistines, and in 2 Samuel 2:4, David was anointed King of Israel.
We read in many of the Psalms written by David about him being pursued. Psalm 18 is one example of how David felt and responded during the time when Saul’s men pursued him.
Psalm 18:1-6, we learn:
“How I love you, Lord! You are my defender.
The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress.
My God is my protection, and with him I am safe.
He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe.
I call to the Lord, and he saves me from my enemies. Praise the Lord!
The danger of death was all around me; the waves of destruction rolled over me.
The danger of death was around me, and the grave set its trap for me.
In my trouble I called to the Lord; I called to my God for help.
In his temple he heard my voice; he listened to my cry for help.”
David cried out and God heard him. God listened.
When God heard, he responded. We read God’s response to David’s prayer in Psalm 18:7-15:
“Then the earth trembled and shook; the foundations of the mountains rocked and quivered, because God was angry.
Smoke poured out of his nostrils, a consuming flame and burning coals from his mouth.
He tore the sky open and came down with a dark cloud under his feet.
He flew swiftly on his winged creature; he traveled on the wings of the wind.
He covered himself with darkness; thick clouds, full of water, surrounded him.
Hailstones and flashes of fire came from the lightning before him and broke through the dark clouds.
Then the Lord thundered from the sky; and the voice of the Most High was heard.
He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies with flashes of lightning he sent them running.
The floor of the ocean was laid bare, and the foundations of the earth were uncovered,
when you rebuked your enemies, Lord, and roared at them in anger.”
God DID show up!
Then in Psalm 18:16-19 we read about David’s response to God’s action:
“The Lord reached down from above and took hold of me; he pulled me out of the deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemies and from all those who hate me—they were too strong for me.
When I was in trouble, they attacked me, but the Lord protected me.
He helped me out of danger; he saved me because he was pleased with me.”
Sometimes we need to LISTEN and WATCH for God to show up. We often pray and then we get up and get busy. We haven’t been taught to listen and watch for God to show up. David knew when he asked for God, power was coming.
He took time to listen, wait, and watch for God to come. His waiting and watching were a compliment to God. David believed and God honored his faith.
There are times in my life when I know God has something to tell me. The Holy Spirit comes on me and I shake from within. I quiver. If I am not paying attention, God has been known to touch my right ear...a little weird I know but that’s become God’s way of telling me He has a message for me.
I wish I could say I always listen when God shows up. I can’t. I get busy, too, but I am trying to remember to stop and listen to God whenever He calls. Thankfully, God isn’t finished with me yet.
The Spirit of God is patient and kind. God hears our requests and wants to respond to us. God is patiently teaching us to listen for His response.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Ask and Listen
Give ONE request to God and listen for His response.
In God, Deborah