ODJ: heat of the battle

November 3, 2014 

READ: 2 Samuel 22:1-7 

In my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I cried to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears (v.7).

I talked with a former British elite forces soldier who had faced many battles and emerged unscathed. He said, “I don’t believe in God.” I challenged him by saying these familiar words: “There are no atheists on the battlefield.”

He simply frowned and shrugged his shoulders. I then asked him what he had most wished for in the heat of battle—when he thought he was going to die. With tears in his eyes, he replied, “I asked Almighty God to get me through it alive!”

David knew a lot about being alone and in danger (2 Samuel 22:4-7). He learned through years of affliction and persecution that he could rely only on one source of strength: God (v.2). When all was stripped away, he knew there was only One, and that He was enough! Like us, the people of Israel often turned to other things rather than the one true God. “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (Judges 17:6). They trusted in themselves and their own thinking rather than seeking God’s instruction.

Ezekiel 16:1-34 poignantly describes a wife (Jerusalem) deliberately deserting her loving husband (God) and following after her own sinful desires. And in Revelation, Jesus rebuked the church at Ephesus, declaring that—in spite of considerable achievements—they had removed the Lord from His rightful place: “I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!” (2:4). Throughout history people have used God as a last resort instead of their first love, “rock” and “saviour” (2 Samuel 22:3).

May it not require the heat of the battle to draw us to God. He’s worthy of our full surrender and complete devotion today! —Russell Fralick

365-day plan› Acts 17:1-15

Read 2 Timothy 2:13 and consider God’s patience and loving faithfulness even when our faith grows fickle. 
What do you rely on to help you make it through difficult times? Career, family, accolades? Confess these to God and determine to put Him first in all things.