I Still Believe

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I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I trust.” –Psalm 91:2 NKJV

 One of our favorite movies is Beautiful Dreamer, the story of a World War II pilot who was shot down and captured by the enemy. He’d just married his childhood sweetheart when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and catapulted the US into the war. Patriotism exploded throughout the country, and Joe enlisted. Every morning as his company of pilots prepared for the day, they recited Psalm 91 as a group.

That was the first time I really took more than a passing interest in this psalm. Since then, I’ve read it over and over, in different Bible translations. I even attempted to memorize it, repeating several verses at night as I lay in bed so it would be the last thing on my mind before I fell asleep. A lady I know recites it every morning.

In these uncertain times, with the COVID-19 pandemic spreading like wildfire and a roller coaster economy wreaking havoc around the globe, fear seems to be knocking on every door. I’m not going to tell you not to be afraid. None of us has ever experienced anything like this.

We have much to be concerned about, but we don’t have to let fear control us. As Paul wrote Timothy, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

I still believe in an omniscient, sovereign God. He’s not lost control. I believe He is working through this crisis to draw people closer to Him, to open their eyes and hearts. I pray that many will come to saving faith and a deeper faith.

I still trust Him to provide for me. I’m not afraid I won’t have enough because His Word says that God will supply everything I need – and not sparingly but generously, “according to His riches in glory” (Philippians 4:19). I don’t have to stockpile for fear I won’t have what I need when I need it. Jesus told us to put God first and strive for the attitude and character of God and “all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). What things? Food, clothing, and, yes, even toilet paper.

I believe each day’s need will be met when it’s needed. Remember the Hebrews and the manna? God gave them just enough for each day, no more, no less. This same God will provide my daily bread.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow,” Jesus commands us, “for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Read Matthew 6:25–34.)

In these uncertain times, how can we keep fear at bay?

Put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10–18). Take up the shield of faith (see Psalm 3:3) and wield sword of the Spirit (the Word of God and prayer).

Trust Him. “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” (Corrie ten Boom)

Use this sequestered time as a spiritual retreat. Read, meditate on, and study God’s Word. Read through the Psalms. Conduct a word study using a concordance. Start with the word trust and list verses that refer to trust. Write them out and read them frequently.

Or do a verse study, taking one verse apart. What does it say? What does it mean? What is God saying to you? How can you apply this to your life?

Keep a promise journal and list all the promises of God that you come across in your Bible reading and study.

Pray. Unceasingly. When you wake up through the night, banish worry with prayer. Prayer isn’t just a religious activity. It’s a relationship. (Henry Blackaby)

And finally, “never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” (Corrie ten Boom)

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1)

Under Your wings, Lord, I find refuge from the fear that stalks my door. Thank you for being my shelter in this time of storm. Amen.

Read and reflect on Psalm 91.

(c) 2020 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

Bathing Beauty or Bimbo?

. . . David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife . . . – Matthew 1:6 NIV

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8–9

 Although she’s one of five women having the honor of being in mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy, unlike the other four, Bathsheba’s name is not given. Matthew simply refers her to as “Uriah’s wife.”

In my humble opinion, she’s worse than Tamar and Rahab. She can’t even hold a candle to Ruth, whose story is like a polished diamond in the coal mines of the Old Testament. They had what Bathsheba lacked— brains, guts and heart.

When we first encounter Bathsheba, she’s taking a bath—in an uncovered courtyard of a house in the middle of Jerusalem, where anyone standing on a nearby rooftop (they were flat in those days) could see her. Perhaps that was her intention. You see, the courtyard where she was bathing was in plain sight of the rooftop of King David’s residence. Scripture tells us Bathsheba was very beautiful.

Now King David already had seven wives, including Saul’s daughter Michal, the wife of his youth, and Abigail, the spunky, quick-witted widow of Nabal. (Read this great story in 1 Samuel 25.) Nevertheless, he summons Bathsheba, knowing both her husband and her father were members of the elite group of warriors known as “David’s mighty men.”

She could have said no. She knew the commandments as well as King David did. But she didn’t.

You know the story. David arranges for Uriah’s death in battle. As soon the seven days of mourning for her husband are up, Bathsheba marries King David. The baby conceived in adultery dies soon after birth.

Fast forward to the end of David’s life. As he lay on his deathbed, his son Adonijah plans to usurp the throne. David’s chief prophet approaches Bathsheba with a plan.

“Go in to King David and say to him, ‘Didn’t you promise me my son Solomon would be king after you? Then why has Adonijah become king?’”

She does as told. Solomon is crowned that very day (1 Kings 1:11–39). Okay, so she secured the throne for the king God had planned. But it wasn’t her idea.

The last time we see Bathsheba, she’s the queen mother. The relentless Adonijah uses her in a plot to wrest the throne from Solomon.

“Ask him to do one thing for me,” Adonijah tells her. “Give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife.”

“Very well,” she says, clueless what this meant.

She should have known. Abishag was a part of David’s harem, and possession of the previous king’s harem signified the right of succession to the throne. By marrying Abishag, Adonijah would strengthen his claim to the throne. Good thing Solomon saw through the scheme.

Bathsheba possessed great physical beauty but little else. If it had been up to me, I would have chosen Abigail, who had more character, intelligence and spunk, for the honor of being an ancestor of the Messiah.

But God didn’t ask for my opinion.

Bathsheba bore David four sons, which included Solomon and Nathan. The wise and wealthy Solomon became one of Jesus’ ancestors through Joseph, his earthly father. Nathan’s line produced Mary, Jesus’ mother (Luke 3:31).

Bathsheba—bathing beauty or bimbo? Does it even matter?

What matters is that God chose her, not because of anything she did, but because of His own purpose and grace (2 Timothy 1:9) to fulfill a promise He made to David: “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:16).

This promise was fulfilled with Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection.

Bathsheba’s story is one of mercy and grace. Mercy, because she didn’t get the punishment she deserved for her adultery and her part in David’s conspiracy to murder her husband. Grace, because she received something she didn’t deserve—a place in the bloodline of Jesus Christ.

Mercy and grace—isn’t that what God’s all about?

“Thy steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, thy faithfulness to the clouds”( Psalm 36:5). Remind me of this, dear God, when I question Your love for and Your faithfulness to me. Amen.

Read and reflect on 2 Samuel 11:1–12:24.

 From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea for the Seasons © 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.