What’s the use?

A sign that you have hit the bottom is that you start feeling sorry for yourself. The difference between a believer and non-believer is when a non-believer hits the bottom, he gives up. When a believer hits the bottom, he looks up. David said, “So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee” (Psalm 73:22) when he realized that he had been feeling sorry for himself.

It is not unusual to feel sorry for yourself when everything seems to be going against you. David said in his discouragement, “Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning” (Psalm 73:13-14).

David had seen the wicked prospering and evil men literally getting away with murder. It did not seem fair that David was constantly in trouble and plagued with adversity. David said, “When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end” (Psalm 73:16-17).

What David understood was that the wicked were separated from God. They could only do evil because they had not godly influence in their lives and their only opposition was a conscience that had been numbed to the existence of God. Even though their lives seemed easy, David knew that they were suffering from their sinful behavior and would one day be judged for the wrongs they had committed.

The reason why believers do not give up when they hit the bottom is because God is there waiting for them to look up. When David realized it was foolish for him to feel sorry for himself, he began to focus on the future and what he had to look forward to rather than his present circumstances. What gave him hope was that he would never be alone and would eventually triumph over his greatest enemy, death.

Nevertheless I am continually with thee: Thou has holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. (Psalm 73: 23-24)

Made in God’s image

David was the sort of man that when he walked into a room, all eyes turned to him. For the most part, everyone loved David. He was admired and respected. Even Jonathon, king Saul’s son had an especially close attachment to David. When he found out his father planned to kill David, Jonathon interceded on David’s behalf and warned David about his father’s intentions.

It says in 1 Samuel 18:12 that “Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him.” The word translated afraid, yârê’ (yaw – ray´) means to stand in awe. Yare’ is not simple fear, but reverence, whereby an individual recognizes the power and position of the individual revered and renders him proper respect” (3372). Yare’ is most often used to describe the fear a person has of God and represents having an appropriate attitude toward his authority.

One of the things about creation that is sometimes forgotten is that man was created in the image of God. After sin entered the world, the image of man became tarnished and his separation from God led to a diminishing of the spiritual aspect of his personality. I think David is an example of what happens to a man when his relationship with the LORD is restored and his spiritual growth takes precedence in his life.

Like Jesus, not everyone appreciated David’s spiritual superiority. Saul was jealous of David and could not help wanting to get him out of the way so that the people would continue to worship him instead of God. The difference between Saul and David was that Saul wanted fame and thrived on the special attention he got from being king. His desire to kill David was similar to that of the Pharisees who wanted to kill Jesus because he gave glory to God and acknowledged that what people saw in him was the goodness of God.

Taken

The movie “Taken” vividly depicts what happens when something precious falls into the hands of an enemy. The two young women, Kim and Amanda are examples of the glory departing from Israel after the ark of God was taken because their appearances were transformed by what happened to them. Kim and Amanda start out as innocent teenagers on an exciting vacation and end up as sex slaves, strung out on drugs and sold as a commodity.

The ark of the covenant was where God’s presence dwelt in the Tabernacle. The ark is a representation of the Believer’s heart in that God’s word is hidden in the heart of every Believer and the Holy Spirit dwells there. The ark was associated with God’s power and became a symbol of his divine protection. When Israel was initially defeated by the Philistines, the elders of Israel said, “Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies” (1 Samuel 4:3).

The Israelites treated the ark as if it was a type of lucky charm. They no longer reverenced it as a holy object that was to be guarded from their enemies. Interestingly enough, the Philistines had more regard for the ark than the Israelites did. Their reaction to it being brought into the camp was fear. “And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us: for there hath not been such a thing heretofore” (1Samuel 4:7).

In the movie Taken, Kim the daughter of former CIA operative Bryan Mills is a virgin and is therefore treated as a very valuable commodity. She is auctioned to the highest bidder and ends up in the hands of a wealthy sheik. Her enemies regard her virginity as something precious that they can capitalize on. Unfortunately, her friend Amanda is sent to a brothel where she dies of a drug overdose.

When Bryan Mills finds Amanda’s body, she looks like a dim shadow of her former self. The drugs and sexual abuse have transformed her into an empty shell, lacking the spark of life that exuded from her when she first arrived in France. You could say that that the glory had departed from her. The word glory or kâbôd (kaw – bode´) in Hebrew “often refers to both ‘wealth’ and significant and positive ‘reputation’ ” (3519).

The Philistines were able to overcome the Israelites and take the ark of God because they knew their lives depended on it. The Philistines fought with all their might. The word quit in the phrase “Be strong, and quit yourselves like men” (1 Samuel 4:9) means “to release power, so that the accomplishment is assured” (1961). Liam Neeson demonstrates this type of fighting in his portrayal of Bryan Mills. Bryan goes to great lengths to find his daughter and assures his ex-wife that he will not come home without her.

The death of Amanda somewhat overshadows Kim’s rescue because there is still some sense that things will never be the same. Like innocence, God’s glory does not reside when there is a lack of reverence for his holiness and his laws are disregarded. “And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken” (1 Samuel 4:21).