Contempt

By Ken Childress

1 Chronicles 15:29 (NLT) – “But as the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David skipping about and laughing with Joy, she was filled with contempt for him.”

Finding a place of worship is a wonderful experience. Sometimes a place of worship is found under an old tree near a stream or lake. Sometimes in the middle of a noisy work place. Sometimes in a church service. I often find a place of worship and solitude under massive oak trees in a cemetery not far from my growing place in Northwest Indiana. It is a very quiet place and sometimes it seems you can almost hear the voice of God speak to you through the trees.

On this particular scripture, David was in a celebration mood. He had gathered together nearly everyone, including generals, priests, singers, high ranking officials, and common folk – all came together to celebrate the placing of the Ark of God. It was a huge celebration – singing, dancing, trumpets, harps, shouting and more. The noise must have been an awesome thing to hear. David was getting into it as the celebration came closer to the Temple and the tent where the Ark would be placed. Suddenly, Michal, Saul’s daughter, sees David dancing in the street. The word says her heart filled with contempt. I could think of reasons why, but that really is not the point I wish to make this time.

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The point today is this, God’s people were celebrating and she withdrew into a heart of contempt. For whatever reason she missed out on two things. One, she missed out on a wonderful celebration of worship to God. She missed out on a passion and the awesomeness of this wonderful day. She missed out on a visitation of God’s Spirit on His people. What a terrible thing to miss – all because she had contempt for David. Second, she was probably not silent about her contempt – contemptuous people rarely keep these things to themselves. Amen! In sharing any of her contempt with anyone, she rained on the worship celebration parade and poisoned the minds of any with whom she talked.

Not a pretty picture and yet one often repeated in modern day history. I can think of many times we rain on someone’s parade of worship celebration simply because we think they are just a little over the edge with enthusiasm. Or maybe they are just a little too loud in their singing and celebration mood. Or maybe they are singing songs we don’t enjoy. Or they are dancing and we don’t dance. Or maybe – we are jealous because we have not had a visitation of God’s Spirit for a long time personally.

I hope we are not like Michal. It would be well to watch in awe as God brings His Spirit down on an event or a person and rather than be contemptuous of that moment, join in the celebration. How may visitations do we miss because of a spirit of contempt?

 

 

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Run to Him

By Scott Armstrong

“In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me” (Psalm 31:1-2 NIVUK).

(Read Psalm 31:1-5, 19-24)

A while back Chevrolet trucks had a catchy slogan.  They would show some huge 4×4 pickup sliding through mud or towing a trailer three times its size.  Then the song would come on and some guy with a gruff voice would say, “Chevy: Like a Rock.”

Why’d they choose that slogan? Obviously, a rock invokes an image of strength and toughness. So do the words “refuge” and “fortress,” which (along with “rock”) are used several times in the verses we just read. We know that every psalm is a prayer, and this one is no different. David apparently is trying to paint a picture of his God as something more than a flower blown by the wind.

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We don’t know exactly what David was going through when he prayed this prayer.  But his words are powerful: “In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge…Be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me” (vv. 1-2).  When David can’t depend on anyone else, he can depend on his God, who is steady, unwavering.  Who can he run to when it seems like the world is running after him? His Lord, of course.

We’ve been in situations like that before, right? Situations where we needed the one constant, the tower, the fortress that we can run to and be safe.  I am writing this right now miles away from you. Just as I don’t know what David was going through, I have no idea what you are going through today.  But hear this: God is your refuge.  HE will not let you down.  HE is a safe place.

Read these verses again slowly.  Pray them this time; pray the same prayer that David prayed 3 millennia ago.  And, most importantly, believe the words you’re saying.  They have always proven true.