Have you read in the Bible where God is asked to rise up and do something? King David, ‘the apple of God’s Eye’, wrote those words in Psalm 67. David’s writings are filled with emotional messages that speak powerfully and put things in perspective.
He was happy in one Psalm, depressed in another, angry and on the run in several, celebratory and full of thanksgiving in many, but always giving glory and honor to God no matter the season or situation. David stayed ready and willing to Rise Up and do what needed to be done for God and for the people God put in his path. He cried out to God for help when enemies sought to destroy him.
He praised God out loud in love with all that could be used to praise Him and ended Psalm 150 telling everything alive to give praise to the Lord. Reading that Psalm makes me want to dance, sing, and tell the world how much I love and adore Him.
In Psalm 68, David says, “Arise, O God, and scatter all your enemies! Chase them away! Drive them off like smoke before the wind… let the wicked perish at the presence of God. But may the godly man exalt. May he rejoice and be merry. Sing praises to the Lord! Raise your voice in song to him who rides upon the clouds. Jehovah is his name – oh, rejoice in His presence. He is a father to the fatherless, he gives justice to the widows, for he is holy. He gives families to the lonely, and releases prisoners from jail, singing with joy! But for rebels there is famine and distress.”
David was a straight shooting, strong, stoic man in words and deeds. He did not hesitate asking God to do something, like scatter all enemies or protect his men as they went out to war. When he was satisfied, sad, happy, or hurting, God knew it! David stood firm for what he believed and fought faithfully without hesitation.
He could have killed King Saul as he and his renegade army hid in caves, but David respected authority and God’s perfect timing for things to happen as promised. David prayed and fasted through his son’s illness for God to save the boy he loved so much. However, he tore off his clothes of mourning when his son died, respectively put the past behind him, and moved forward in faith to a new season. David trusted God and enjoyed living out loud in love for him, honoring him, defending him, questioning him, adoring him, and praising him, for he was a man after God’s own heart.
The heart of all 150 Psalms helps us understand why God loved David so much, as he was ‘the apple of God’s eye’! David sought after God, never hesitating to Rise Up and go out to do what God called him to do. Yet, when he took his eyes off God, tried to do things on his own, or became distanced when Satan dangled sin up close and personal, David could make huge messes that only God could clean up. And God would! Why? David and the Lord had a close relationship. David focused on doing God’s will boldly and beautifully. Yet, when he sinned and made a mess of things, David always asked God to forgive him with a repentant heart and renewed attitude.
Reading this Psalm the week after Tim’s Gift Rise Up – Reach Out Christian Celebration caused me to reflect on my own life. What about you? How many times has God put giants in front of me (or you) and we never showed up to face them? Have we been in the company of friends (or enemies) who made fun of God or laughed at His Word and ways as did Goliath, but remained silent for fear of ridicule or being unpolitically correct? Have things been taken from us or people picked on us (as enemies did for spoil of war when David’s camp was raided and women and children taken away as prisoners), or young Stephen who was mocked and finally stoned for his belief? Do we cower in fear or rise up in love believing without a shadow of a doubt that God’s promise to protect and bless when we put our trust and faith in Him?
Have we been given opportunities to share how God has healed and helped us but decline for fear of what people might think? Do we rise up to say and do what we know is right and good in God’s sight ‘for such a time as this’, or sadly slip out of sight as silent Christians, when gigantic political, social, or personal pressure – and/or Pharisee minded people torment, taunt, and try to turn our eyes from Jesus? The personal relationship David and God relished was the answer to all David’s trials and reason for all his triumphs. David’s deep love, reverent fear, and respectful attitude which meant he would go to his knees with tearful pleas seeking forgiveness… then, get up and go out praising the Lord even greater than before he messed up, gave him strength and sunshine for victories on and off the battlefield. It was David’s straight shooting love and adoration for His Creator, willingness to repent and seek forgiveness, and determination to give his best to his Master that made him ‘the apple of God’s eye’!
Are we ‘the apples of God’s eye’ also! We live in a prime time in history to rise up and reach out to help others and to tell the world how great is our God. He may not make us King as he did David or expect us to round up a renegade army of friends to hide out in caves, but our calling and challenges can be even greater than David’s were. Our joy comes knowing God is still God of the universe, on His throne, in our hearts, and still keeping promises while speaking to and seeking people willing to stand up and face the giants that mock and make fun of Him today. He will be with us through every trial, tribulation, and temptation when we keep our eyes on Jesus for strength to stand up, speak out, and show our love through word and deed wherever He leads.
Jesus is softly and tenderly calling? Will we Rise Up and Reach Out in love or sit on the bench and silently watch from the sidelines? What will our answers be…follow the world or follow Thee?
Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift.