Echoes From the Campfire

He learned there what labor meant.  Also he learned how there was only one thing that common men understood and respected in a co-laborer, and it was the grit and muscle to stand the grind.”
              –Zane Grey  (Wanderer of the Wasteland)

    “They meet with darkness in the daytime, And grope at noontime as in the night”
              –Job 5:14 (NKJV)
Do you ever feel as if the whole world is against you?  The dog even snarls when you come home, the cat hisses, and the goldfish rolls over on its back.  Everyone is at your back; it seems that wherever you go, whatever you do people are against you, they even dream up lies about you and pass them off as truth.  Where can you turn?  Do you just say, “phooey with it all” and escape to wherever?
    David has been bemoaning his attackers.  They come at him without excuse.  They say things that are not true, they cause division.  What does he do?  He could go back out to the wilderness and tend the sheep, but no, he has the calling and anointing of God on his life.  He must face them, but how?  Let’s look at the last part of Psalm 35 (HCSB).

    19 – Do not let my deceitful enemies rejoice over me; do not let those who hate me without cause look at me maliciously.
    20 – For they do not speak in friendly ways, but contrive deceitful schemes against those who live peacefully in the land.
    21 – They open their mouths wide against me and say, “Aha, aha! We saw it!”
    22 – You saw it, Lord; do not be silent.  Lord, do not be far from me.
    23 – Wake up and rise to my defense, to my cause, my God and my Lord!
    24 – Vindicate me, Lord my God, in keeping with Your righteousness, and do not let them rejoice over me.
    25 – Do not let them say in their hearts, “Aha! Just what we wanted.”  Do not let them say, “We have swallowed him up!”
    26 – Let those who rejoice at my misfortune be disgraced and humiliated; let those who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and reproach.
    27 – Let those who want my vindication shout for joy and be glad; let them continually say, “The Lord be exalted.  He takes pleasure in His servant’s well-being.”
    28 – And my tongue will proclaim Your righteousness, Your praise all day long.

    Paul tells us in Colossians (3:17,23) to work for the Lord, to do everything as unto Him.  If we do that those around us cannot bring fault against us, for we will have proof to show them.  In my dealings with Christian businesses (perhaps I should say pseudo-Christian) I have that many of them are more fraudulent than non-believers.  One instance of this was when I went to buy a vehicle.  Both the manager and head salesman were “Christian” and I knew them as they went to my church.  I had dealings with them as parents.  They told me that they would give me the best deal possible.  I believed them.  After two hours of waiting they came to me with a figure and I politely thanked them, but told them I could not afford it.  The answer came in unison, “Give us time, we’ll go back and figure it out again.”  I stopped them.  They had told me that they were going to give me their best deal, and I couldn’t accept it, now they are telling me they can give me a better deal.  Hmmm, something was wrong.
    Now this wasn’t an attack on me, but the issue is–who can you trust?  Those who come at you with promises, can you trust them?  Those who attack you maliciously, you know they are not to be trusted.  David understood that in the midst of everything he could trust in the Lord.  We are to be faithful, do our best, and trust in the Lord.  Augustine wrote, “Whatever you do, do well, and you praise God.  Do you transact business?  Do no wrong, and you have praised God.  Do you till your field?  Raise no strife, and you praise God.  In the innocence of your works, prepare to praise God all the day long.”
    Often we lean toward our emotions.  Let me tell you that emotions are deceiving.  They can quickly and easily fool us.  Many live based on emotions.  Listen to those coming out of church they might say, “I could really ‘feel’ God today.”  Or they might say, “the place was dead today, I didn’t ‘feel’ anything.  I remember dealing with one parent about her child.  She made the statement, “I can’t give my child to the Lord; I’m afraid of what He might do.”  There is something wrong when you cannot trust the Lord.  Who reigns in your life?  The lies of the devil, your emotions, your own opinion, or what God says in His holy Word?

         “O for a faith that will not shrink
          Though pressed by many a foe,
          That will not tremble on the brink
          Of any earthly woe.”
                  –William H. Bathurst