Echoes From the Campfire

Man that plays with a skunk will smell like one.”
              –Ernest Haycox  (Sundown Jim)

    “But now I am writing you not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer who is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or verbally abusive, a drunkard or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person.”
              –1 Corinthians 5:11 (HCSB)
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More and more we must keep our eyes focused on Jesus.  In times like these we need a Savior, not only to save us, but to keep us from the evil that is around us.  But often we cry, “I can’t see you God, where are You?”  We tend to bemoan our situation, but it is at those times that we need to realize that He is indeed with us.  Charles H. Spurgeon put it this way, “When we cannot see the sunshine of God’s face, it is blessed to cower down beneath the shadow of His wings.”
    In Psalm 57:1-5, we see David continuing to flee from Saul.  He played the mad-man in Psalm 56, now he is hiding in a cave.  He felt all alone; no one cares for him.  You remember the ditty: “No one loves me, everybody hates me, think I’ll eat some worms.”

         1 – Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!  I look to you for protection.  I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until this violent storm is past.
         2 – I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill His purpose for me.
         3 – He will send help from heaven to save me, rescuing me from those who are out to get me.      Interlude [Selalh]
               My God will send forth His unfailing love and faithfulness.
         4 – I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey—whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows, and whose tongues cut like swords.
         5 – Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens!  May Your glory shine over all the earth.”  (NLT)

Even in the midst of the darkness of the cave, David turned immediately to God.  He knew that God was there, and that God cared for him.  He did find himself in a trap, but in God.  “David recognizes his well-being depends on invisible rather than visible realities.” (George O. Wood)
    I like a little story told by Dr. Wood.  The great Scottish preacher, Alexander Whyte, always found some to thank the Lord for during his Sunday pastoral prayer for the congregation.  One day there was a terrible storm, the winds howled, the rain was torrential.  Two deacons arrived to open the church and one commented, “I don’t think Dr. Whyte will have anything to praise God for on a day like this.”  They looked at each other in surprise when Dr. Whyte opened his prayer, “Lord, we thank You that it is not always like this.”
When storms come, whether natural or adversity from foes, we can know that God is with us, even if we are in a cave.  He will stay under the “wings” of God until the storm has past.  Be like the old country preacher, “It came to pass.  Thank God, it didn’t come to stay.” (Wood)
    Remember God is there, willing to help you, willing to comfort you.  Keep your eyes upon Him.  “When you focus on God’s strength rather than your circumstances, the future looks brighter rather than bleak.” (Wood)

         “My God!  In whom are all the springs
         Of boundless love and grace known,
         Hide me beneath thy spreading wings,
         Till the dark clouds be over-blown.”
                   –Isaac Watts