John Wesley said, "Give me 100 men who love GOD and nothing else, who hate sin and nothing else, and I will change the world." Self-Isolation & Social Distancing Do you remember in the Old Testament story where two sets of fifty prophets were hiding in caves for three and a half years, during Elijah’s call for the King Ahab to repent? 1 Kings 18:4. We have all been in our caves for several months as well. Have you ever looked at some of the Bible characters to see how they coped through their times of being shut in or shut out for that matter. We all are social creatures and need each other as a part of our survival. It is a fact that those who have been sentenced to solitary confinement do not do well. I think of young David, the shepherd boy, who appears to be shut out of the family unit and was over looked by his father and brothers. On a special occasion a national prophet shows up at his father’s door step with a horn of oil to anoint GOD’S chosen man. Every one of David’s brothers were all invited to this special occasion but David was not. “Wow.” Feel left out or what! 1Samuel 16:1 and Note in verse 10; David is still with the sheep. Samuel has looked over all of Jessie’s sons and chose none of them. Those young men were strong, good looking, each having stature. “Surely one of these was GOD’S choice.” he thought! Samuel was looking at the outward man. How, many of us have done that and got it wrong? Samuel asks, “Do you have yet anymore sons?” Jessie says, “Yes but he is with the sheep!” When David is called and arrives the LORD tells Samuel, “Arise anoint him for he is MY choice!” In the meantime, what do you suppose David did with his times in isolation? There were times while he was looking after those sheep night and day, that he was all alone. What did he do with his time? When he was not leading those sheep from pasture to pasture, what was he doing? David was preparing for his future! David was practicing his accuracy with his sling shot to become an expert marksman. When bears and lions showed up they got stones planted in the center of their foreheads. He couldn’t hit them anywhere else to kill them because they had tough hides. He had only one spot and it was dead center of their foreheads. I’m sure he set up targets wherever to help pass the time and he would set them in place. I could only imagine putting a bull’s eye on those targets. In time he became most accurate with his sling shot. David, as the shepherd in looking after those sheep learned about their temperaments. He guides them sometimes with a rod, sometimes with a staff, sometimes with a nudge, sometimes with a voice. In all he has learned to manage sheep which in later years would prove to be helpful in order to understand GOD’S purpose and patience in his own life as he prepares to be king. Under the stars at night he learned devotion to GOD and sang songs in the night to HIM of which a number are recorded in the Psalms. It is believed that David has written seventy three Psalms making him a major contributor of the Book Of Psalms. David learned to be a song writer, singer, musician, poet and a man of prayer. He loved GOD and GOD loved him. Soon after Samuel anointed him he gets a call to play his instruments and sing songs to soothe the melancholy King Saul. KJV-Proverbs 16:16 Tells us A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. There were those who were in King Saul’s house who recognized David’s talents and recommended him to the king and David gets the call to minister in the king’s palace. It would place him right where GOD was calling him to be years later. This is what he was anointed for. GOD all along was grooming David to be king but GOD wanted a man after his own heart. Ultimately, David’s father sends him on an assignment to bring provisions to his brothers who were on the battlefield. Upon arriving, David is astonished to find the men hiding and in wonderment he hears the taunting voice of the giant who is calling them out to battle while insulting Israel’s and Davis’s GOD! Abraham Lincoln once said after a number of setbacks and failures in his own life; “I will study and prepare myself someday my chance will come!” David’s day has finally come. He was suddenly thrown onto the scene where fear was charging the very atmosphere but it did not overtake him because he had a history of bears and lions who lay dead when they came to attack his father’s flock of sheep. They tried to attack the sheep he cared for and after years of practice this giant was an easy target. For him the scattered army hiding among the rocks reminded him of the frightened sheep that he cared and attended for years. He was well prepared for this moment and so he descended the hills to the battlefield below to remove the threat and drive a stone into the center of the forehead of Goliath to terminate his life and bring triumph to Israel. Without realizing it, all that practice of firing those stones at all those targets day after day, week after week and year after year made him such a skilled marksman. First it was still targets then moving targets then it was lions and bears. Who knew? It all was all for such a time as this. So let me ask you…. with your being shut in and isolated….. what have you been doing with your time? Have you dusted off all those latent talents and polished them for future use? Does GOD have a purpose in any of this? I’m Pastor Ron and we will talk some more on this social distancing and isolation that we have all had to endure these last few months. GOD Bless Pastor/Evangelist R.C.H. Wiseman
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