Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Have integrity of heart

Good morning. Today’s scripture comes from Psalm 78:72 (NIV):

“And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
With skillful hands he led them.”

Psalm 78 is written by Asaph, David’s choir director, and he retells the story of how Israel rebelled and was not faithful to God after He delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. The Israelites gave their thanks by forgetting what God had done for them. Asaph shares the Jewish history all the way up to David’s reign as king, every sad detail.

Even though David is called a shepherd here, he is the king when this Psalm is written. Some of the Bible’s great leaders started as shepherds, including David, who was tending his father’s flocks when his father sends him on an errand to check up on his brothers on the front line of Israel’s war with the Philistines. David was prepared to battle Goliath because he had killed a bear and a lion while protecting his father’s flock. Being a shepherd was an honorable trade in the days of David, who learned responsibility through his daily tasks. The flock was completely dependent on its shepherd, for guidance, protection, and provision. David didn’t know it as a boy, but he was learning to lead a much bigger flock later in life.

Perhaps you are going through a rough stretch of life – unemployment, loss of home, becoming a single parent, struggles with your teenager, etc. Maybe God is using this time as a training ground, much the way David’s shepherding prepared him to lead Israel. Maybe God has something bigger for you later, and you need to learn lessons first, before moving on to what God has for you. You must act responsibly during this training ground time. You may not know what God has for you later, but you must be ready when he calls you. Our families need to see act responsibly during rough times; respect is earned.

Most importantly, you must act with integrity. Temptations will continue to infiltrate your life when you are unemployed or after going through a divorce. David was a skilled leader years later, because he learned humility during that time of being alone. When he had no one to talk to, he talked to God. He learned to hear God’s voice in the quiet of the night, when the only sounds that could be heard was the baying of sheep. During difficult times, God wants us to act in faith and obedience. Trust God to see you through the storm, and obey his laws. David’s integrity was strongest when he was fighting his toughest battles.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, let me be a man of character right now. May others see you through my actions. Amen

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