Hope. It’s what we all need a little more of these days. With the dawning of a new year comes an opportunity for new beginnings. If you haven’t done so yet, take some time over the next couple of days to dream of what the coming year could be like. You’ll want to start by taking a look back to learn from what worked and didn’t last year.
Remember that a new year beginning marks time for everyone in the same way. Nearly everyone is talking about their new year’s resolutions or goal setting strategies. Our faith journeys, on the other hand, are all on a different schedule. Here’s a Bible verse to reflect on: 2 Corinthians 5:17 “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” When we belong to Christ, we get a fresh start at life. We are forgiven and free!
We continue to witness history being made as Solomon, in front of all Israel, prays this dedication. I love the clues we can get from this prayer for our own prayer life. Solomon says, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below.”
Did you notice how he starts out this prayer? Solomon speaks to God with admiration and awe. Wouldn’t you agree this is a great way to start a prayer? Get our hearts and mind straight on the truth. It will also get God’s attention!
Do you remember that children’s rhyme? “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That was the taunt I would use when being bullied. I’m quite sure I wasn’t as bold or brave as King David in almost inviting the ridicule.
Never did I give God credit for the teasing I received. Despite the situation King David finds himself in, he is still clinging to God’s promises and trusting that what he is encountering has God’s stamp of approval on it. Yet he does say, “And perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wronged and will bless me because of these curses today.”
Making an escape is not new for David. However, taking a whole household and then some takes a lot more planning and strategy. I can just picture the procession. It would have been impressive to be sure. No panic, only calculated strategy.
David seems to be calmly handling this situation. His faith is strong, and we hear him surrender to God. While he wants to be able to return to Jerusalem, he defers that to God. Not sounding fearful of death, David goes on to say, “But if he is through with me, then let him do what seems best to him.”
This is one of those texts we should read and reread. It’s good for us to see David’s heart overflowing. This is how David responded to the message Nathan brought in our last reading. Think for a moment about how you would respond. The LORD really gave David something to think about.
David prayed, “Who am I, O Sovereign LORD?” I see humility and almost disbelief in his words. David had to be thinking “why me, I’m nobody special.” After all, wasn’t David was just a shepherd boy with musical talent? He had to realize all his victories had been because that’s how God wanted it to play out. David’s prowess as a mighty warrior was a gift from God.