Have you ever read the Psalms, and looked past the P’shat (plain language) to see the Drash (underlying meanings) of the writings of David?
I read a little of the “Manual” every day, and I go from Genesis through to the end of Revelations (sometimes I even check out the maps at the end) and then I go back to Genesis, to start all over again. Currently I am in Psalms, and as I read them, I pass the beauty of the writings and see the pathos of the requests.
David is clearly in need of Prozac; he is constantly upset with the conditions of his life. And it’s no wonder: his king and father-in-law, Shaul (Saul), wants to kill him for no reason at all. David constantly talks about his enemies trying to destroy him, Shaul mainly, but there were the Philistines, too, always trying to take land or goods away from the Israeli’s. David spent years wandering in the desert, under constant fear for his life, living as a marauder, plundering the enemies of Israel to survive. He also had nearly 400 men to support. If you have ever been in a position of management or authority, it is a very heavy burden.
Let’s not forget that his own son, Absalom, tried to take over his kingdom. And almost succeeded.
And yet, David was faithful, righteous, kind and forgiving: all of the very best qualities that any God-fearing person should possess. Except for a few biggies, now and then, he was a sinless and upright man and king. So why should he have had to suffer the way he did, through almost all of his life?
The answer is the title to today’s message: faith ain’t easy; add to that righteousness takes a lot of hard work, and when you are righteous and faithful, you are so different from nearly everyone else that you will be alone, often. Not only that, but people will hate you and try to take you down to their level of sinfulness because you represent to them what they can’t, but inwardly want, to have. When someone wants to be like someone else, but they aren’t, they have two choices: they can improve on themselves, or they can make the other person become less than what they are.
Simply put, if I am dirtier than you are, and I am too lazy or sinful to clean up my act, I will throw dirt all over you so that now we are both dirty.
Despite having had so many wives and children, having the loyalty and friendship of his elite guard, having his cousin Yohav as his general ( who may have been loyal to David but was also a source of pain, killing who he believed should be killed, even when David said not to) and, of course, being the king (as Mel Brooks has said in his film “History of the World, Part I”, “It’s good to be the king!”), overall I believe that David lived a very tough and often lonely life.
So what is the message? The message today is: stay the course! Be prepared to be lonely, to be hated and ridiculed, to be kidded even by your friends, and to suffer for the name of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) as you live a faithful and righteous life.
When you are a light in the darkness, what that means is this: think about what it is like when you have been sleeping, get up in the dark and suddenly turn the lights on. Your eyes squint, it is uncomfortable, and it is not a pleasant experience. Imagine that feeling multiplied exponentially, on an emotional and spiritual level, and you will have an idea of what it means to those who live (and are quite comfortable) in the darkness when the light of your righteousness shines upon them.
When the light enters the darkness, those who live in the darkness don’t cry out, “Welcome! Thank you for allowing us to see better.” Rather, they will be angry and will scream, “TURN OUT THAT LIGHT!!”
Don’t. Don’t ever let your light go out, no matter how loud they scream, no matter how vindictively they berate you, and no matter what they do to you. Remember that Yeshua told us we will suffer for the sake of His name, but that we will be rewarded for it.
Faith ain’t easy, but after all the troubles and tribulations you will have to suffer in order to maintain your faith, the eternal reward will make it all worth the effort.