“Tell it not in Gath…”

harp

There came a day in David’s illustrious life when he wrote a song that he had no joy in singing!  It was really a lament called the “Song of the Bow” and this composition eventually made it into the “Book of Jasher”, no longer extant. (2 Samuel 1:19-27)

David’s great enemy Saul, and his son Jonathan had fallen in battle to the Philistines and David’s heart wept for them. In this he certainly embodied the truth of Proverbs 24:17, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles” (ESV).

Someone has put it like this. “To hate those who love you is Satanic, and to love those who love you is Human, but to love those who hate you is Divine”

David takes up the lament:

“Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen! Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exult… How the mighty have fallen and the weapons of war perished!”

How sad it is when the enemies of God’s people can look among us and see defeat and failure in our midst! This was true in Corinth, “It is actually (or commonly) reported that there is fornication among you… and such fornication as is not even among the Gentiles” (1 Cor 5:1).  This brought great shame on the testimony. When we walk before the Lord may we be careful to remember our testimony before the world – they are watching. What a shame it is when you hear people say “he calls himself a Christian but…”!

From this dirge we learn:

1.      A lesson about Pleasure: “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls…” Proverbs 24:17.
2.      A lesson about Publishing: “Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon.
3.      A lesson about Pride: “How the mighty have fallen… How the mighty have fallen and the weapons of war perished”

 

I am the LORD, I change not…

What a statement! What a truth!

 “I am the LORD, I change not…” (Malachi 3v6)

This thought has comforted believers down through the centuries of time. The great Jehovah, the I AM – eternal, dependable and reliable. Never has there been a need for him to change His thoughts, update His views or revise His opinions. His purpose is unwavering and steadfast, His promise is unfailing and His character is unchanging!

I change, HE changes not,
The Christ can never die,
His love, not mine the resting place,
His truth, not mine the tie” – – Horatius Bonar

The question might be asked, how is God unchanging? Surely the Bible speaks at times of God “repenting” or “relenting”? Is this him changing?

The answer is profound and yet simple. When the Bible tells us about God being “unchanging” it is meaning that he always is consistant with His character. If God says that he will judge you because of your sins, it is because He is acting according to his righteous chacter – God punishes sin!  if God then forgives you upon your repentance, it might appear to you that God has repented (humanly speaking), he has changed his mind, but He is just acting consistantly with His Mercy and Love, praise God he doesn’t jettison his righteousness either, because the blood of Christ answers all his claims.

therm

Some have illustrated this by a Thermometer. It appears to be constantly changing. It is up and then its down, it is then up again! However it is really the surroundings that are changing, the thermometer is consistantly acting in accordance with its inbuild laws and character, it hasn’t changed at all even though it appears to!

This is a great comfort to every Christian. We will never waken up one morning and find that God no longer loves us. He is unchanging, he has pledged Himself to us. Yes, He is immutable. I’m so glad I ever trusted such a God!