A young girl who named herself “Cornflake” writes :
” Not even sure how to trust anyone anymore. Everyone disappoints. Even parents do.” “Pray God give me strength through all problems I’ve prayed every night for years but nothing’s worked. Pray for my family please. My parents constantly fight and scream over money. I’m scared! I don’t know why I wasted so much time pretending I didn’t care, I guess I just didn’t wanna feel like this. Help…give me wisdom”!
How do we “strengthen” ourselves in God alone, in battle, with the enemy seeking to destroy us?
“David was in serious trouble : the people [ his 600 mighty men of war] were talking about stoning him to death, because all the people were in such deep grief, each man over his sons and daughters.
But David strengthened in the LORD his God.
What is the ritual vest [Exodus 39:1-21]?
- The ritual vest is a covering of fine linen of blue, purple [for Royalty], scarlet [the Blood], over the blue robe [blue for Heaven] of the priest.
- It is called ‘ephod’ in Greek, and contained 1) twisted chains of pure gold piercing gold rings [symbolic of pure Messiah pierced] attached at the 4 corners to a 2) squared and folded piece of fine linen [white for purity], called the judgement breastplate which was embezzled with engraved gems for each of the 12 tribes of Israel and also contained 3) the urim and thumim [oracular stones; Exodus 28:30].
- The vest had 2 engraved stones on attached shoulder pieces with 6 tribes on each stone, possibly onyx, in birth order [Exodus 28:6-10] . Aaron and his sons were to wear it as a reminder of Israel , as they went before Yahweh in prayer and atonement for sins [v.12]. Samuel the prophet-priest wore it, even as a child, in the house of Shiloh [tranquility; 1 Samuel 2:18].
- David may have remembered Samuel the prophet, speaking the Word of God, wearing the vest during priestly duties of sacrifices [Leviticus 1-8] in his circuit as judge including Beth-El [house of El, God], Gilgal [circuit, wheel, round] , and Mitzpah [tower of prayer, the watch] to Ramah [ a high place, in idol worship]; his anointing him with his horn of oil [ symbol of power of the Spirit on him, 1 Samuel 16:1 & 13 ]; the Feasts of Yahweh [Leviticus 23], where Samuel seeks Yahweh to shine His face and grant favor and mercies [rachamim, mercies ongoing; plural] on Israel. Samuel grieved over Saul, who turned his back on Yahweh and disobeyed his orders, practicing idolatry [1 Samuel 15: 10-12′ 22-23, 24-29].
The vest was worn to remember the sons and sins of Israel as they carry their names before Yahweh ,”on his two shoulders” as a reminder. The shoulders carry the burden at the neck [shechem] and head.
Yeshua Jesus the Messiah and our High Priest, our Intercessor, teaches us to come to Him and release our burdens , symbolized by the yoke oxen carry. He says
“Come to Me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, because I AM gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light [Matthew 11:28-29]. ”
“For what I desire is mercy, not sacrifices, knowledge of God more than burnt offerings [Hosea 6:6]”.
The urim and tumim were placed inside the pocket formed by the folded square linen of the breastplate for judging. 1) They would be over the priest’s heart when he goes into the presence of Yahweh. 2) The ritual vest gave the priest the means for making decisions for the people of Israel over his heart when he is in the presence of Yahweh [Exodus 28:30].
Abiathar the son of Achimelech the priest flees to David when he saves Ke’ilah [ Hebrew: ‘looting the threshing-floor’!], and brings the ritual vest. David [loving] had sent Abiathar [Avyatar: abba or father of abundance; generous] the priest to bring the ritual vest to him to inquire of Yahweh about the approaching armies of King Saul, ready to ambush him and his men in Ke’ilah. David asks,
“Yahweh Elohim of Israel, your servant has certainly heard that Saul intends to come to Ke’ilah and destroy the city just to get me. Will the men of Ke’ilah turn me over to him? Will Sha’ul [Saul: asked, in Hebrew!] come down, as your servant has heard? Yahweh Elohim of Israel, please tell your servant! [1 Samuel 23:10-11]”.
Yahweh answers his inquiry , maybe shining the lights in the vest, the urim for “yes” and the thumim for “no”, its counterfeit the pagan “crystal 8 ball” ! Yahweh tells David Ke’ilah will hand them over, so David and his men flee and are saved once again from the spear of Sha’ul.
The saga of David continues for our instruction:
- Not wanting to kill Saul, David flees many times, hiding in camps and caves, and even a sanctuary of Nob [1 Samuel 21:1-8]! David has victory many times when he consults with Yahweh first!
- However, when he flees behind enemy lines to hide, David does not inquire of God. He “says to himself“, “One day Sha’ul will sweep me away. The best thing for me to do is escape into the territory of the Philistim. Then Sha’ul will give up trying to find me here or there in Israel’s territory, and at last I’ll be free of him! [1 Samuel 27: 1]”. The lies of the enemy are to rob joy of salvation and a relationship with God!
- He deceives the Philistine King Akish with lies that he and his men are raiding the desert camps of Judah, Caleb’s Kenites, and his brother. Meanwhile he is raiding lands of the Geshuri, the Gizri and the Amaleki [v.8, 9-11].
- Saul does stop searching for David there, but God allows an even greater enemy to come in. Once we stop seeking Him, the hedge of protection gets lifted!
- Ziglag is gifted to David by King Akish [27:5,6] because he likes David and trusts him [v.12]
- “In due time” [28:1] for a ‘testing’ the Philistines assemble their armies for war against Israel. David joins as King Akish’s “personal bodyguard”, in conflict of interest.
- For this lie and “conflict of interest“, the other chiefs of the Philistines protested: “this is David; the Israelites used to dance and sing about him [29:4-5]”. He might be a ‘double agent’ and kill them!
- Akish, who views David “as an angel of God ” [v.9], relents and sends him and his men ‘home’.
- Ziglag is raided and sacked with everything including women and children taken, by the Ameleki! Nothing is left when David and his men arrive. Ziglag is burnt to the ground. All cry aloud “until they had no power to cry [v.4]”! David’s 2 wives and others gone!
- So David is in “serious trouble” with his fellow ‘followers’; they all lost their families.
- What should David do? [What would we do? ] 600 mighty warriors in grief!
- David remembers Yahweh, as he so often does in his psalms or songs. Yahweh is Sovereign, Healer, Deliverer , Savior, and Shepherd, Holy and due praise on the lyre! [Book 1, Psalms of David, 1-41]
- David recalls Yahweh’s mercies as the Vindicator and Rescuer He is Strong and Mighty and faithful , to respond in support and forgive him out of all his distress and put his feet on higher ground [Book 2, Psalms of David, 51-71].
- David prays as in Psalm 86, for preservation as his servant, “to take pity” for “I cry to You all day” ; to “forget none of His benefits”: He forgives all offenses, heals all diseases, redeems your life from the pit, surrounds you with grace and compassion [Psalm 101, 103], as our Father and Judge.
- David calls on no one else. He strengthens himself in Yahweh his God Elohim!
- Then David says to Avyatar the priest the son of Achimelech [Akimelek, brother of the king, in Hebrew], “Please bring the ritual vest“!
- Then David consults Yahweh. He asks, “Should I go in pursuit of these raiders [of Ziglag, the Ameleki]? Will I catch up with them? [1 Samuel 30:8]”. Yahweh answers him, by saying “Go”! They cross the creek B’sor [Hebrew for refreshing, cheerful], leave 200 men to refresh and with 400 men are led to victory!
- David becomes King and dances with joy bringing the ark of Yahweh into the City of David, Mt. Zion, Jerusalem:
“Then David danced and spun around with abandon before Yahweh, wearing a linen ritual vest. So David and all the house of Israel brought the Ark of Yahweh up with shouting and the sound of the trumpet [2 Samuel 6:14, 15]”.
So my dear Cornflake, strengthen yourself in God. Adore Him, Meditate on His Word, Accept all the blessings He wants to give you, Trust Him and Obey His commandments, to love Him and your neighbor. As for your parents, we pray they also meet the Savior, receive forgiveness for their sins, be washed in the blood of Yeshua. Amein. And Cornflake, don’t forget to put on your ritual vest:
“So take up every piece of war equipment God provides; so that when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist; and when the battle is won, you will still be standing.
Therefore stand! Have the belt of truth buckled around your waist, put on righteousness for a breastplate, and wear on your feet the readiness that comes from the Good News of shalom [peace, blessing, health, contentment].
Always carry the shield of trust, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the Evil One.
And take the helmet of deliverance, along with the sword given by the Spirit, that is the Word of God;
As you pray at all times, with all kinds of prayers and requests, in the Spirit, vigilantly and persistently, for all God’s people [Ephesians 6:13-18]”!
May the God of abundance bless you!