Why would it matter how david acted among the philistines? they were not the people he was to someday lead. they didn’t care much (or know much) about his religion. they wouldn’t have cared if he’d been faithful to the commandments or not. and yet, david was such an example to achish that he was referred to as an “angel” to him. i suspect david acted with integrity and set an example, representing goodness in all the ways that he could do while in “enemy territory.” it makes me think of ammon (a nephite) in the book of mormon who stunned lamoni, the lamanite king, with his faithfulness as a servant. so amazed was lamoni that his heart was softened toward him. he allowed ammon to teach him the gospel and he stopped murdering lamanite servants.
i know it’s a difficult balance to remain true to our beliefs in foreign circumstances. it’s hard to allow others to believe as they wish without becoming sympathetic and adopting their beliefs. but, david (and ammon) are proof that it can be done. we can respect others agency, culture, and beliefs without sacrificing our own. we can be an example of belief in god by how we acquit ourselves among others. kindness, charity, long-suffering, integrity, honesty, etc… we can support and aid others in all the ways we can that don’t compromise our beliefs and retain respect from them for the times we stand for what we believe in.
The image of god and the blazing furnace 🙏🏼 daniel 3:17
“if we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the god we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[a] from your majesty’s hand. but even if he does not, we want you to know, your majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” lessons to learn from shadrach, meshach and abedengo:
1) you have nothing to fear: these 3 men were thrown into a burning furnace which had been turned up 7 times hotter, even killing the soldiers. yet they still had no fear in dying for their belief, no fear of being different from the crowd and no fear of pain. when god is on your side he’s not going to ever leave you or forsake you because he loves you. throw any fear that holds you back from standing up for what you believe or for what’s right. whom shall i fear ?
2) faith is key: in the verse above it shows the faith of these 3 men. “the god we serve is able to deliver.” they had such great faith in god’s ability to deliver them from the furnace. they could’ve bowed down to the idol, but instead they showed great faith in god’s ability to perform a miracle and it paid off when they returned from the furnace unharmed. it takes courage, trust and strength to have faith, and god sees your faith and will reward you.
3) god sends help: king nebuchadnezzar noticed that four people were walking out of the furnace, the fourth being an angel god sent the three men. whenever you’re in trouble and need help god will be right with you. this can come in different forms, it may be an angel, or through the holy spirit, through words of a friend, the spirit of discernment. god’s can come in many forms, you just need to trust he will send it.
4) even if he doesn’t: the three men had huge faith. they trusted god to deliver them out of the furnace, but stated “even if he doesn’t, we still will not serve your gods.” there will be times where we want god to answer a prayer or heal a sick one and doesn’t. it’s not something we’ll understand because we know god can do all things, but we have to keep faith and say even if he doesn’t, i know god loves me, i know god has a plan for me.
father, one of the greatest mysteries in the human experience is how you blend two individuals and make them become as one when they join as husband and wife. the “me” becomes “us” in our shared interests and goals in life. things are no longer “mine” but “ours.” our times of celebration as well as times of sadness and loss become shared experiences. we honor marriage, recognizing the sacrifices and blessings that come to those who are joined in holy matrimony. we also recognize that our archenemy, satan, is intent on destroying the very foundation of marriage that you established from the beginning. we uphold the institution of marriage as defined in scripture and honor it when we speak of it and the way we live it out with our spouse.