March 26

1 Samuel 25-27, Psalm 85

A patient came to my practice after a poor outcome with another practice concerning the delivery of her first child. According to her, her labor had stopped progressing and a cesarean section was called. There was apparently no concern over the child's status, it was simply an aberration of labor. For whatever reason, she states it took a long time once the anesthesia was administered to actually deliver the child. The child was born with 0/0 apgars (which if you are not familiar signifies no evidence of life in the child), with the baby eventually being resuscitated 15-20 minutes later. Unfortunately this child is now profoundly neurologically handicapped, with no ability to communicate or even control his muscles. We know that if the baby's heart rate goes down and stays down we have approximately 12 minutes to deliver the child before damage might ensue. We also know that spinal anesthesia occasionally drops the heart rate and soon after it is administered in a cesarean the baby can no longer be monitored due to issues of sterility. For this reason it is incumbent on us to make sure that child is out of the mother's abdomen within 12 minutes after the baby is no longer monitored. Fortunately the outcome that I mentioned above is exceedingly rare. Therefore it is easy for surgeons to get too relaxed and take for granted the time frame believing nothing bad could happen. This is the problem when we only take seriously the big things in life and work on auto-pilot for the common or smaller things. Rare conditions and difficult situations bring all physicians back to their books and focus on every detail, but the common is often treated as such. We need to bring every matter before God, both big and seemingly small; for the small things can have devastating consequences.

As David flees from King Saul, he starts out well, bringing ever matter before Him. We read in 1 Samuel 23:2,11, "Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, "Shall I go and attack these Philistines?" And the Lord said to David, "Go and attack the Philistines, and save Keilah."..."Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as Your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant." And the Lord said, "He will come down." David was bringing every situation before the Lord and was being guided every step of the way successfully. But soon after, we see David starting to act in his own strength and without the guidance of God. We read in the matter concerning Nabal, the foolish wealthy man who chose to disrespect David, in 25:12-13, "So David's young men turned on their heels and went back; and they came and told him all these words. Then David said to his men, "Every man gird his sword." So every man girded on his sword, and David also girded on his sword. And about four hundred men went with David,...". Without thinking, with his pride hurt, and without seeking God, he goes with an army to completely wipe out one ignorant man and all the males on his property. After David is lovingly stopped from this murderous rage by Nabal's wife, Abigail, we read in 25:38, "Then it happened, after about ten days, that the Lord struck Nabal, and he died." Immediately after, without consulting God, he calls for Abigail and married her, then soon after married another woman named Ahinoam. In God's instructions for the future kings of Israel, he instructed the people through Moses in Deuteronomy 17:17, "Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away,...". In his haste he didn't even consider God's instruction as he took on his second and third wives. It's not the big battles that often get us. It's not the big temptations or the big challenges. It's the little problems which we wrongfully act in self-confidence which come back to hurt us.

We must all ask ourselves the question, "What matters do we bring before God?" Do we take anything before Him? Do we handle the smaller things like David did, and only bring the big things before God? In Zechariah 4:10, we read, "For who has despised the day of small things?" God is the God of the big and small. If we don't bring the seemingly small things before God, they will become big things. In the case of David's multiple wives, it eventually resulted in rape and murder between the different half-sisters and brothers. We make a huge mistake if we believe we shouldn't bother God with the small things in our lives. We need to continually abide in Him so that His counsel permeates every area of our lives. Jesus tells us in John 8:31-32, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." God is always present and He is always listening, let's make sure we are continually asking Him for guidance.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster