How to Ignore Peer Pressure

 

In 1 Samuel 24:1–7, King Saul leads his army on a manhunt for David. Saul’s attention is diverted from his true enemies, the Philistines, and instead he chooses to follow his “imagined” enemy, David. Saul tracks David and his men to an oasis that was also a place of many caves. Saul needed to relieve himself and chose the very cave in which David and his men were hiding. While his men whispered that now David had his chance to kill Saul, David instead chooses to simply sneak up to Saul and cut off his a corner of his tunic (or robe). When Saul leaves and is a good distance away, David waves the piece of cloth at him. Humiliated, Saul leaves.

Reading this scripture, it’s easy to agree with David’s army. They must have been saying to David, “Take this opportunity to kill the guy off. He’s been chasing you, making your life miserable, and you’re the next king. Look, it would be so easy.”

But David believed this was wrong. David had his chance, but he reminds his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed.”

Bottom line, when you believe something is wrong, don’t do it. Even if it means bucking your best allies. When you hear God’s voice, listen and remain firm in your commitment to Him.

In his Epistle James writes, Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. (James 5:11)

Job is the classic example of a man who patiently endured suffering (even against the advice of his friends and his spouse) and was incredibly blessed by God for his persevering faith. James reassured his readers that God had a purpose for their suffering, just as He did for Job’s.

Being taught the great stories of his faith as a child, David probably knew the story of Job well. “The date of the book [of Job] is doubtful, and there have been many theories upon the subject. It may be regarded as a settled point that the book was written long before the exile, probably between the birth of Abraham and the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt—b.c. 2000–1800.” He could remember how Job stood against his three friends and his wife. In spite of the circumstances, Job completely trusted God and stood firm in his convictions.

The understanding of Job and other teachings may have prompted David to write these verses in Psalm 52:

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.
I will praise You forever,
Because You have done it;
And in the presence of Your saints
I will wait on Your name, for it is good.

Here David reminds us that waiting on God and standing firm (the phrase “trust in the mercy of God” is sometimes rendered “steadfast”) is the best plan of action. He knows in his heart that if he just waits on God that He will do what is right and within His will. David wants to stay in the center of God’s will and he wants to be led by God in everything he does.  David doesn’t bow to peer pressure. He waits on God, “for it is good.”

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One Response to “How to Ignore Peer Pressure”

  1. EDD says:

    WH
    In all honesty, this was a great article. Thanks for the reminder.
    EDD

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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

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