In the Old Testament, in 2 Samuel, Chapter 21, God tells us about an occurrence in King David’s life, and it will most definitely put a lot of things in perspective for the single person desiring to partner in marriage. 2 Samuel 21:1 (The Message) tells us, “There was a famine in David’s time. It went on year after year after year—three years. David went to God seeking the reason. God said, “This is because there is blood on Saul and his house, from the time he massacred the Gibeonites.” With God’s Word, as you grow in the knowledge of Christ, the meaning and wisdom of scriptures deepens as well. The verse that you read four years ago has a broader and more spiritual implication for your life than it did when you first read it. This will definitely be the case with 2 Samuel 21:1. In terms of a person’s efforts toward marriage, this verse is so deep that when fully digested, it can literally blow your mind.
David was appointed and anointed for big things. He loved the Lord, and we know from the Word that he enjoyed God’s divine favor, and had no doubt grown accustomed to it. So in his mind, the first year of this famine might have merely been chalked up to an inconvenience that was not all that unusual. Experienced farmers know that there is going to be some occasions when crops don’t produce the harvest they expect. It happens, and this might have been the reason why the first year of the famine was easily dismissed.
They no doubt reasoned that the second year would most definitely make up for the losses in the preceding one, but this did not happen. Still, it appears that David was not so alarmed. The third year rolled around, and the famine persisted. The third strike was a wake-up call for sure, so much so that David took it upon himself to seek God for the reason behind the famine.
One of the things that we can see from this record is how easily it can be for things to slip by us without too much notice. David was God’s man, and during these years, it’s reasonably safe to assume that he mostly went about doing all the things he usually did to maintain his relationship with Heavenly Father. Most of us take for granted that things will always be as they once have been. This is a mistake on our part.
The climate had changed, and David didn’t even notice. It was only when things had gotten to a drastic level that David realized that something was terribly wrong. The temperature had gotten hotter, and the heat was not letting up. This caused David to question God, because he knew that they had done something to cause His covering to be removed.
Those of us living in modern times take the exact opposite approach. We very seldom become too bothered by a change in the climate, because we’ve grown accustomed to controlling the temperature ourselves. We turn up or down the thermostat. We heat up or cool down our surroundings with a flick of a button. In other words, we make ourselves comfortable, and as long as we are, we don’t think about anything else.
It’s not until we find ourselves without this control that we begin to think about seeking God. When the loneliness becomes severe, or we get our hearts broken by someone we loved a lot, this is when we begin thinking about sharpening up our prayer lives. Then, when the hurt and loneliness persists without an apparent reason or resolution, we become offended. “Why isn’t God answering my prayers?” we ask.
Sometimes, we don’t ask Heavenly Father the kind of questions that speak to an attitude of reverence and gratitude. Notice the steps of David. When the problem persisted, he understood that something deviated from the state of blessedness of which he was accustomed. He questioned God with an attitude of, “It cannot be God, so it must be something we either did and shouldn’t have, OR it is something that we should have done and didn’t do.”
David recognized a blessing blocker, and he was willing to be accountable for it. The single person seeking the blessing of marriage must do the same. In an effort to identify the blocker, we must first comb our own actions, examine our walks with God, and scrutinize the decisions we have made. When nothing seems obvious to us, we must then ask God. And the attitude with which we ask is uber important. It should be one of earnestly desiring to know where we have erred, so that we can repent and do better.
As it turns out, Saul, the king before David, had dishonored a covenant, and slaughtered the Gibeonites. Their blood was on the hands of God’s people because they committed these murders, and this had given the devil legal ground to bind them with scarcity. What is the enemy using against you before the throne of God?
Heavenly Father is a Righteous Judge, and we cannot expect Him to rule in our favor when the evidence speaks to our negligence, pride, jealousy, envy, a refusal to forgive, and any other thing that is not in line with the truth about our Christ identity.
The climate of our prayers lives and reverence of Heavenly Father is controlled by us. When there’s a famine or drought in our circumstances, it is a sure bet that we need to change the thermostat to the temperature that Jesus Christ controls. It’s time to heat things up in our prayers lives and get brutally honest about the things we’re doing that give the enemy more ammunition against us. God’s heart is always to bless and protect, but we may be blocking our blessings. The right question is to ask Heavenly Father what the blocker is, and a need to truly repent in some area of our lives will almost always be the right answer. ■
Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.