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Day by Day - 1 Samuel
Focus On The Calling, Not The Circumstances
Clif Johnson
Aired on Oct 13, 2023
Show Day by Day
Oct 06, 2023
00:05:23 Minutes


1 Samuel 14:4

When God has called us, we must focus on that, and not on circumstances that may waylay us.   ~~~   We see that not only were the odds not in Jonathan’s favor, neither were the surrounding circumstances. 1 Samuel 14: 4, “Within the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistine garrison, there was a rocky crag on the one side and a rocky crag on the other side. The name of one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.” The name Bozez can mean “a surpassing white glistening” and may be referring to how slippery the landscape was. And the name Seneh means “thorny.” In other words, there was no easy, advantageous way, strategic way to get an army in position to attack the garrison of the Philistines. The circumstances were not favorable. With all of this against him, Jonathan has incredible, radical faith, and says, “Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving by many or by few.” And so Jonathan devises a plan, that required a divine sign. And when that divine sign was given, he and his servant struck fast and struck decisively. So overwhelming was the two man attack on the garrison that the word “panic” is used three times in one sentence to describe the response of the Philistines and the earth. Remember our little story about William Carey a few days ago? Well, On March 11, 1812, William Carey was teaching in Calcutta. While he was gone, a fire started in their printing press room where they worked to print bibles in the native language… Despite many hours of exhaustive efforts to fight the fire, the building burned to the ground. Just five pieces of equipment were saved. Carey’s entire library, his completed Sanskrit dictionary, part of his Bengal dictionary, two grammar books, and ten translations of the Bible were lost. Gone also were the type sets for printing fourteen different languages. Vast quantities of English paper, priceless dictionaries, deeds, and account books were all gone. When Carey returned to Serampore and surveyed the scene, he wept and said, “In one short evening the labours of years are consumed. How unsearchable are the ways of God. I had lately brought some things to the utmost perfection of which they seemed capable, and contemplated the missionary establishment with perhaps too much self-congratulation. The Lord has laid me low, that I may look more simply to him.” What could we say? We could say that the odds were against Carey and his team, and that circumstances were absolutely stacked against them. He could have looked at the rubble, he could have started calculating cost and manpower and effort and time as to how much and how long to get back to where he was, and he would have been in despair if that is all he had focused upon. Although he was heartbroken, he did not take much time to mourn. With great resiliency Carey wrote, “The loss is heavy, but as traveling a road the second time is usually done with greater ease than the first time, so I trust the work will lose nothing of real value. We are not discouraged; indeed the work is already begun again in every language. We are cast down but not in despair.” Carey resolved to trust God that from the embers would come a better press and more scholarly translations. Within a few months Carey had set up shop in a warehouse. Little did Carey know that the fire would bring him and his work to the attention of people all over Europe and America as well as India. In just fifty days in England and Scotland alone, about ten thousand pounds were raised for rebuilding Carey’s publishing enterprise. So much money was coming in that Andrew Fuller, Carey’s friend and a leader of his mission in England, told his committee when he returned from a fund-raising trip, “We must stop the contributions.” Many volunteers came to India to help as well. By 1832 (20 years later) Carey’s rebuilt and expanded printing operation had published complete Bibles or portions of the Bible in forty-four languages and dialects! (From The One Year Book of CHRISTIAN HISTORY By E. Michael and Sharon Rustin [] If God has called you to it, focus on the calling, not the circumstances. And guess what, God has called all of His people to world missions.

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