God's Word is filled with stories of real people who have left examples for us, good and bad. We would do well to learn from both thereby avoiding pitfalls while emulating sound choices. The Chronicles of the kings provide many such life sketches.
"Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign. . . but he did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father: For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim. Moreover he . . . burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. . . Wherefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him" 2 Chronicles 28:1-5.
God gave Ahaz opportunity to repent but he spurned it and only set his heart to be more rebellious. How God would have loved to have come to his aid if only Ahaz had asked for it; however, "in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD. . . For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him" verses 22, 23.
David provided a far different example when confronted with a similar situation. He explained his method for dealing with such troubles. "In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears. . . The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice. And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; . . . He delivered me from my strong enemy" 2 Samuel 22:7, 14, 15, 18.
What do you or I do when facing distress and troubles? To become angry and rebel against God will only accomplish bitter results. While we may not always understand why God has allowed certain circumstances to touch our lives, we can choose to believe in His goodness. We can cling to the following fact. "The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all" Psalm 34:17-19.
Praise the LORD!!
Kathryn Irizarry is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.