From relating the fall of Saul, the story swings a hundred and eighty degrees to recounting the heroic exploits of David and his mighty men. It’s clear that this abbreviated version of his exploits is intended to remind the exiles of stories they are already familiar with. From providing limited details about the military victories, David’s ascension to the throne, to giving only the first name and family name of his mighty men, it’s evident that no further explanation was needed for the original audience.
You can almost hear Ezra saying, “You remember that time….”
Giving testimony is something of a lost art in today’s church. There was a time when, at least periodically, members of the church would come forward and proclaim what God was doing in their lives. They would share humbly about the sin which had engulfed them and threatened to destroy everything they loved, and then tell of how God pulled them from that pit and restored all that sin had crushed.
My husband and I went to see “I Can Only Imagine” last night. It was a powerful testimony, not only of God’s work in bringing to life a father who was dead to his son, but of bringing to life a dream that had been crushed. It was the 21st Century equivalent of someone coming to the front of the church and saying, “Let me tell you about what God has done in my life!”
When we share those stories of God’s faithfulness, it is not only the audience who is moved to worship, to appreciate the goodness and grace of God. We are reminded once again, as we should be often, of how great the Father’s love for us is.
We don’t dwell on the past. We shouldn’t wallow in the sin and shame that Christ freed us from. But neither should we forget the magnitude of our salvation and of every time God has rescued us, restored us, healed us, provided for us, and blessed us.
Can I get a witness?