Saundra never imagined things would turn out like this that somehow she would be running from a mad man, a mad man she once loved. She had been so wrong about David, and now he was out to kill her and her daughter Corrine.
He abused her, in more ways than one, but it was Corrine Saundra most worried about. She could not even begin to think about the things he was doing to her daughter, their daughter. The abuse he laid on their precious child. It had gotten to the point that now her daughter would not even speak. She was six and just last year, you could not get her to stop jabbering, and now Saundra prayed simply to hear her daughters voice, listen to her stories.
Lord my little girl what has he done to my little girl. I want to have her back, the little girl that used to skip and giggle now she is only a shell of herself and my heart is broken.
Saundra knew something had happened to her daughter, but not what. She knew that she had to get free of this man, just a few days ago he had threatened to kill them both. They may have been husband and wife, but there was nothing but hate in this man, David knew nothing but hate. He looked at his wife and child as disposable something to be thrown away once he was done with them. To him they were nothing more than toys, never had been.
David was a master deceiver and he had everyone believing he was a good God fearing man, he was some different in public, but the signs of his madness were beginning to show, and Saundra was beginning to tell her story, which is what made him want to kill her all the more. Saundra had to make sure he went to prison but she could not put Corrine in danger. Her daughter had seen enough trauma and they needed to go somewhere, where they could be safe, but someone Saundra knew that may be impossible. David would find them wherever they went, still she had to run, not for herself but for Corrine.
Saundra found comfort in her Bible more than anything else, despite the torture her husband put on her, and the way he tried to make her think he was God, she did not lose faith. Her faith was one of the few things that this monster could not control.
Revelation 1 caught her eye, as her daughter slept on the bed next to her, in some countryside Motel room. Saundra had to believe this was a place that David would not find. As far as she knew he had never been this far north.
1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
Greetings and Doxology
To the seven churches in the province of Asia:
Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits[a] before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father —to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,”[b]
and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”[c]
So shall it be! Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
John’s Vision of Christ
9 I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”
12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man,[d] dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
19 “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels[e] of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
Saundra had been living a nightmare for the past seven years since she became pregnant with Corrine. The only bright spot had been Corrine, but David always thought it was her fault that they did not have a boy, and he never really loved his daughter, the fact was Saundra was sure that he never had really loved anyone.
Lord I have so many questions for you, but most of all I wanted to thank you for getting us this far. I may not have much, but I am so glad that we are free of this man, this monster, I worry that if he finds us what he will do. I know he is my husband and I am supposed to love him, but I also know you do not want me to experience this kind of abuse, and I know you do not want Corrine to experience it either. We both deserve better, I am just now starting to understand that, and I am grateful to you for giving me that understanding.
“Corrine we are going to be safe, we are going to get away from him, go somewhere no one can ever find us.” Saundra wanted her daughter to believe this more than anything, but the truth was she was pretty sure she didn’t. believe her, she was supposed to protect her daughter and the truth was she felt she had not done a very good job of it.
Saundra saw the bruises on Corrine as she was helping her to get dressed one day. Ugly bruises that she knew came from David’s fists, and choke marks around her neck, where he had tried to squeeze the life out of his daughter, he had not succeeded that time, but the next time she had no doubt he would succeed. She was not going to stay and risk her daughter’s life, she could not stay and do that she loved Corrine too much to let this monster kill her. He was supposed her Daddy, but the truth was he was a monster.
Lord I need your help and your guidance. I need to get to safety, somewhere where he will never find Corrine or I. David will kill us if he finds us I have no doubt of that.
Saundra prayed it was only her imagination, but for the past few days, she felt she was being followed. It was like someone was lurking in the shadows for her daughter, if anyone was in those shadows, it was David and if David was in those shadows they are in grave danger.
New International Version (NIV)
The Helper of Israel
41 “Be silent before me, you islands!
Let the nations renew their strength!
Let them come forward and speak;
let us meet together at the place of judgment.
2 “Who has stirred up one from the east,
calling him in righteousness to his service[a]?
He hands nations over to him
and subdues kings before him.
He turns them to dust with his sword,
to windblown chaff with his bow.
3 He pursues them and moves on unscathed,
by a path his feet have not traveled before.
4 Who has done this and carried it through,
calling forth the generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord—with the first of them
and with the last —I am he. ”
5 The islands have seen it and fear;
the ends of the earth tremble.
They approach and come forward;
6 they help each other
and say to their companions, “Be strong! ”
7 The metalworker encourages the goldsmith,
and the one who smooths with the hammer
spurs on the one who strikes the anvil.
One says of the welding, “It is good.”
The other nails down the idol so it will not topple.
8 “But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
you descendants of Abraham my friend,
9 I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
11 “All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.
12 Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.
13 For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge,
new and sharp, with many teeth.
You will thresh the mountains and crush them,
and reduce the hills to chaff.
16 You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up,
and a gale will blow them away.
But you will rejoice in the Lord
and glory in the Holy One of Israel.
17 “The poor and needy search for water,
but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the Lord will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs.
19 I will put in the desert
the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know,
may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it.
21 “Present your case, ” says the Lord.
“Set forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King.
22 “Tell us, you idols,
what is going to happen.
Tell us what the former things were,
so that we may consider them
and know their final outcome.
Or declare to us the things to come,
23 tell us what the future holds,
so we may know that you are gods.
Do something, whether good or bad,
so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear.
24 But you are less than nothing
and your works are utterly worthless;
whoever chooses you is detestable.
25 “I have stirred up one from the north, and he comes—
one from the rising sun who calls on my name.
He treads on rulers as if they were mortar,
as if he were a potter treading the clay.
26 Who told of this from the beginning, so we could know,
or beforehand, so we could say, ‘He was right’?
No one told of this,
no one foretold it,
no one heard any words from you.
27 I was the first to tell Zion, ‘Look, here they are!’
I gave to Jerusalem a messenger of good news.
28 I look but there is no one —
no one among the gods to give counsel,
no one to give answer when I ask them.
29 See, they are all false!
Their deeds amount to nothing;
their images are but wind and confusion.
Saundra had to remind herself not to get wrapped in fear, but to put her trust in the Lord. She needed to trust in him and not be afraid of the monster who could kill her in the body, but never her soul. She knew that no matter what happened the good Lord had hers and Corrine’s soul, but the fact of the matter was she had no intention of dying or letting anything happen to her daughter.
“Corrine you don’t have to be so scared, we are going to be okay, the good Lord is going to help us through this. You have to believe that Corrine, I do.”
Corrine was only six though and she did not understand the things that were happening to her, or how someone who was supposed to love her could hurt her. The truth was Saundra did not understand these things either, but what she did understand is that the good Lord was going to help her through this, he wasn’t going to leave her or forsake her.
The way Saundra had kept her faith despite the hell she had been through was nothing short of amazing. She had made it this far, and for that she was grateful. She knew that it had to be the Lord who got her to this point, because there was no way she could have survived it on her own. She could not survive any of it on her own. She needed the Lord and she needed Corrine, but her daughter was just a shell of the little girl she had once been.
Saundra had no idea what had drawn her to David, she had not come from an abusive home, and she had often heard it said, abuse often attracted abuse, but David had been charming at first, someone who seemed to love everybody and love life, that was until he put that ring on her finger, and suddenly she became his property, and he told her often when he got tired of her he was just going to kill her and move on, and he bragged about killing before, his younger sister who had died when he was younger he bragged about killing her. His parents knew about it, but the truth was they were afraid of him too. He had threatened to kill his mother and father often, and they believed him, just as Saundra believed him, but she was going to escape or die trying. Death would be better than the hell she lived in with this monster.
Saundra once again turned to her Bible this time reading it aloud to her daughter, hoping that the words would sink in and give her daughter comfort and hope.
New International Version (NIV)
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons[a]:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel
12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[b] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[c] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true , Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[d] 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
Life Worthy of the Gospel
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,[e] striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
Saundra looked over at her daughter, who had fallen asleep to the sound of her Mom reading to her. For the first time in a long time Corrine looked peaceful, Saundra was glad that her daughter was getting some much needed rest, but the truth was she was not sure that she would be able to sleep. She wanted to make sure that she and her daughter were safe, and she had far too much on her mind to sleep. Every time she tried to close her eyes, her mind began racing and she knew it was not going to stop. Instead she lay next to her daughter on the motel room bed, listening to the gentle sounds of her daughters sleep.
Lord thank you for the first time I feel happy, I feel that a life away from him is possible, that perhaps I can escape the monster, but I know I can do this with you. I love you and I praise you even in the toughest of times I know you are there. I know I can talk to you at any time day or night. I know that you are just a prayer away, and I can talk to you whenever or wherever. I thank you for that Lord, and I thank you for getting us this far, and make it this far. I want to provide a life for my daughter that is not wrought in fear and I know that you can help me do that. I know that you can show me the way.
1 Chronicles 29
New International Version (NIV)
Gifts for Building the Temple
29 Then King David said to the whole assembly: “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God. 2 With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God—gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise,[a] stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble—all of these in large quantities. 3 Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: 4 three thousand talents[b] of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents[c] of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, 5 for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord today?”
6 Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly. 7 They gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents[d] and ten thousand darics[e] of gold, ten thousand talents[f] of silver, eighteen thousand talents[g] of bronze and a hundred thousand talents[h] of iron. 8 Anyone who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the Lord in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite. 9 The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.
10 David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,
“Praise be to you, Lord,
the God of our father Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
12 Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
13 Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.
14 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. 15 We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. 16 Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. 17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. 18 Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. 19 And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, statutes and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.”
20 Then David said to the whole assembly, “Praise the Lord your God.” So they all praised the Lord, the God of their fathers; they bowed down, prostrating themselves before the Lord and the king.
Solomon Acknowledged as King
21 The next day they made sacrifices to the Lord and presented burnt offerings to him: a thousand bulls, a thousand rams and a thousand male lambs, together with their drink offerings, and other sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. 22 They ate and drank with great joy in the presence of the Lord that day.
Then they acknowledged Solomon son of David as king a second time, anointing him before the Lord to be ruler and Zadok to be priest. 23 So Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king in place of his father David. He prospered and all Israel obeyed him. 24 All the officers and warriors, as well as all of King David’s sons, pledged their submission to King Solomon.
25 The Lord highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him royal splendor such as no king over Israel ever had before.
The Death of David
26 David son of Jesse was king over all Israel. 27 He ruled over Israel forty years—seven in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. 28 He died at a good old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth and honor. His son Solomon succeeded him as king.
29 As for the events of King David’s reign, from beginning to end, they are written in the records of Samuel the seer, the records of Nathan the prophet and the records of Gad the seer, 30 together with the details of his reign and power, and the circumstances that surrounded him and Israel and the kingdoms of all the other lands.
Saundra was doing a lot of reading of the word, as her daughter slept and she could not, because that was the only way she could take her mind off the fear that was inside of her, the fear that was starting to take over, the fear of her being followed and in grave danger.