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Written by Tolbert S. Dalton   

“I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.” Psalm 120:7

David penned this Psalm while Saul reigned over Israel. Saul was a lover of war, and seems to have striven from the time he was anointed by Samuel out of a vial, to show his strength and tactics in war. This shows that he was not truly God’s choice to be King, for God has taught His people all the while they should have no other King but Him, but Israel became worldly minded, and could look around and see the other nations prospering under their Kings, and under that longing desire to be like other people, they began to plead for a King to rule over them, and God gave them their own choice of a King, and they chose Saul, because he was from his shoulders up, higher than any other, and God let them have him, and his very first move was for war, and poor David, dwelling there with him, did not, which called forth David’s expression in verse 6, "My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace," and also in verse 5, he says, "Woe is me, that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar."

It seems that we have reached the age of Saul again, when men arise amongst us that (whether true or false), imagine they are from their shoulders up taller and greater than other men, and their first move is to buckle on sword and wage war, and like it was with Saul toward David, the more service David did for Saul, the more exasperated Saul was against him. Just so it was with the dear Savior with His adversaries, and for His good words and good works, they stoned Him.

So it seems to be with the Sauls, they have lately crept into the camps of Israel, the more you show them kindness and try to reclaim them, the more exasperated they are against you, and the more hard speeches they use against the dear old Church they once professed to love.

This very spirit called forth from David the text that heads this article: "I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war." No wonder that so many old wearied soldiers of the Cross are going with their heads bowed down, crying like David of old. "Woe is me," because I am forced to dwell in such a land. Not that David really dwelt in the land of Meshech or Kadar, but his surroundings were such under the tyrannical reign of Saul, that Israel had become a Meshech or Kedar to him, just as many of God’s old and tried servants are wearied with the reign and rule of the young Sauls of the present day and are crying for peace among God’s dear people. Not peace at any cost, but peace upon God’s plan, letting the old paths remain as they are, and as they were handed down to us by the old fathers, who hazarded their lives for them, and gave to us the old landmarks which the ancient fathers had set.

I rejoice that we still have some, both old and young, that are content to hold on to the good way, and can truly say with David: "I am for peace." Now, my brethren, let us not love peace the less, because we sometimes are forced to seek it in vain; let us strive to "not be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." I feel sure that God hath not forsaken us forever, but in His loving Kindness, He will remember His downtrodden, faithful servants. Let the seekers and lovers of war rave to their own shame, let them belittle the dear old servants to their hearts content, "for all of these things God will bring into judgment," and when we come to leave this old world of sin, and gloom, we shall hear (if we are truly the Lord’s), the welcome voice of the Master say: "Come in, ye blessed of my father, you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many, enter thou into the joys of the Lord."

This will be worth more to us than all the applause that men could heap upon us. Let us strive for peace among the dear people of God and show that the text truly is fitted to us. "I am for peace," may God give us one more sweet season of peace among His dear people before we must go hence.

God bless His dear Zion is the prayer of your humble servant.

Yours to serve.    
T.S.D.

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.