Reading about David and his reign, about his life. It is striking to me how God clearly gave him his kingship; his kingdom, yet he always had to fight for it. He had to fight to keep it together; to keep it in one piece; to even have it. He lived for years as a fugitive; as a homeless, wandering warrior after he had been anointed as king. He could have stood up and forced the issue with Saul long before the matter was resolved yet he did not. He waited on God’s timing. He used to time to protect himself and his followers, but did not necessarily even work toward establishing his kingdom. He worked toward establishing and deepening his relationship with God. He could have stood up against Absalom and all the others that stood against him at other times much more than he did. He didn’t even wish Absalom’s death, which would have been perfectly understandable from a human standpoint. After all, he had many sons- what’s the death of one? Death of one as an example for all? He chose mercy, both in this situation and with Saul, when he refused to kill him, even though he was given the opportunity numerous times. I think about how I deal with conflict in my own life- how often I think that ‘because God wills it, it will be easy, or it will be at least semi-easy”. How often I want the absence of the things that stand in my way without thinking about WHY they are in the way, without thinking about them in terms of mercy and grace. Without relying on God to provide the way through.
Although I am not big on the idea of modeling our lives on anyone except Christ, it is something to really think about. David was the king of this very prosperous, but very tiny country. He had power, wealth, esteem, boldness, strength. Yet he humbled himself to follow God. He waited on God. He was patient. It was costly to him to do this- he lost years of when he could have been acting king. He lost time with his family, time with his friend Jonathan; I would venture to guess it cost much money and reputation. How does it look to have a king who won’t kill a rival? Yes, merciful, but also weak.
But his strength was in God. God’s timing was everything to him. And reading Psalms, I don’t believe he had some prophetic knowledge of knowing when or how long everything would take. He just trusted.
So I guess the lesson to be learned is to trust God always, to let go of striving to make it in our own, and to seek God above all else that we seek.
Micah 6:8- He has shown you, O man, what is good,
And what the Lord requires of you.
To do justice,
To love mercy,
To walk humbly with your God.