1 Samuel 16 to 2 Samuel 5
Key moments in David’s life
He is anointed by Samuel the prophet
He kills Goliath
He becomes Judah's leader
Saul tries to kill him multiple times
He has several opportunities to kill Saul but doesn't take it
He becomes King of Israel
There are so many Bible characters we could look at when we think about waiting on God, but David is the one I want to focus on for this study. David was anointed to be King probably as a teenager, and he had to wait something like 15 years before he actually became King of Judah. After that, it was another 7 years before he became King over all Israel. This means he waited over 20 years to receive what God had already promised him!
What can we learn from the life of David?
Our lives may not be as dramatic as his but there are a few points I think we can take away from the life of David:
1. David was humble in the waiting. Compare this with Joseph who had dreams and constantly shared them with his brothers, making them so jealous they sold him to slavery. After being anointed future king by Samuel, David went straight back to rearing sheep (see 1 Samuel 16). This is where he was when Saul sent for him to serve in his household. I don't know how many people would continue the work they were already doing if they knew that something greater had been promised them. But David didn't suddenly become lord of the manor after he was anointed. He knew the call of God was upon His life, but He also knew that the time had not yet come. Until it happened, he was happy looking after sheep. The picture of David as a future king, yet rearing sheep, is a reflection of Christ the King, who is also our shepherd. What a beautiful picture, the shepherd King.
2. David didn't try to make the promise happen in His own strength, but trusted God to do it in His own timing. Again this is in great contrast to our father of faith, Abraham, who after God told him that he would have a son, slept with his servant girl and bore Ishmael, thinking that perhaps, God would fulfil his promise that way. David had numerous opportunities to become king (by killing Saul- see 1 Samuel 24 and 26) but he refused, saying, 'I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the Lord's anointed.' Soon enough, Saul died and David became king.
3. David perfected his craft in the waiting. David was a musician, and wrote many of the amazing Psalms we read today whilst he was waiting. He also trained as a warrior whilst he was waiting. And this started right from when he was looking after sheep! David saved his father's sheep from a lion and a bear (see 1 Samuel 17:34-37) and this definitely gave him the courage to go after Goliath. David also honed his craft as a warrior, whilst he was on the run from Saul. And when he finally became king, God gave him numerous victories over his enemies (see 2 Samuel 8). What are you doing whilst waiting on God to make good His promises to you? Don't be idle. Hone your craft!
Waiting is not easy. There's no denying that. But waiting is a part of the normal Christian life. And when God's plan is for you to wait, He will make it all worth the wait!