As David is scrounging to survive in caves, Saul and the wretched Doeg are prospering in the king’s palace. The unfairness to David is infuriating.
But God is good. He is sovereign and has a plan for David’s life on earth, so that David might prosper for eternity in heaven. Hardship, suffering and pain in this life are tools the Father uses to shape us. We should count it a privilege to suffer for his sake – especially if God works through the pain to mold us more into his righteousness.
Lazarus’ story in Luke 16 should be an encouragement to the suffering on earth. Lazarus was a poor beggar who longed for even a scrap from the rich man’s table – but in death, their roles were reversed. The rich man was in eternal torment, and Lazarus was feasting at the side of Abraham.
David understands that God will make all things right in the end. Even as he mourns the death of Ahimelech and his priests, he knows that Doeg and Saul will ultimately have to answer to God for their actions…
But God will break you down forever;
he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living.
The righteous shall see and fear,
and shall laugh at him, saying,
“See the man who would not make
God his refuge,
but trusted in the abundance of his riches
and sought refuge in his own destruction!”
But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
I will wait for your name, for it is good,
in the presence of the godly (Psalm 52:5-9).
How can David write that he is “like a green olive tree” when he is starving and homeless? His faith in his God gives him an eternal perspective – and this truth sustains him through the suffering. We must cling to God’s word during suffering. His truth will see us through!