1 Samuel 26:23-24
The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the Lord gave you [Saul] into my hand today, and I [David] would not put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the Lord, and may he deliver me out of all tribulation.”
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed.”
I wonder how many years have passed since Samuel anointed the little shepherd, David, to be King of Israel… I’m sure it seems like a lifetime to David, and now that Samuel has died, I wonder if David doubted if God would ever make him king…
For David is still leading his ragamuffin crew from wilderness to mountain, to cave back to wilderness. I imagine he’s becoming weary of his flight. But when given the opportunity to take Saul’s life for the second time – David trusts and obeys his God – and in so doing chooses God’s difficult path to the throne instead of the easy shortcut. But I’m sure he’s wondering… How long, O Lord?
I resemble that statement! Sometimes I doubt whether God really does have a hope and a purpose for my family as I trudge through the daily-ness of caring for a disabled child. I read today’s passage in Luke that describes Jesus’ return to establish His Kingdom on earth and I cry out… How long, O Lord? How. Long.
But like David, we are given a choice. There are always easier paths before us. Following God is a hard road – full of sacrifice and ‘character building.’ How do we find the strength to persevere?
David looked forward to God’s promise of kingship. We look forward to God’s promise of His Kingdom – where there will be no more pain. and no more tears. Until that day comes, I will look to God for the strength to press onward – and as I do, He surprises me with joy along the way.
Behold, God is my helper;
the Lord is the upholder of my life (Psalm 54:4).