After David was anointed to be the next king of Israel by the prophet, Samuel, historians agree that it was around fifteen years before he actually did become king. That’s a long time to wait on God. But we see over and over in the Bible that waiting seems to be part of God’s plan.
Waiting is part of God’s plan
- Noah waited 120 years between being told there was going to be a flood and starting the process of building the ark before the first rain fell.
- Abraham and Sarah were promised a son, and it took 25 years before the fulfillment of that promise before Isaac was born
- Israel waited 440 years to be freed from slavery
- Jacob waited 14 years to marry the wife of his dreams
- David waited 15 years to actually become the king
David’s humility while waiting
When we're waiting on the Lord, we want to take matters into our own hands rather than trusting God's plan and trusting his timing in his process. The humility that David shows is not just trusting God, but it's serving those who are in authority.
When King Saul took matters into his own hands by sacrificing to God rather than waiting on Samuel, God’s favor was lifted from Saul. He became mentally and emotionally tormented. The only thing that soothed him was music.
Saul’s people told him that David was a gifted harp player. So David was commanded to serve Saul and the two became very close. Saul loved David like a son. Can you imagine how strange it was for David to serve Saul, knowing he was to become the next king?
As it turns out, Saul becomes jealous of David and seeks to kill him. In 1 Samuel 24, there's an incredible story about the season when Saul's trying to track down and kill David. The Bible says that on one particular day, Saul had 3,000 fighting soldiers and their singular ambition was to find David and kill him.
One day when David and his men were hiding in a cave, Saul enters the cave to use the restroom. When he takes off his robe, David sneaks up and cuts a piece from the hem. He could have killed Saul right then, but he chose to wait on God’s timing.
Look at what David said to Saul afterward: I'm not here to kill you. In fact, I could have. Look, I cut off a corner of your robe. Your life was in my hands, But I will not touch the Lord's anointed for I'm going to trust my God. Bible says at that moment, Saul began to weep and he says, You are such a better man than I am.
Waiting is never passive
It's always going to be active. When you’re waiting for a loved one in a hospital bed, or you’ve been crying out to God for a son or daughter, it's impossible to stay spiritually and emotionally neutral. You're going to take a step. And the first step that you take is critically important. When we're waiting, you're going to take a step towards worry or you're going to take another step towards doubling down and trusting Jesus.
When we take a step towards worry, the next thing that happens, we will begin to doubt. We doubt God's promises. We doubt God's Word. Go back to the Garden of Eden. That is where the whole thing got started. When Satan said to Eve, Now, did God really say that? Satan will cause you to question the truthfulness of the Word of God, the character of God, and the promises of God. When we begin to doubt, then the next thing that happens is despair begins to set in, and then we begin to say in our own head, This is never going to work out. When despair sets in and doubt is there, the last thing that happens is we try to take back control.
Control is a figment of our imagination. We have no control. You might think you have control, and you might try to take control. When we think we do, an earthquake happens, or a hurricane or a flood, or the stock market or something that's totally out of our control happens to remind us we really don't have control. Then we worry. Philippians says, Don't worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need. Thank him for all that he's done. And then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His piece will guard your hearts and guard your minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Saul had the Kingdom of Israel ripped from his hands because he tried to take back control when he felt the pressure all around him.
If the natural tendency is to worry and then to have doubt and despair and control sneak in, then what's the other side? The other side of the ledger is to double down and trust Jesus.
Abiding in Jesus means having faith. That's what the Ancients were commended for. Faith is the certainty of things that you cannot see. It comes from a humbled, surrendered, and yielded heart and spirit. It’s saying, I completely trust my kids to you. I completely trust my work situation to you. I trust my finances to you. God, I trust you. And even though it's not changing around me, I know that you're here. I know that you're good. I know that you’re God. So in the season of waiting, Dear God, help me not to doubt your truth, your promises, and your character. Dear God, help me never to take back control, but to trust your process and to trust your timing.