WOW! This past week was great, adventurous reading. I had times when I hated to put it down! Who said the Bible is dull? Not me…at least not when I was reading the life of David.
It started when he was a very young man, maybe even a boy at the time. That was when he was out watching the sheep the day Samuel came to his home looking to anoint the next king of Israel from his family. When GOD didn’t give the “okay” to Samuel for any of Jesse’s sons who were there, it turned out that there was still another son…David. When he was brought in from the field, Samuel anointed him as King!
Reading about his life in the chronological reading has been very interesting. It includes portions from I Chronicles, I and II Samuel and the Psalms. I particularly enjoyed reading some of the Psalms in their context. One that was written when David and his men had been hiding in caves to keep away from Saul, the King who was trying his hardest to kill David.
“Behold, GOD is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life….
For He has delivered me from every trouble,
and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.” Psalm 54:4,7
cf. I Samuel 23
Somehow the context of David’s story at this point and where he was probably writing this Psalm gives much more grit and texture to his writing doesn’t it? He was living a life of stress, panic, relief, comfort, triumph. He knew that feeling of needing a helper bigger than yourself! He had also seen GOD deliver him!
When you are reading the story, then reading that Psalm, don’t you feel it more? I did. It gave new meaning to some of the familiar words in those psalms when I thought about what David was going through at the time!
This large section that covers most of David’s life, is very telling as we watch how GOD works in his life! He started as a young man, but his journey to the throne was not easy! For a few years, he lived in the palace and comforted Saul when the troubling spirit would bother him. David’s music calmed Saul down usually…until one day, he threw a javelin at David. David was back in the palace a few times after that, but for the most part, he was running for his life…along with his men!
One impressive point here is that David refused to take matters into his own hands and when offered the chance, he would NOT kill Saul. Why? Because he had respect for the fact that Saul was GOD’s anointed King. David knew the day would come when he would be king, but he was not going to be the one to kill Saul.
Can we trust GOD to deal with issues of Providence in His time and in His way without feeling that we have to be the ones to take over and “become GOD” in places where we don’t belong?
Then, even when Saul died, it was 7 more years before David became King over all of Israel. He was only King of Judah. That was a long time to wait…for loyalties to change, for victories to be won, for the nation to come together more and be willing to make him king over the whole nation.
Before each war, he went to GOD to find out whether to go to war and how to manage it. Then he did what GOD said! What a contrast with Saul, the man who so often lived in fear…of what people would think, or that he would be killed. He rarely seemed to be able to trust GOD. Even when GOD made it clear through the prophet Samuel what Saul needed to do, he seemed to find it impossible to obey! And that was how he lost his Kingdom.
Reading about these two men was challenging. Sadly, I see myself at times in Saul’s behavior…but I also see myself looking to Christ…and even being obedient sometimes. That is encouraging. Yes, the failures are discouraging, but His undeserved forgiveness and grace is very encouraging as I grow in grace.
I hope you, my fellow readers are enjoyed this 90 days. For those of you, my regular blog readers, I encourage you to plan ahead now to take advantage of one of these 3 month segments coming up here on Mom’s Toolbox.
I wrote last week about being someone who does things in spurts. It is true! That is another reason why this 90 day reading has been so helpful and encouraging. If I had to drag it out over a year, I would fail. But I don’t. If I’m stuck on a difficult book, I will only be stuck in it a few days instead of weeks. That is a good thing!
I highly recommend doing this chronologically. It gives the context to your reading that makes it fun! Join us as we start Week 5.