David was a teenage shepherd boy when anointed by Samuel. He was the youngest of eight brothers and seemed the least unlikely, but God said to Samuel that He does not look at the outward appearance, but at the heart. David was one who always inquired of the Lord. He had proved his faith in the smaller areas of his life, killing both the lion and the bear attacking his sheep. Then again in the much greater arena of facing Goliath, and God gave him the victory.
Rather than embracing David as Israel’s hero, Saul was extremely angered. With ensuing victories and praise David received, Saul’s anger grew into a bitter seed of envy and hatred. His remaining days were spent pursuing David for the sole purpose of killing him. Despite opportunities David had to kill Saul, he remained loyal to God’s anointed, reasoning that God had made Saul king over Israel and God would dethrone him. That time had come when Saul and three of his sons were killed in battle against the Philistines. Critically wounded, Saul took his own life rather than risk capture. David mourned his death and that of his sons.
The tribes of Israel hailed David as their hero and crowned him as king. This was the people confirming what David already knew in his heart fifteen years earlier when Samuel had anointed him. David was 30 years old at the time and reigned in Hebron over Judah 7 ½ years, but it was not smooth sailing. Saul had a fourth son, Ish-Bosheth, who claimed his right to the throne, and there were those, mainly in the north, who followed him and in the south, those who followed David. 2 Samuel 3:1 says, “The war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.” Ish-Bosheth was eventually murdered by two of his own leaders while sleeping in his bed.
David is finally on the throne over a united Israel, but for 15 years he had been waiting in the wings. There were three factors the people said that qualified him. He was their own flesh and blood; he had led Israel on military campaigns, proving himself as a military leader, and they recognized the Lord had set him apart as His anointed. Though it took 15 years, all the pieces were now in place for David to be crowned as Israel’s king.
When God reveals something to us, we are not to try to force it into being, but wait patiently upon Him. In fact, keep a healthy distance from it. Like David, trust God to bring it into being and in His timing, He will. We see this repeatedly in Scripture; Abraham waiting 25 years for his promised son; Moses 40 years to be the deliverer of His people, and Paul waiting about 14 years from his encounter with Jesus on the Damascus road to his first missionary journey. Even Jesus had to wait 30 years before His ministry began. The waiting period can be a good testing ground in which our faith is proven, trusting God to bring our calling to fruition.
It has been said, “God’s delays are not His denials.” Isaiah 5:19 says, “Woe to those who say, ‘Let God hurry, let him hasten his work so we may see it.’” 2 Samuel 5:12 tells us, “David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel.” He knew this because there was a coming together with his inner conviction and the outer circumstances, as revealed in the people’s recognition of him as God’s anointed. Usually, inner conviction comes first, followed by outer circumstances which confirm our conviction.
David’s kingship is confirmed, and secondly, it is consolidated, but over a period of several years. For seven years David was in Hebron. Since Israel conquered Canaan under Joshua, they had been unable to occupy Jerusalem. Strategically located between the Mount of Olives and the Mount of Zion with the Kidron Valley and stream running between them, Jerusalem had been successfully defended for 400 years by the Jebusites. But David came up with an idea. There was a water drainage system running out of the city, and one night he sent his soldiers up through the system. Coming up through the manholes, they gained entry and overtook the city. 2 Samuel 5:7 says, “David captured the fortress of Zion,” and verses 9-10, “David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David... And he became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him.”
David’s conquest was inexplicable apart from the fact this was God’s business and God had been with him. His kingship is confirmed and consolidated, but then it becomes challenged. The moment he is crowned, conflict arises. 2 Samuel 5:17 tells us, “When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him….”Whenever a work of God is accomplished, Satan will do his utmost to counteract it. This goes right back to the Garden of Eden. The moment Satan entered, so did the poison of corruption and evil. A work of God being brought to fruition is a particularly vulnerable time in which we must be on our guard against the devil’s influence in those who oppose God’s work. David has been anointed as king and the Philistines, who had been an established enemy of Israel for 400 years, went in full force to search for him and attack.
How does David respond? 2 Samuel 5:18 says, “The Philistines came and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; so David inquired of the LORD, ‘Shall I go and attack the Philistines?’” David does not inquire of his great military commander, Joab, or his intelligence aids, but inquires of the Lord. “The LORD answered him, ‘Go, for I will hand the Philistines over to you’” (5:19). Again the Philistines spread out in the Valley of Rephaim, and David again inquires of the Lord. This time, God said, “Do not go straight up, but circle round behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army” (2 Samuel 5:23-24).
On both occasions, David did not lean on past experiences, but inquired of the Lord. The strategies God uses are different for every task, which is why we are to live on a daily basis of fresh dependency on God for what He will do today. We cannot confine God’s working to specific patterns or methods that have meant with success before, expecting God to just oil the machinery so to speak. God is original every time, and our trust and dependence needs to lie in Him alone, not in techniques or methods, which essentially leave God out. The strategy of yesterday is never enough for God’s strategy today.
When God calls us to a task, give Him time to confirm it and wait patiently on Him. Eventually, consolidation will take place as the pieces fall in place and other people recognize our calling. Once the task is brought to fruition, we must be keen and alert to snares Satan will use to oppose us. In every work of God, it is imperative we “inquire of the Lord,” and He will direct our paths. This is God’s commitment to us and one He will fulfil.
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