Friday, June 5, 2015

When In Doubt...

"You know, something that's been on my mind lately," I started, "is how God really does move in mysterious ways."

We were just coming home from the usual Sunday dinner. I was sitting in the back of the SUV and Pops and Mums were in front. I was hoping to stir up some spiritual conversation.

"I've been looking at the life of David. Most people know David because of the David and Goliath story..."

Many Christians also know that David became the greatest king of Israel. But how many know what his life was like before becoming king?

From boyhood to old age, David walked with the Lord. He was born about 1040 B.C., to Jesse, the grandson of Ruth. He was the youngest of 8 sons. And his “chore” was to watch over his father's flocks of sheep, which he did faithfully.

Suddenly and unexpectedly, David's laid back, provincial life was disturbed when the nation's leading prophet, Samuel, showed up at his father's house and anointed David as the next king of Israel! And we read in 1 Samuel 16:13b,

... And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward.”


Through a series of events, David went from being a “promdi” that no one had heard about, to being one of the most respected leaders in Israel. He was able to defend Israel from her long-time oppressors, the Philistines, and other hostile countries. He helped King Saul establish the kingdom and restore order In Israel after more than 300 years of chaos rampant sin.

At first, he was the favorite of King Saul. But as God blessed David with more and more success, Saul became more and more jealous and paranoid. Even though David was Saul's best and most loyal servant, Saul was blinded by his pride and selfishness. Eventually, he tried to kill David, and David was forced to flee for his life.


At various times, David was in exile in the desert, or moving from town to town trying to avoid detection by Saul's servants, or camping out in the grasslands. At one point, he became so desperate that he even fled to the Philistines! Imagine that!

How long was David on the run? Considering the following data.
  • Saul was king for 40 years (Acts 13:21)
  • David was only a "youth" when he defeated Goliath (1Sa 17:33). That probably means he was leading Saul's troops into battle even in his teen years! (1Sa 18:5)
  • David ascended to the throne when he was 30 years old
Given this information, we can conclude that David was on the run for at least 5 years, maybe even more!

What dark thoughts must have plagued David's mind and weighed down his heart during these difficult and trying years! Thank God for the Psalms, which record David's prayers in his times of deepest distress. From them, we see a man who was honest to God about his pain, yet continued to stand on His promises.


Sometimes we may feel like life has taken an unexpected and horrible turn for the worse. And it's a sad reality for sinners like us that we lose confidence in God's wisdom and love. I think that's why God is so straightforward in His Word that He often treats his best servants in ways that most people would question, or even balk at. He wants us to know that it will all be alright in the end, because everything we're going through is all part of His sovereign plan.

Why do many believers have to go through such painful and seemingly senseless suffering when God could make things better with a snap of His finger?

Why did God put David through such difficult and "unfair" circumstances?

The answer to both of these questions is simple but profoundly difficult for impatient, comfort-loving creatures like us to accept. The answer is that we simply don't know why. At least, not completely. Sometimes we see the purpose in God's providence, but often we don't. And yet, God wants us to trust Him anyway.

And we certainly can, because "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32) God's ultimate proof of His love and faithfulness toward us is the cross.

So let's kill our selfish ambitions and patiently wait for the Lord to unfold His plan in His perfect time.

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