|David crowned king in Hebron|
TO CHEW ON: "David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years." 2 Samuel 5:4
Though David was thirty when he was crowned king of Judah in Hebron and thirty-seven when he took Jerusalem and became king of all Israel (2 Samuel 5:5), his path to the throne began years earlier.
The story of Samuel anointing him king is in 1 Samuel 16. He is the eighth and youngest son of Jesse. The writer of 1 Samuel describes him as "….ruddy with bright eyes and good looking" (1 Samuel 16:12). But he doesn't tell us David's age at the time Samuel anoints him .
I think we can assume he wasn't full-grown because of the way he reacts to putting on Saul's armor in preparation for facing Goliath: "'I cannot walk with these …'" (1 Samuel 17:39). Let's suppose he is seventeen. That makes a 13-year gap between when he is anointed and when crowned king of Judah, and a 20-year gap before he is king over the whole nation.
The years in between aren't easy either. He spends several running and hiding from jealous Saul. Some of the psalms he may have written while he is on the run show how difficult this time is for him:
- In Psalm 7 he expresses outrage at being wrongly accused and persecuted (Psalm 7:3-6).
- In Psalm 27 he gives thanks to God for keeping him through a time when the wicked came "To eat up my flesh" (Psalm 27: 2), an army "may encamp against me" (Psalm 27:3); "the time of trouble" (Psalm 27:5); even a time "when my father and mother forsake me" (Psalm 27:10).
- In Psalm 31 he describes "the net which they have secretly laid for me (Psalm 31:4). In that psalm he tells of feeing grieved and weak (Psalm 31:10), repulsive to neighbours and acquaintances (Psalm 31:11), forgotten (Psalm 31:12), slandered as they plot against him (Psalm 31:13).
But all through the years between his anointing and his becoming king he never forces the issue. In fact several times when Saul is in his hands, and with the full knowledge that he is God's anointed, David refuses to take the life of his pursuer:
* David to Saul after David spares his life the first time: "'But my hand shall not be against you'" (1 Samuel 24:12,13).
* David to Abishai, his general who is urging him to kill the sleeping Saul: "'…the Lord forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the Lord's anointed'" (1 Samuel 26:11).
What an example for us! For if God has put an anointing on our lives, a dream of usefulness or ministry in our hearts, He is the one who can bring it to pass. Even if the delay is long, let's wait for Him:
"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up" - James 4:10.
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time" - 1 Peter 5:8.
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for this inspiring example of David, who waited for You to lift him up instead of doing it himself. Help me to follow His example. Amen.
New King James Version (NKJV) Used with permission. The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.