Yesterday we saw that David not only didn’t start out as a king, but that he was so insignificant that when Samuel obeyed God and went to David’s home in Bethlehem to anoint the new king the Lord had chosen, David’s father Jesse didn’t even call him in out of the field – Jesse just assumed Samuel was there to anoint one of his other sons. And Samuel looked at David’s big strong brother Eliab and pegged him as the one God would be choosing.
But what did the Lord tell Samuel? “People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (I Samuel 16:7b, NLT). God saw potential within David that those merely looking at him from the outside missed completely.
So being anointed as king ended David’s life of insignificance, right? Wrong. David had a long way to go before he would ever be a ruler. David returned to tending sheep and only a few people even knew that a new king had been selected.
First Samuel 16:14a tells us that “The Spirit of the Lord had left Saul.” Prior to Christ’s resurrection, the Holy Spirit didn’t indwell believers. He had been with Saul as God’s chosen leader, but as Samuel had already told Saul: “Since you have rejected the Lord’s command, He has rejected you as king of Israel” (I Samuel 15:26b). Even so, Saul’s dethronement and David’s enthronement were not going to be overnight changes.
But Saul, having lost the covering of the Holy Spirit, began to suffer greatly “with depression and fear” (I Samuel 16:14b). The rest of First Samuel 16 describes how Saul’s servants suggested finding someone to play soothing music whenever Saul was at his low points. Saul liked the advice and, lo and behold, David son of Jesse from Bethlehem was brought in to play the harp for the king. David, the newly anointed king, was serving Saul, who was still in power – Saul, who had been rejected by God because of his disobedience.
Folks, it’s all about timing. David may have been anointed as the new king, but God wasn’t ready for him to move into that position. And David wasn’t ready for it, either. He had a lot of learning and growing to do.
Timing, folks, is everything. At a women’s retreat 25 years ago, the Lord clearly spoke to my heart, telling me that I would one day be standing before audiences. I received that as truth, but wondered how it could ever happen. Still, I stood when we were given the opportunity to share whatever we’d learned during the retreat and I told this huge group of ladies the promise God had given me.
And I was swamped by well-wishers? Nope. They looked at me as if I had two heads. Later, one lady came to me and said she was agreeing with me in prayer and would continue to pray for God’s guidance. The rest made me feel like a fool.
Ten years later I received my first invitation to speak to an audience. Ten years, y’all. We MUST learn to trust and wait on God’s timing.
Copyright © 2012
Judy Woodward Bates