“And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.” I Samuel 16:12-13
God told Samuel to appoint a new king over Israel because Saul had not been obedient. He went to the house of Jesse, passed over all his strong handsome sons, and chose the youngest. They had to bring him from the pasture where he led his sheep. God knew that David was a man after his own heart and had already chosen him as we read in Psalm 78:70-71 “He chose David also His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds… to feed Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance.”
David had proved his faithfulness in little things as he watched over his father’s sheep, and now he was to be made ruler over many things. But it did not happen immediately. David still had some lessons to learn. As he returned to his flock of sheep, he did not waste his time. He practiced his skill with his slingshot, as he protected his flock. No doubt he spent many hours playing his harp and composing many of the Psalms that we enjoy today. Having no idea when he would become king, he used this waiting time to draw close to the Lord and be ready when the right time came.
We will not go into the details of his life, but there were many twists and turns between the time of his anointing and his becoming king. Take time to read his story. In every circumstance, we see David trusting the Lord, and not trying to run ahead of the Lord. He learned to trust, knowing that the Lord was in control and that His timing was perfect. Even when being pursued by King Saul, he maintained his integrity and refused to take vengeance. When the time was right, the Lord allowed him to take his place as king.
How long did David have to wait? I am not sure how many years it was, but God had a plan and a purpose, and David was willing to be patient. Maybe he received the same message that the prophet Habakkuk had received:
Habakkuk 2:3 “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
What are you waiting for today? If the Lord has given you a vision or a dream of something he has in store for you in the future, be like David, and wait for it to come to pass. But don’t just sit and do nothing. Prepare for it by studying the Word of God and communicating with the Lord in prayer. Improve your skills and talents so that you will be ready when God’s time is right.
Prayer: Jesus, your timing is always perfect. Sometimes you ask us to wait. Help us to use that waiting time to draw closer to you and learn the lessons we will need when the time comes.
Devotion by Anne Johnston