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In His Time

2 Samuel 2:1-7 

 

"Then it came about afterwards that David inquired of the Lord, saying, 'Shall I go up to one of the cities of Judah?' And the Lord said to him, 'Go up.' So David said, 'Where shall I go up?' And He said, 'To Hebron.' [2] So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. [3] And David brought up his men who were with him, each with his household; and they lived in the cities of Hebron. [4] Then the men of Judah came and there anointed David king over the house of Judah.

And they told David, saying, 'It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul.' [5] And David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said to them, 'May you be blessed of the Lord because you have shown this kindness to Saul your lord, and have buried him. [6] 'And now may the Lord show lovingkindness and truth to you; and I also will show this goodness to you, because you have done this thing. [7] 'Now therefore, let your hands be strong, and be valiant; for Saul your lord is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.'" (NASB)
 

Have you ever wondered why Christmas Eve goes by so slow and Christmas Day goes by so fast? For me, I've noticed that anticipation elongates time. Looking forward, time crawls; looking back it runs. As David walks into his destiny, I suppose it would be easy for him to look back at the day Samuel took a horn of oil and anointed him as king when he was a young man as if it were yesterday. But it wasn't. David had lived a lot of life since he lived in his father's home and tended to his sheep. He wasn't the same innocent boy who went to the battlefield to check on his brothers. Now he was a seasoned warrior. The battle against Goliath propelled him into prominence in Saul's military and among the general population. One opportunity led to another until David was among the most popular figures in the land. The time between his anointings may have seemed to have flown by quickly looking backward, but I'm sure it crawled by a snail's pace as he waited for Samuel's anointing to be confirmed by the men of Judah. 

We often speak of the patience of Job, perhaps we should pause this morning and reflect about the patience of David. I am amazed at his willingness to wait on the Lord to give him the throne in God's time. Maybe it is my own impatience when it comes to waiting, but I am amazed that David could be so patient with God. I'm afraid that I would have been tempted to take matters into my own hands-I'm not sure I could have turned down the opportunities David had to strike Saul down. David was firm in his belief that no one should raise his hand against God's anointed. Not him. Not anybody else. He took God's anointing very seriously. David had the Amalekite killed who assisted Saul in his suicide and in our text today, rewarded the men who buried him after he died. 

Whenever we speak of patience, we usually acknowledge that it is an important virtue. A Dutch proverb says, "An ounce of patience is worth a pound of brains" We also note that it is a necessary ingredient for success, American humorist and essayist Arnold Glasow, said: "The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg -- not by smashing it."

(http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)

But I believe patience is more than those things, I believe it is the essence of living by faith. Think about the evil we unleash on society because of our impatience in general. From traffic accidents to people who steal from others because they won't take the time to or exert the energy to work for the thing they want. Think about the suffering unwanted pregnancies have caused because a couple couldn't wait for marriage to have sex. Or the number of people who have placed themselves in plastic prison because they couldn't say no to an impulse and have racked up huge debt. 

Are we agreed that if people were more patient, life in general would be better? The issue though is deeper than this surface analysis. The truth is, the lack of patience in our Christian walk keeps us from being the world changers we've been recreated to be. Isaiah 40:31 says, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (KJV) 

Waiting upon the Lord and trusting in His timing is more than a virtue, it is the essence of faith. David demonstrated great patience yes, but more than that he showed tremendous faith in waiting upon the Lord and trusting in His timing. In Psalm 37:1-11, King David wrote, "Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. [2] For they will wither quickly like the grass, And fade like the green herb. [3] Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. [4] Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. [5] Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. [6] And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your judgment as the noonday. [7] Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. [8] Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing. [9] For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. [10] Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place, and he will not be there. [11] But the humble will inherit the land, And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

This Psalm emits a delightful fragrance of experience. In verse 1 David says don't fret-would you agree with me that David didn't worry over Saul's evil treatment of him, but instead waited for him to "wither away?" He advises his readers to trust in the Lord in verse 3, exactly what he chose to do when he had the opportunity on two different occasions to kill Saul. In verse 4, he promises that God will give us the desires of our heart, exactly what God is doing for David when the men of Judah anointed him King. Again in verse 5 he tells us to trust in the Lord. In verse 6 he says our righteousness will shine like the light.

He concludes his thought by advising us to rest in the Lord and not worry, because if we worry and try to take matters into our own hands we will end up doing evil. He promises that the evil workers will perish and that the humble will inherit the land and live in the delight of God's abundant prosperity.

Notice how his promise parallels Jesus' promise in Matthew 5:5 "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." (NASB)

In retrospect, David would do the same thing if he had it to do over again-he would wait on the Lord and trust totally in Him. And he is advising us to do the same.

How about you? How patient are you? On a surface level, I suppose that question has relevance. How patient are you with annoying people? Are you patient when you are in a hurry? Or do you have the ability to delay gratification? But really, I want to ask that question at a deeper level, do you have the patience to wait on God's timing? 

In his book, "In Search of Morality Living a Fulfilled Life from the Inside Out." Robert A. Schuller writes, "It may increase your patience to realize that every minute you have is another gift from God. The minute you are living through right now is a gift from God. So when God tells you to wait for Him, He is perfectly within His rights. He is asking you to give back to Him what He has already given to you."

(http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)

We are only impatient if we think time belongs to us, but when we know it belongs to God, we have the capacity to be patient. Are you willing to trust in him when you are living in the middle of the story, or do you want to fast forward to the end? Do you want to skip the struggle to get to the resolution, or even in the struggle are you content to trust in God, letting the unseen faith anchor you during troubling times?

The author of Hebrews put it this way, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1 KJV) Are you a person of substance who can depend on the unseen, or are you a shallow living Christian who must have resolution to all of live's struggles?

God is the same God in the beginning of the promise, during the struggle and when He gives you the desire of your heart. God is good-all the time. And all the time, God is good. Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." 

And that you can depend on. God's will will be done. In His time. 

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