Read I Samuel 24.
This is a familiar story to many of us that have been studying the Bible for some time. David has been running for his life from a man who is now sleeping in a cave, at his feet. David was anointed king. And the only thing that stands in his way, is the king who could be taken out of the equation with one fell swoop. But he walks away. Not before cutting off a piece of his robe for evidence. Then he yelled across to Saul from a safe distance to let him know.
9 And David said to Saul: “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Indeed David seeks your harm’? 10 Look, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord delivered you today into my hand in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you, and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 11 Moreover, my father, see! Yes, see the corner of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the corner of your robe, and did not kill you, know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my hand, and I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my life to take it. 12 Let the Lord judge between you and me, and let the Lord avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you. 13 As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Wickedness proceeds from the wicked.’ But my hand shall not be against you. 14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea? 15 Therefore let the Lord be judge, and judge between you and me, and see and plead my case, and deliver me out of your hand.”
This story pierced my heart today. Truly. Here was David, anointed by God, promised the crown, and here was what seemed to be the perfect opportunity to take what was his. But the character of his heart won out over the convenience of the capture. He was going to trust God to deliver the throne, and through his constant contact with God, he knew this was not how it was supposed to go down. Patience. What? Patience to watch God’s plan unfold. Vision for what God intended to do.
This is the exact opposite of what we are told by the world, and also what David was told by his friends. Get what’s yours. This is your one shot! Go for the gold, whatever the cost. The end justifies the means. Dog eat dog world. If there’s a close parking spot, that’s the one we want. If there is a faster lane, that’s the one I am moving to. If there is a shorter line, I am moving my cart there. If there’s a huge sale, I have to get there first before someone else gets them all. And this me me me feeling only intensifies when you have kids. If you don’t believe this ask any teacher or coach the crazy conversations they have had with parents about their children. Or sadly, just ask me. Can I be honest? I want my kids to be the best. I want them to win the game, get the part, stand out, be first. I want them to be recognized, to feel accomplished, to succeed. But at what cost? What happens when they don’t? What is the reaction in my heart? Or in my email?
So many parents go crazy on their kids coaches, or teachers, sending ridiculous emails, setting up time wasting meetings, because they feel their child isn’t getting what’s theirs. I have almost been that parent. So many times. But thankfully I have a husband who just gives me one look. You know the look. It’s a “settle down pageant mom/dance mom/ crazed mom and let it go.” What is the end goal? Well, I say with my mouth that the end goal is to glorify God, and instill a love and knowledge for God and His world in our children. But what do my actions say when the chance arises to push my way to the front of the line or the temptation arises to do things my way to get to “God’s will” faster.
Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 17 Then he said to David: “You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil. 18 And you have shown this day how you have dealt well with me; for when the Lord delivered me into your hand, you did not kill me. 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him get away safely? Therefore may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. 20 And now I know indeed that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand.
The first shall be last, and the last shall be first. If you want to be great in God’s kingdom, you have to be the servant of all.
“When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
I pray that we would trust God for His timing and that are hearts and motives would be pure, striving for true humility and focusing on the eternal allowing patience to have its perfect work in our hearts! Amen