“And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. 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 brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.” – 1 Samuel 16:12-13 ESV
“‘In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.’’ So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.” – 2 Samuel 5:2-3 ESV
These two passages are both discussing events from the life of King David, a prominent figure in the Old Testament. The first passage describes the initial anointing of David as king over Israel, and the second tells of when David actually became king. Both of these instances are “highlights” in David’s life. But what we don’t see is the in-between, the long waiting period between God’s promise to David and the fulfillment of His promise. However, the amazing thing about this in-between time is that God was there through it all, and He’s there for yours, too.
In the fifteen years between when David was chosen by God to be the king of Israel and when he was crowned king, a lot happened. Covering everything would include looking through many chapters (1 Sam. 16-2 Sam. 5). However, I do want to give you a quick glimpse of what David went through. First, David went to live with and serve King Saul, and he befriended the king’s son, Jonathan. Despite the love Saul showed David, he gradually became jealous of David’s success, and his heart hardened against David. This led to years of Saul pursuing and persecuting David. The promised king of Israel hid in mountains, left the path God had for Him to live amongst the Philistines, and lived a life on the move, collecting a mighty group of men and raiding various cities. While God did fulfill His promise to David years later, David still experienced the hardships of a long time spent in the “in-between.”
Despite the wait, David had God through it all. Although the circumstances were bleak, the Lord was consistently faithful in His promises to David. In 1 Samuel, there are several instances where Saul brought or sent armies to bring David to his end, yet David survived. The Lord stood by David in the times when he was on the run, and the Lord remained the same even when David fell short, as we all do. Through the entire waiting period, the Lord showed David over and over that if he just remained close to Him and placed his trust in the one true God, the Lord would watch over him. Through this time of waiting, the Lord grew David’s faith and character.
Friend, if you are in a period of waiting right now, I want to tell you first and foremost that you are not alone. If you are waiting, you are in good company. David waited. Hannah, the Old Testament prophet Samuel’s mother, waited to bear a child she yearned for. Throughout history, God’s people have waited time and time again. They waited in Egypt, when they were slaves to a people who treated them terribly. They waited for 40 years in the desert, wondering when God would lead them to the promised land. There is no shortage of people who waited or are currently waiting, and I want to encourage you that this time is not wasted. God will use your waiting periods to grow your faith in Him, and He will walk with you through it, just as He walked with David. He is worthy of our trust because He is faithful.
God can use our waiting to bring so much growth. Often, the waiting is transformative, and the lessons we learn from this time change our lives. Even if the waiting is difficult, we can still trust that in the waiting, He is still good, because that is His character. When we trust God and lean on Him. He will lead us according to His good and perfect plan. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” God’s will is greater than ours- we can trust in that no matter what we are walking through.
Ultimately, friend, I leave you with this charge from David in Psalm 27: “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14, ESV)