1+2 Samuel

Day 23: Civil War in Israel

2 Samuel 3:1-39, 2 Samuel 4:1-12, Psalm 30:11-12, Jeremiah 16:5-9

 

Patience is a difficult virtue to cultivate, is it not? When it is difficult to wait on God, we often try to resolve our circumstances by working with our own hands. But we must remember that God works in His own time, and He is good to those who wait.

In 2 Samuel 3:18, God declares that He will save His people through His servant David, one of the most colorful and complex characters of the Bible. Even with all of his failures, we still know that David was a man after God’s own heart. This truth is most evident in his trusting patience with God’s plan. David knew nothing could thwart the good purposes of God.

So David did not take the kingship from Saul by force, nor did he seek to promote himself to the throne. When given opportunities to rid the kingdom of King Saul, David resisted the temptation (1 Samuel 24 and 26). Even when others tried to advance David’s kingship, David responded righteously and justly (2 Samuel 3:6, 27-31; 4:7,12). He waited.

This type of patience is firmly rooted in trusting God’s timing. Eventually, David was anointed king over Judah and Israel (2 Samuel 2,5). His reign would bring peace and blessings to God’s people. But while David was a good king, he was far from perfect.

Like the ancient people of Israel, we often long to experience the peace and blessings experienced under the reign of a good king. Jesus is that and more: the truer and greater David. Jesus is the perfect King who rules with justice and is able to bring lasting welfare for the people. As Christians, we know the full reality of Jesus’ rule will be experienced in His second coming, when all our hopes will be met in Him. Until then, like David, we must learn to wait.

Saint Augustine once said  “patience is the companion of wisdom,” and Paul teaches patience is fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Still, while it is wise to wait, doing so often seems harder than trying to do the work ourselves. But even when we cannot see God’s hand, we must trust in His promises. In our own strength, we cannot fully bring about the peace and blessing we desire, but with patience, we learn to listen to the Spirit, and then respond to our circumstances according to God’s will.

Our King is coming, and He will save us. Until then, let us humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God until the proper time. The Lord is good to those who wait.

Written by Matt Capps