Receiving the Promise

David was anointed to be the King of Israel when he was a young boy.  The promise of his destiny and his reign was etched into his life from his youth and carried for years of disappointment, frustration, and confusion.

I wonder how David must have felt when the prophet Samuel came to the house of Jessie looking for a man to anoint as king.  By-passing all of David’s older brothers, Samuel was instructed by the Lord to anoint David, the youngest, the shepherd to be the king even as Saul, the current King of Israel was still reigning.  I am sure it didn’t make sense to David to be chosen, but it was probably also very exciting to think that this Promise of Destiny would be his.

If David was anything like me, he probably daydreamed about his days as King.  He probably imagined the pomp and fanfare he would experience on his coronation day.  He might have imagined life in a palace and life of ease and power.  Maybe he saw himself pronouncing lofty and powerful edicts.  Yes, life as a king would be magical, powerful, and beautiful.  When God makes a promise after all, it should come to pass with ease, be fraught with honor, blessing, and approval, and happen without human effort.  Right?

So I wonder then, how David felt after years of running for his life as a jealous King Saul pursued him to kill him. Watching the nation of Israel divide into two kingdoms under a selfish King Saul must have frustrated him as he knew he could keep the kingdom together if only given the chance.  How did it feel to defeat Israel’s enemies, the Philistines, only to be then be hunted by the King whose life you preserved?  What kind of promise was this that God gave David?

It was after David had grown to adulthood, when he was thirty and after he had married and began raising sons that David received the Promise from God of kingship.  In 2nd Samuel 2 we read about David’s first step into the kingdom when the tribe of Judah anointed him to be their king after Saul’s death.  It wasn’t the whole nation of Israel that anointed David, just the tribe of Judah.  From there we read about bloody civil wars between the house of David and the house of Saul.  The tribes of Israel fought against David to defeat him, but David succeeded in winning the battles.  Chapter 3 of 2nd Samuel tells us that the war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time.  David increased in strength and power while the house of  Saul was weakened. He reigned as king of Judah for seven and a half years.

David received his promise through battle, war, frustration, disappointment, anger, and persistence.  He was finally anointed King over all of Israel, but then had to conquer the seat of his kingdom, Jerusalem, by conquering the Jebusites that lived there.  God empowered David.  God established David, and God was with David giving him victory over his enemies and favor with the Israel, but it came with work, with war, with pain, and ultimately with victory.

I hear so many messages about God’s promises and how they are supposed to look and act.  They are supposed to come easy and with little or no effort on our part, and admittedly, I have seen God’s promises come about this way maybe only a handful of times.  He performs miracles, make no mistake about that, that bypass our wisdom or best ideas, and He brings things into existence that were not previously known or grasped.  More often than not, however, I have watched God bring His promises to pass through the persistence and faithfulness of people who refused to give up.  I’ve seen people with promises from God persevere through the darkest of circumstances–sometimes fully confused and discouraged, but still putting one foot in front of the other.

Many who have received God’s promise, did so after watching those same blessings fall on someone else with ease, while they themselves struggle to maintain faith.  Many who have received God’s promises to them discovered that what God was to give them looked nothing like what they had previously imagined, yet looking back, God’s hand is seen guiding the entire process.  The point is, God’s promises will come!

When you get discouraged that your life is not where you expected it to be, or you haven’t succeeded in the areas of life that you thought you would thrive in, I want you to remember David.  I want you to reflect on the conflicts of your life, and the trials you passed through to receive the promise.  Look back at the lessons you have learned and the faith you are developing.  Treat your today like another lesson in reigning as a king, and pray for wisdom to retain what you learn. Then, when God gives you the kingdom, and establishes your “throne”, it will be said of you, “_________was a man/woman after God’s own heart”.

Maybe what you were promised seems far from your view today.  Maybe you are hiding out in fear that what God has said will not come to pass.  Maybe you want to give up and throw in the towel on your faith and in God himself.  May I encourage you today that nothing of your life is wasted.  God uses every day, every experience, every mistake, and every victory to shape you and bring you into what He has promised.  Nothing is lost in God’s hands, and nothing is wasted in His plans.  Keep walking.  Keep trusting.  Keep growing.  Keep believing.  You are the one God has chosen.

Isaiah 55:11

New International Version (NIV)

11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty, 
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

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