Bible Reading Blog
“On God's Terms, in God's Time”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
BIBLE READING: 2 Samuel 2-3
Now that Saul was dead, who would be king? Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth was next in line, but everyone knew David had been appointed by God (2 Samuel 3.9-10, cf. 1 Samuel 15.28; 28.17). Tensions mounted as both men were anointed (2 Samuel 2.8-11). When war broke out, David became the clear frontrunner (2 Samuel 3.1).
This was not by accident. God promised to tear the kingdom away from Saul and give it to David (1 Samuel 15.28; 28.17; 2 Samuel 3.18, cf. 1 Samuel 9.16). David would become king over all of Israel. These promises pervade the coming chapters. Seemingly everyone was aware of these promises, including those in Saul’s camp (see 2 Samuel 3.9-10, 18). Their awareness coupled with their conviction about God’s faithfulness opened the door for a smoother transition of power despite a series of negative events.
David also was convinced he would be king according to the promise of God. However, David does not immediately assert himself. Instead, he does it on God’s terms, in God’s time. This was David’s pattern of life. He refused to destroy Saul because that was God’s prerogative (1 Samuel 24.6). So, David’s next move was to inquire of the LORD, giving him direction on how to obtain the promise (2 Samuel 2.1). He proceeded diplomatically, fostering respect and loyalty in a time that could have been divisive (see 2 Samuel 2.4-7; 3.12-16, 35-39). Rather than seeking to establish himself or seek retribution, David humbly waited and faithfully acted as God directed.
While the events may appear random and fortuitous for David, God was working all things together to fulfill his promises. We must us observe David’s conviction of this in action. It was not enough just to know these promises, but to live and act with constant awareness of them. Through prayer and patience, David positioned himself to receive the kingdom God had promised. On God’s terms, in God’s time.
God’s promises drive faith but are often complicated in our minds by immediate circumstances. God promises various seasons but doesn’t stipulate how long they will last. God promises to return and deal with the wicked, but many treat that as foolish (2 Peter 3.3-4). Frustration and discouragement can develop if our focus is on the present. Events will rarely happen on our terms or our timeline; but we can be sure that God will come through. So, we must be diligent in prayer and daily mindful of God’s promises.
David shows us how to wait on the LORD as we go through life. There were times his choices seemed contrary to God’s promises (like refusing to kill Saul and become king), but David would not take matters into his own hands. That’s our natural inclination, but we must not get ahead of God. He is faithful, so we must settle our mind daily in both God’s nature and calling for us today. The time will come when we realized God’s faithfulness in its fulness. Until then, let us be diligent to practice the same faithfulness God has always shown to his people.