Jun 7, 2006
Life's not easy...but there's a reason to that
In the battle between Philistines and Israelites, from 1 Samuel 30, the Israelites were utterly defeated. Saul and his sons were killed. Lots of Israelites were killed in that battle. David was in Ziklag, on account that the Philistine king did not want him to come with them to battle the Israelites.(Remember, David was now staying in a Philistine territory to avoid Saul chasing him). When news of Saul and his sons' death reached David, he was grieved.
We might think, ok now that Saul is dead, life for David should become better. No more being chased, no more temporary homes, no more hiding. Well definitely no more of that is there for David, but then now Saul's house is at war against David's house. While David is anointed king over Hebron in Judah,IshBosheth son of Saul was made king over Mahanaim by one of Saul's followers, Abner.Along with this there was a battle at Gibeon between the 2 houses and "17 The battle that day was very fierce, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated by David's men. " (2 Samuel 2:17)
"1 The war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker. " (2 Samuel 3:1)
In all the accounts I read of the fights between David's and Saul's house, I found that David did not take revenge. Someone else always went and killed somebody from Saul's house and David would punish them.For e.g in Saul's case "14 David asked him(the Amalekite guy who killed Saul), "Why were you not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the LORD's anointed?" 15 Then David called one of his men and said, "Go, strike him down!" So he struck him down, and he died. 16 For David had said to him, "Your blood be on your own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, 'I killed the LORD's anointed.' " Later on we'll see that when Joab murders Saul's man Abner, David was grieved over that too.(2 Samuel 3) and also over IshBosheth another son of Saul who was killed by the people whom he had hired to be leader of his raiding bands.(2 Samuel 4)
The outcome of David's good dealing of the Saul's family, in spite of what they had done to him was that " 36 All the people took note and were pleased; indeed, everything the king did pleased them."( 2 Samuel 3:36) Finally at the age of 30yrs, David is crowned king of Israel(2 Samuel 5:4). Now thats about 10-15 years of running around, hiding in caves, acting like a mad man, having no food, no proper place to stay.
Lessons I learnt
Did David really have to face so many trials?-Well , yes, I think it was a training ground for him to be humble. It was the period of his life, where he had no one else to support him except God. He had no one else to trust in, except God. He had a group of people who were debtors, broke, distressed, depressed, so surely they couldn't guide him into strength or victory, they themselves needed help. David went through situations in his life, where his existence solely depended on God's directions and how well he obeyed God.If life had been easy for him, he wouldn't have had to consult God for his moves, he was a good warrior and could have done well, but he had to learn to completely depend on God, because he was being made ready to lead God's nation, towards God.He went through all that so that, the testing of his faith developed perseverance. Perseverance finish its work so that he may be mature and complete, not lacking anything, when he becomes king.(James 1:2-4) God never wants his leaders, his representatives to be slack in their behaviour, in their character, in their life, so God would mould them in a manner, that they lack nothing and are WHOLLY ready for His work.Even during our times we see, the people of God who have really steered society towards God were people from humble beginnings.
How does our trials help?- We see that David's character has been well moulded to reflect a godly man. In all the actions he did the people in his kingdom were pleased. Now thats whats a real blessing. God did not want a king who would be super and suppressing His people. In God's kingdom there is joy, there is peace, there is righteousness. So also with us, we can know godly leaders even in our times."Proverbs 29:2 (Whole Chapter) When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan". Our trials are to mold us into people who can impact and steer whole societies into reconciliation with God.
I've always noticed that the people in the army of no matter what country they're from, are the best looking people, most healthy people, most strong people, most disciplined people I've ever met. Even their children are so.They're not all that because of expensive exercise equipments, lavish food or anything or by sitting at home and enjoying, they're the people who've done the most gruesome of tasks, have lived through bare minimums, have slept the least, have run the most, have carried the most loads, have gone without food or sleep for days sometimes. Thats who we want our countries to be in the hands of. Wouldn't we? So also does God want His Kingdom to be in the hands of those who have been through tough times and become tougher through it all. With solid foundations firmly built on the Living God, that nothing, NO THING can shake them off of God's Word and God's plan.