Three Questions to Ask When You’re Waiting
from our collection of talks: ‘What Do I Do?”
Most people will agree that King David was just a teenager if not much older when anointed. Yet he doesn’t actually take his throne till the age of thirty years old. It’s not uncommon to see Biblical characters have to wait before seeing a promise of God come to fruition, right?
Abraham had to wait for the promise of children.
Noah had to wait over a hundred years for the flood he was building an ark for.
The children of Israel were slaves to the country of Egypt for over 400 years before Moses came along.
How about you?
Have you had to wait for a promise of God to be fulfilled?
Are you still waiting today for a promise of God to be fulfilled in your life?
The question we are going to take some time looking at is what was David doing between I Samuel 16:10 where he is anointed & II Samuel 5:4 when he takes the throne?
What was he doing while he was waiting?
David PLAYED for King Saul
I Samuel 16:21-23 (NIV)
21 David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers.
22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.”
23 Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
David went to BATTLE against Goliath
I Samuel 17:32-33 (NIV)
32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
David led a thousand soldiers as COMMANDER and led them into battle
I Samuel 18:12-14 (NIV)
12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul.
13 So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns.
14 In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him.
David again PLAYED for King Saul
I Samuel 19:8-10 (NIV)
8 Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him.
9 But an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre,
10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.
David SAVES the people of Keilah with God’s approval
I Samuel 23:1-2 (NIV)
1 When David was told, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors,”
2 he inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?”
The Lord answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.”
David makes a PROMISE to King Saul
I Samuel 24:16-22 (NIV)
16 When David finished saying this, Saul asked, “Is that your voice, David my son?” And he wept aloud.
17 “You are more righteous than I,” he said. “You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly.
18 You have just now told me about the good you did to me; the Lord delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me.
19 When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the Lord reward you well for the way you treated me today.
20 I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands.
21 Now swear to me by the Lord that you will not kill off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father’s family.”
22 So David gave his oath to Saul. Then Saul returned home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.
David FIGHTS various battles while hiding out
I Samuel 25 through 30
Do you know what there is not a verse for:
“And David sat around and waited to be king.”
There’s an underlying theme in David’s life of patience and waiting between the time he is anointed as a teenager and when he is appointed King at the age of thirty upon Saul’s death. As we consider this theme in David’s life let’s turn our attention to Isaiah 40.
Max Lucado, noted author, describes Isaiah as someone whose Hebrew was classic, a style that was noble with influential circles but when it came to his message, he was bare-knuckled. He ended up serving and proclaiming the message God gave him through the reigns of four different kings. Now while God had promised to remain faithful to his children, the Jews had felt that God had ignored them. They were tired of waiting. And so God reminded them through the prophet Isaiah of a promise in chapter 40 verses 28-31.
Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
That’s the mark of a life living God’s will and a life making wise decisions. The mark – the evidence – is a life that is patiently waiting on God.
“Jesus did not promise to change the circumstances around us. He promised great peace and pure joy to those who would learn to believe that God actually controls all things.” ~ Corrie ten Boom
With this background of David waiting at least decade before the promise that his anointing held becoming a reality, it gives us greater weight to what David has to say about patience and waiting. Read the following verses with this greater perspective of David waiting:
Psalms 86:15 (NIV)
But you, LORD, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Psalms 37:7-9 (NIV)
7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
Psalms 40:1 (NIV)
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
There are a lot of definitions for the word ‘wait.’ The third definition in the traditional Webster’s Dictionary simply reads….to SERVE as a WAITER. Now imagine going to a restaurant where the waiter is non-existent. Or maybe they show up and takes our drink orders and disappears and never comes back. We get a promise of a real meal but never are actually served, in fact we would complain about the poor service. Imagine how frustrating that would be. How angry we would get. How disappointed we would get.
I wonder in moments and seasons of our life how God reacts when we wait without serving.
There are times in my life when I get caught up in the idea that I’m the one sitting at the table waiting for God to deliver to me something I’m waiting for when really, I need to picture God sitting at the table and I am to wait on him. Consider that the moments in our life where we are put in positions to wait for God and really opportunities to wait on God, or to serve Him.
While David was WAITING on a promise from God, he SERVED the King. So what are we supposed to be doing while we wait on God?
We make good decisions.
We resist the urge to rush the decision making process and we wait.
We stay grateful.
We live out God’s will.
We offer our bodies as a living sacrifice.
We trust in Him, knowing this: God will always answer your prayer, or he has something better in store for you and for the kingdom.
Matthew 7:9-11 (NIV)
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?
11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
So, the three questions that we should ask ourselves when we are waiting:
Who can I serve?
Who are the people in your life right now that you can serve while you are waiting. David, before he became king, served those around him – he even served those who occupied his future position. David took the opportunity during his season of waiting to serve those around him.
What can I learn?
While we are waiting, take the opportunity to take inventory of what you could learn. David got an incredible amount of experience during the decade plus of waiting that served him very well when he did the throne.
Who am I trusting?
Ultimately, our inability to wait patiently on God is an indicator of where we are putting our trust. Are we trusting God and his divine perspective and timeline or are we trusting ourselves and our limited paradigm?
This week, as a symbolic gesture of where you are putting you’re trust pray with open hands (unless you’re driving!). Take time to pray and when you do open your hands as if you are both offering and receiving. It’s a symbolic way to show yourself and God what you are trying to do with your heart and your will. You are showing that you are holding on to nothing and you are willing and ready to receive what God has in store for you during this chapter on waiting.
Until next time…