A Sense of God’s Timing
Two leaders locked in a death struggle—with one refusing to fight
1 Samuel 24:11–12 “I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life. May the LORD judge between you and me.”
In the winter of 1777, America had two armies. One lived in comfortable homes in Philadelphia. The other camped in the snow in the hills to the northwest, at a place called Valley Forge. One showed impeccable discipline. The other tried desperately to keep its untrained recruits from deserting. One was supplied by ship with every luxury. The other fought frostbite because its soldiers had no boots.
In sum, one army had everything it could want to weather a cold winter and a war, while the other hung by a thread. Who could have thought, seeing the two, that within three years the army with nothing would defeat the army with everything?
The impoverished American army could never go head-on against the crack British forces. But it could always outwait them. George Washington’s army had the support of the American people, while the British army, for all its strength, was far from home. The British had to win decisively, putting an end to the rebellion. The Americans merely had to survive and outlast them.
Washington was a military genius not at battle tactics, but at a more fundamental necessity: encouraging his men to fight on. One-quarter of them died of cold and disease that bitter winter at Valley Forge. Only his personal strength held the miserable army together. That was the key to victory.
Two Kings in Israel
David and his followers lived in a similar situation. Saul was the right and proper king, living in luxury. David had been secretly anointed as his replacement, but he lived in the desert, scrabbling to survive. Saul had a professional army, David a small band composed of family members and an assortment of outlaws.
Twice Saul accidentally fell into David’s hands, but David refused to kill him. He felt that would violate God’s will. He would not use his sword to become king. He fought not to win but to survive.
Survival was not easy. You can read between the lines of 1 Samuel 21—31 and see a great drama unfolding. Saul is clearly deteriorating. Can David hold on long enough to outlast him?
At first David ran from one place to another, alone and completely vulnerable. Then, after a few hundred supporters joined him, the local people turned the rebels in twice (see 1 Samuel 23:19;26:1). Perhaps they feared that Saul would slaughter them the way he had the Nob priests (see 1 Samuel 22:6–23).
David survived and managed to keep his army intact. He even built popular support by providing military protection to his neighbors. But eventually he saw that his position was impossible. “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul,” he thought (1 Samuel 27:1). He left Israel and became, with his army, a hired soldier for one of the Philistine kings.
Sooner or later David’s double-agent act would have been found out. In fact, when the Philistines planned a major military effort against Israel, David barely escaped having to fight his own people.
Time on His Side
David believed God’s promise even when his situation looked very bad. He would wait for God’s timing. God had anointed him king, and he trusted God to vindicate him.
A sense of timing, people say, is essential to leadership. You must know when to act boldly and when to wait patiently; when to bend and when to stand firm. David had that critical sense of timing because he trusted God’s control of events.
What makes you impatient? What can you learn about patience from David’s life?
Week 2 assignment.
I decided to also use this as my assignment. After reading this, it caused me to look inward and remember a time when I was at a church for more than 12 years and how I would be used in certain roles while I was there, youth minister, Psalmist, Teacher , etc. And how I would get frustrated because it seemed that the only people being ordained for those positions were the men. I would be told to have patience. But thank God for that time of waiting on God and his timing because in that time he had prepare me, to teach me patience and obedience. Realizing that He is ordering my footsteps and that inorder for me to be elevated I had to be fully equipped. So this is my process and as I go into ministry I have more humility and is sensitive to the spirit of God and his leading. In ministry my gift will be able to be utilized for the kingdom because I have been tried in the fire and know not to make flesh decisions that could cause those that I am ministering to, to be distracted by me but to see the God in me. God's timing is everything. And we should not move in ministry unless God gives up the okay to move. Glory to God in the highest!
"hurry up and wait " =)
What makes me Impatient is getting outside of gods will and into my fleshy poo. Then comes the want it now and hot from the drive threw .o so conveyances . Staying focused on the lord and the things i been threw the times he showed up and moved things and even people out my life and the blessing that took place the people who now serve him .so much more !its a great reminder of who's in control and as i grow so does my patients. I know when i see thing in this world and it look bad , i say what are you waiting for lord? David had faith he went threw some things to defiantly see that god is in control and loves as well as forgives. These people in the bible are as much like us today. We all can relate to going threw coming out and having our charector as well as patience being install in us as we grow in the lord living in a evil world today. Thank u father god in Jesus name