Having already gone from obscurity to national celebrity, David must have imagined the fulfilling of that promise that he would one day be king would now be a slam dunk. Could he — or anyone — have possibly guessed the twists and turns that God would bring him through before he got there?
Saul, the king before him was told his kingdom would be ripped away from him because he repeatedly disobeyed the divine command. David, on the other hand, was different. Even when being called out for pretty egregious sins, he ultimately embraced God’s authority. He made it clear that he even preferred direct consequence from God for his sins (in the form of a plague) to famine or being harassed by his enemies.
But have you ever wondered what helped him keep his faith in God’s promise for his life when it seemed so foreign to his reality? How did he hold on even while he had to flee his own country to save his life?
That promise that he had been chosen by none other than God himself to be King of Israel.
The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” … The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. — Source i Sam 16
It’s worth remembering that, at the very beginning of his time on the run, he didn’t even have time to go home and grab any supplies. He made one stop and found what he needed there.
The first thing he did after going on the run was to stop and visit a priest, where, after getting something to eat, he said he was traveling in haste.
Then David said to Ahimelech, “Then have you not here a spear or a sword at hand? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.” 9 And the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down in the Valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it, for there is none but that here.” And David said, “There is none like that; give it to me.”
He was no longer the kid who couldn’t wear the king’s armor. Now he was a grown man, and able to carry the very sword by which he took Goliath’s head from his shoulders. He had every right to carry it, because he was the one who took it from the previous owner in the first place.
He wasn’t going off into an uncertain future empty-handed, he had himself a full belly and a solid weapon at his side… but he had something more.
Every time he closed his fist on that sword, every time he went into battle, every time he felt its weight bang against his thigh, it was a reminder of something.
Against ALL ODDS, God was faithful when he faced Goliath. And against all odds, God will be faithful again. That promise, however far away it might seem, was made by someone who had already shown himself faithful. Someone whose word could be trusted.
David had the sword. Abraham had sand and stars. Moses had a staff.
When you come to one of life’s detours, and you wonder how your life could possibly ever find its way back to the direction God has called you, don’t worry. “His arm is not so short that it cannot save.”
Think back to the times you’ve already proven him faithful, and hold tight to that… and if you’re in such deep yogurt that you can’t think of a time he’s been faithful, ask him for the strength to stand until you can, and let that strength be one more testimony of when he has been faithful.
As David could tell you, God bringing his plan to completion in your life doesn’t always look the way we THINK it will… but he does have a way of bringing good out of even horrible situations that seem irretrievably bad.