One could make the argument that no one has ever been more patient than David was after being anointed the next king of Israel. Consider the fact that he went back to one of the lowest of jobs – shepherding sheep – after being anointed. He ran errands for his father after being anointed. He had his wife taken from him and given to another man after being anointed. He had his life threatened and nearly taken from him by a murderous lunatic, King Saul, after being anointed. He lived life on the run, even hiding in caves after being anointed.
Furthermore, David had multiple opportunities to essentially end all of his problems by killing Saul – opportunities that could hardly have been easier (1 Samuel 24, 26). Yet, David chose to trust God’s timing and obey God’s calling on his life, not taking matters into his own hands but instead being patient in the Lord.
David was not passive in his patience, though. In other words, he did not just sit back and do nothing while trusting in and waiting on God to accomplish His will. Instead, David worked hard. He honored and obeyed God. He wisely gained allies and protected his life. He boldly spoke truth and called for justice. He bravely fought to defend God’s honor and protect God’s people. And, David did all of this while still not being recognized by Israel as king and instead being in danger of losing his life at the hands of King Saul.
Patience is not passive. Rather, patience is actively suffering in faithful obedience to the Word of God. Biblical patience is enduring difficulty by trusting God’s perfect plan.
Lord willing, on Sunday morning I will be preaching from 1 Samuel 24 on “Suffering in Obedience,” challenging those who listen to walk in daily obedience to God’s Word through daily dependence on Him. David was not a superhero who had super power and super patience. David trusted and relied on God and was controlled by the Holy Spirit. That is how David was able to patiently endure his suffering with faithful obedience.
Are you trusting and depending on God in the midst of the trials you are facing? Patient endurance will not last unless you do. Every single one of us, without exception, needs Jesus. We need him for our salvation from sin and eternal death, and we need Him for daily victory over sin and temptation.
Do not confuse patience and faith, though, with laziness and apathy. Patience is not passive, as we must daily, actively seek God and surrender to His authority over our lives.
As I was reading through 1 Samuel 24 this week, a biblical prayer kept coming to mind. And so, when I preach Sunday morning, I will encourage you to pray five things you can and should pray in order to walk in obedience, no matter your circumstances.
Hope to see you Sunday morning! If you are unable to join us for worship, you can also listen to the message, which will be posted later that day HERE.