“In the past, even while Saul was king, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns.” 1 Ch 11:2
David didn’t become the king over Israel instantly after Samuel anointed him to be one; the road that led to his kingship had been long and was littered with blood and tears. He was misunderstood, mistrusted, and mistreated by his master along the way, and was in danger of being speared many times, yet he remained steadfast and stayed the course through it all, fully persuaded the Lord had a perfect plan for his life, even though all things that happened since his anointing seemed to be pointing to the opposite.
Never did he lose sight of the moment when the anointing oil of Samuel ran down from his hair to his ruddy cheek, soaking the robe he wore, creating a strange sensation that he would never forget. Indeed, he was the Lord’s anointed, just like the master he was serving at the time. What the Lord had planned no man could have thwarted, David firmly believed.
A lesser person might have lost his patience waiting for the Lord’s plan to materialize; and some might even have made an attempt or two to take over the throne before the time ordained by God. They might even have taken drastic action to make things happen, as if the Lord merely did the planning and it was entirely up to them to implement and to execute the plan. Indeed, David could easily have speared Saul a couple of times had he desired to do so.
Timing was everything, and David must have known it wasn’t yet the right time for action; therefore he remained silent and did what he was called to do, serving the mentally unstable king who constantly questioned his loyalty and attempted to take his life several times.
Are we waiting passively for the big moment in life to take place? The promotion we have been expecting or the leadership position we have been craving to get? Why keep on wringing our hands and doing nothing, as if the pie in the sky will fall into our laps on its own. Isn’t this the season when all the presidential hopefuls make their announcement to run for the most powerful position in the world, albeit most of them have very little chance to be nominated by their party or get elected in the general election? Surely we are no melancholic Hamlet who continued to brood on his “pale cast of thought” and “lose the name of action?” The peach is rosy, juicy, and ripe and it’s there to be taken. “Do I dare to eat a peach?” asked Prufrock portrayed by Eliot, afflicted with an inferiority complex and laden with self-doubt.
Surely David was no dramatized Hamlet or fictional Prufrock, he was a Godly man with strong faith and gusto, and only such a man had the faith to trust and the courage to wait. He was determined not take action unless the Lord acted first. In the meantime, he kept on heeding his calling by leading the Israelites on their military campaigns, even though by doing such he would strengthen the position of Saul, who was in fact his arch enemy, and thus minimize his chances of taking over the throne.
“My time is not yet come,” the Lord Jesus stated repeatedly. Even the Son of God waited and waited; why can’t we? “Your time is always ready,” He remarked, revealing our greatest spiritual weakness, which is our inability to wait on the Lord at all times. Milton was right on target when he wrote this in a sonnet on his blindness: “They also serve who only stand and wait.”