I’ve been studying the Old Testament again (love all those amazing stories!) and noticed something in 2 Samuel chapter 5 that caught my eye. Now at first glance, it seems to hold no special meaning, so hang tight until I explain its significance.
“David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years” (verse 4).
In preceding chapters, we learned that David was only a boy – many Bible scholars believe him to have been around 15 years old when he defeated Goliath – when he was first brought into the palace by King Saul to serve as his armor bearer and private harpist (1 Sam 16:21-23). But, Saul, out of jealousy, soon rejected David and decided to kill him (1 Sam 19:1). The spirit of God left Saul and entered David. The prophet Samuel disclosed to David that God has anointed him to be the next king but they kept it their little secret. Saul had his suspicions though, because he chased David all over the countryside for an undisclosed number of years, beginning in 1 Sam. chapter 21 until Saul’s death at the end of chapter 31.
Then followed a 7-year civil war between the house of Saul and the house of David before Samuel officially crowned David King of Israel (2 Sam. 5: 3). Okay, you already know all this, I know.
But what you may not realize (and this is my point), is that there was a 15-year gap between the time David knew he would be king, and when he actually became king. He knew at 15 years of age but had to wait until he was 30 to begin serving the Lord in what was his preordained destiny.
That sounds like a LOT of preparation, doesn’t it? And it required a boatload of patience, no doubt. Speaking of boatloads, it reminds me of Noah, who had to wait – and continuously work – 100 years for the ark to be completed and the flood to begin (see Genesis chapters 5-7).
Yikes! Who wants to wait that long for anything?
Not me. Not you. And I’m pretty sure not David or Noah either.
But evidently waiting is included in Papa God’s plan for us. Waiting time isn’t wasted time.
David used those 15 years to hone his skills as a warrior and leader, building the respect and loyalty of his countrymen. His kingdom was more powerful and cohesive because of those 15 well spent years.
Noah’s long prep time was essential because a boat roughly the size of a professional football stadium that was going to house two of every animal on earth (wish they’d forgotten the mosquitoes) for five months (Genesis 7:24) needed that much attention. Noah couldn’t cut corners or skip steps with the fate of the world dependent on his precision and workmanship skills.
I’ve often thought that if he’d worked on it another year, maybe he could’ve added a stall for the unicorns. But that’s just me.
So I think the take-away for all this is that we should expect waiting in our life journeys. Maybe LOTS of waiting. And in the meantime, we shouldn’t lose patience … or hope. Because waiting time isn’t wasted time.
When in your own experience have you felt your waiting endurance wearing thin, dear BFF (Blessed Friend Forever)? What helped you to keep on keeping on? (Please post your thoughts below – your community of BFFs want to hear from you!)