16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is a good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said We will not walk therein.
Jeremiah 6 v 16
In continuation of the previous post, we will look further into the story of Israel’s beloved King David. The aim of this Bible studies is to follow the story of King David to the end of his life so that we can gain some essential life skills for our pilgrimage.
Your gifts will make room for you before Kings. 1 Samuel 16 v 18;22-23; 1 Samuel 17 v 57-58
David faithfully worked on his talent as a musician unaware that those around him were taking notice of him. If we diligently work on our craft, God will use our gifts to open doors for us.
A man’s gift maketh room for him and bringeth him before great men.
Proverbs 18 v 16
Not only was David dedicated to his talent, but he was also hardworking and loyal to King Saul. He was promoted because he served the king in honesty and behaved wisely in all his ways (1 Samuel 18 v 5; 14; 30). David was exceptional in all his conduct and by doing so couldn’t help but shine wherever he went. I find you can’t look at the life of David without also considering that of Daniel. He was also a young man who had an excellent spirit and walked in the fear of God. Like David, his gifts (Daniel 1 v 17; Daniel 5 v 11 – 13) and relationship with God was manifested in his everyday life. He was also promoted in all he did as he kept the ways of his God and did not compromise.
3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes because an excellent spirit was in him, and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
Daniel 6 v 3
Is our relationship with God Almighty reflected in our daily lives? Are those around us able to see a difference in us because of our belief in Christ Jesus? The Bible talks about doing all things to the glory of God but how many of us are labelled with the tag of being exceptional? There must be a difference between us and those who do not believe in Christ Jesus. We must remember that we are ambassadors of Christ and represent Him wherever we go. Proselytising the gospel of Christ Jesus can be done effectively not just by a convincing sermon but also by our conduct and way of life. People look at what we do more than the words we speak so, like Daniel and David, we ought to stand out. Daniel served many Kings during his time and although they weren’t initially serving God Almighty, encountering Daniel changed their perspectives which led them to believe and reverence God Almighty.
Beware of envy and persecution when you walk in excellence. 1 Samuel 18 v 7-9; 11-12
Operating in the spirit of excellence will attract you to greatness but also means you become a target of those who are not walking in the same spirit as you. Others may begin to envy you as a result of being threatened by you or what you are carrying within. Those who envy you may do so because they haven’t found themselves (gift, personal relationship with God etc…) yet and want what you have. King Saul was the richest and most sought after person in Israel those days yet, he was envious of a small shepherd boy from Bethlehem! What did David have that made King Saul feel this way about him? In my view, King Saul was envious of what David had that he lacked! David exposed King Saul’s passive and mediocre relationship with God which in turn showed his weakness. King Saul was a people pleaser while David aimed to please God (1 Samuel 15 v 10-11; 24 – 26; 1 Samuel 13 v 13-14). I believe David’s success was primarily because of his relationship and obedience to God. If King Saul had been walking with God in truth and obedience, I am certain God would not have rejected him but would have given him the grace to kill Goliath and established his kingdom for generations. We see in the life of David that someone who depends on God and walks in obedience to Him will always stand out from the crowd and flourish in whatever he does. The book of Psalms gives us a glimpse into David’s prayer life. We see that the blessed man is the person who stays away from the counsel of the wicked and meditates on the word of God. He wrote that…
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Psalms 1 v 3
One thing that stands out to me is David’s reverence for God and His Word. The whole of Psalm 119 refers to his love for God’s word. He refers to the word of God in Psalms 119 v 105 as:
105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
King Saul’s jealousy led to him wanting to assassinate David however because God was with David, the weapons fashioned against him did not prosper (Isaiah 54 v 17). After several attempts on David’s life, King Saul began to fear him (1 Samuel 18 v 14 – 29; 1 Samuel 19 v 9 – 10). One thing we glean from David’s life is that it’s those close to us, our one time allies, who end up fighting us. Some of them become an instrument in the hand of the enemy against us due to unresolved issues in their lives. The enemy is not interested in those who live a compromised life but targets those serving God faithfully and whom the hand of God is resting on. In the book of Daniel chapter 6, Daniel also faced persecution from those who practised mediocracy as his excellent spirit left them exposed.
4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom, but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
5 Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
Daniel 6 v 4-5
The lives of David and Daniel should encourage us to carry on living set apart lives especially when we are being marginalised for our faith.
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part, he is evil spoken of, but on your part, he is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffers as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
16 Yet if any man suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
1 Peter 4 v 12;14-16
Daniel and David kept their hope in God during times of persecution. Heaven minded Christians in this generation can learn from them by studying their lives. In their uprightness, God vindicated them by granting them a favour in the sight of others and will do so with us as long as we walk in His righteousness and truth.
Be humble. 1 Samuel 18 v 18;23
David possessed a humble spirit even after he was anointed King. We see that his attitude to the incumbent King Saul did not change but composed himself in an honourable manner. He did not allow pride to creep into his heart and did not take it upon himself to overthrow King Saul but waited patiently for God’s appointed time to establish his kingship. A big contrast to David was Jehu in 2 Kings 9. He was anointed king but instead of being quiet about it, he informed his friends which led to them forcefully crowning him king. Although he did the will of God by destroying the house of Ahab, his heart was not fully with God and did not turn away from idolatry(2 Kings 10 v 29-31). If God has promised good to us, let us humbly walk with him and not try to make things happen in our own strength. By rushing to ‘help’ God in fulfilling his promises, we end up making mistakes and wandering off his perfect will for us. Had Jehu waited on God for instructions on how to go about the will of God for his life, he would have appreciated God more and grown in knowledge and love for him. This would have caused him to flee idolatry and cling to God. David, in contrast, maintained His relationship and love for God by keeping close to the word of God.
9Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
11 Thy word has I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Psalms 119 v 9 – 11
The more we stay close to God and His word, the more we become like him. Several attempts of King Saul to take David’s life did not deter him from honouring him. Not once did David speak ill of King Saul during the years he pursued his life. All David did was commit his ways to the Lord and run to safety whenever King Saul drew near to where he was (1 Samuel 21 v 10; 1 Samuel 22 v 5).
I now understand that oftentimes God allows us to go through trials and tribulations to draw us closer to him. It’s a mechanism he uses to grow us up spiritually and it’s those who humbly comply with him that taste the fruit of victory. In a way, it’s during these times that our faith and confession really comes to play. In trying times I believe it’s those who truly have a relationship with God that run to Him for solace while those who confess Him superficially just give up on him and seek an alternative solution.
David and Daniel endured adversity and did not forsake their beliefs in God when their worlds seemed to be closing in on them. Let’s learn from these giants in the faith and also persevere in all things as there is a reward that awaits us.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.
Galatians 6 v 9
*All scriptures are taken from the King James Version of the Bible