The readings for the past few days from 1 Samuel demonstrate Davids potential leadership, and how he steps into the role of the king after Saul. For this part of the story, we catch a glimpse of David, the nomad. Out of respect for Saul, he stays far away, trusting that God provides when it is time. In spite of people encouraging him to just kill King Saul, David chooses to follow the direction of God.
I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for David to exist off the land and wait for God’s leadership. David’s patience was in stark contrast to Saul’s reactionary tendencies. One person stopped to listen to divine guidance, while the other just assumed and did as he thought was pleasing to the Holy One. David embraced faith, while Saul did not have the patience to listen for God’s leading.
I am afraid I am more like Saul than I care to admit. I want patience, and I want it now. Who has time to sit and wait for answers? This is where my stinking thinking gets in the way. In all the hustle and bustle of making decisions, I forget to stop and listen. Pause and turn to God and sit in silence. Without exception, taking a few minutes to pray helps me focus and reflect on the best way forward.
The story of King Saul is a sad one. In a very short time, he moved from the chosen one of God to ruling without spiritual leadership. He never stopped believing in God, but the results of not listening to Him proved catastrophic. So, God provided a new way of caring for the nation of Israel. Just as he made way for the ancient peoples, he cares for us. We need to stop and pay attention.