by Richard Mansel
The middle part of David’s life was spent as a vagabond fugitive from the madness of King Saul. His story of overcoming adversity is invaluable.
Saul angers God by sparing the king of the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15) and the Lord prepares David as Saul’s replacement (1 Samuel 16:1-13). Soon a troubling spirit falls on King Saul (1 Samuel 16:14-23), distorting his view of the world.
As Saul’s paranoia becomes David’s pursuer, the son of Jesse clings to God.
In a vivid passage, David and his men are chased away by the Philistines (1 Samuel 29), only to find their village burned and their families carried away (1 Samuel 30:1-5). In their grief they vow to stone David as their last recourse.
Against the backdrop of despair, “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6, NKJV). This remarkable sentence is filled with treasure.
First, David saw something stronger than himself. While David was a gentle poet, musician and composer, he was a rugged man, respected by the toughest men of the region.
David was simultaneously strong and submissive. This seeming inconsistency has leveled many a man who considered themselves too macho for God. We would put Samson, David, Joshua and their fellow Biblical heroes against the tough guys of our age any day of the week. Yet, they eagerly submitted to God.
Second, David knew he had to take the initiative. There was nowhere left to turn because all had abandoned him. Yet, he knew God was always there (Psalm 8: 37:8-25).
While others can comfort and console, only we can pick ourselves up. We are besieged (Psalm 59:1-4; 56:1-2), but not alone (Hebrews 13:5). We must prepare for action, up for him to help us (2 Samuel 12:21-23).
We are not measured by the amount of adversity we face but by the steel of our courage. Let us walk with Christ to better fields (Romans 8:1). Let us stand strong against all that Satan has in his arsenal because peace is waiting over the horizon (Ephesians 6:10-11; Hebrews 11:6; Revelation 21:4).