Everyone around David thought he just had the most fitting opportunity dropped in his lap. Here was his “enemy” King Saul right at his doorstep. All he had to do, was reach out with his sword and end this tiring cat and mouse game and claim his rightful place as the king of Israel.
Instead, David waited and trusted God, obeying His command.
He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord’s anointed.”I Samuel 24:6 ESV
God’s ways don’t always fit the human narrative. We discern the events of this world a little shortsightedly. Sometimes we might even have great intentions, but the ultimate standard is God’s.
Sometimes from a human perspective a certain path might seem the most cost-effective, productive, timely, or logical. But, God views situations differently.
Ezekiel discovered this as well.
Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them. 5 For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel . . . Surely, if I sent you to such, they would listen to you. 7 But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart . . . Fear them not, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.” . . . 11 And go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ whether they hear or refuse to hear.”Ezekiel 3:4-11 ESV
He might have easily seen the responsiveness of other nations and thought, “I need to go preach to them.” And, that might have been God’s design for someone else. Instead, Ezekiel had the not fun job of going to his own people, the stubborn ones. The ones that knew the truth, but continually rejected it.
This offers a perfect example of this important pair of truths —
Our responsibility: obedience
God’s responsibility: outcome
We do not need to jump ahead and pick our path based on greatest possible success. We should not let discouragement creep in when we walk in obedience and see little fruit. We obey. God determines the outcome.
And, like David we can rest in that, and ask God to help us have a proper perspective of our place in this world.
“O Lord, make me know my endPsalm 39:4 ESV
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Lord God, help me find contentment in obedience to You and Your commands. Guide my vision and each step that my life may complete Your plan. Help me trust Your working and hope always in You. In Jesus Name Amen.