David begins his reign as king of Israel. He was appointed king by the people a while after the death of Saul.
David did not automatically become king of Israel when Saul died. Saul’s youngest son, Eshbaal, became king with Abner being his royal advisor. He was never trained for this role. Saul expected that Jonathan would become king in his place, and he tried his best to make this happen. It took seven years before David became king of Israel.
God told David he would be king of Israel but it would happen in HIS time. David didn’t stand idle while he waited. He availed himself of the opportunities God brought to him along the way. That first opportunity was when the tribe of Judah made David their king. Shortly after Saul’s death David and his men came back to the land of Judah. He had protected the people even while he was on the run from Saul. They made him their king and he reigned in Hebron for seven years. He didn’t forget about God’s promise to make him king of Israel.
David, as king of Judah, and Eshbaal, as king of Israel, met one another in battle throughout those seven years. Abner was the spearhead of these conflicts. He apparently was continuing Saul’s crusade to keep the throne in the house of Saul. Abner KNEW God’s promise to David but he was no more accepting of it than Saul had been. But Eshbaal made a fatal mistake and questioned Abner’s loyalty. Abner dropped him like a hot potato and switched his allegiance to David. Eshbaal was then murdered by two captains of his own army. Abner was murdered by one of David’s men first, but that is another story.
The nation of Israel is now without a king. God’s promise to David was well known throughout the land. It’s time to see that promise put into action. The leaders of all the tribes came together and agreed to ask David to take the throne, not just of Judah but of Israel.
David knew this day was coming but he never hurried it. He left the timing and execution in God’s hands. He served the people where he was in whatever way he could. God raised the simple shepherd boy to the throne of the nation. He faithfully trained him in every circumstance, from victory to adversity. David learned at the Father’s knee and he learned best how to bow his knee to the Father.
David would never have been the king he was without the challenges he faced on the journey to the throne. David learned how to fight. He learned how to be a leader of men. He learned what it takes to motivate others. He learned how to plan for war. He learned humility. And most importantly he learned to lean on his God.
God chose David for his heart but He strengthened that original faith to the point that it would stand any test. Childlike faith is just the beginning. Jesus said that you had to have the faith of a child to enter into His Kingdom. But your faith can’t stay there. It has to be built up until it becomes ‘bullet proof’ faith. Faith that can stand in the face of the fiery furnace. Faith that can move mountains. Faith that can withstand every attack of the enemy.
And that faith only comes with watching God in action. Seeing His fingerprints in your life. Watching as His promises are fulfilled. KNOWING that without HIS intervention you would have left this earth a LONG TIME AGO.
Not every act of faith building is a miraculous move of God. Sometimes it is simply feeling His comfort during your struggles. Knowing that you are SAFE in His arms. Receiving His assurance that tomorrow He will STILL be by your side as you lay your head down to rest.
Other times it can be jaw dropping events that PROVE to you beyond a shadow of a doubt that HE has got you in His hands. Healing from a condition that was hopeless. Finances out of nowhere to rescue you just when you needed it. The sound of your children’s laughter when your heart was at its lowest point. Help for a task that was beyond your abilities. Favor with an agency or person known to give none.
But most faith building moments come from the same ones that build your relationship with Him. Spending time in His word. Learning of all the wonders He has done before. Talking with Him in prayer. Opening your heart to worship and praise. Pouring yourself out before Him in tears. Laughing with Him in joy. And ‘climbing up in His lap for story time.’
David’s faith grew as much out of his time before the Lord with his harp as they did in the midst of the battle with his sword. And because he had spent the years in building his ‘bullet proof faith’ he was able to stand as king of Israel and lead the nation to their knees before their God. He wasn’t flawless but he was faithful to repent when he fell.
Thank You Father for building my faith. I don’t think it is ‘bullet proof’ yet but it is a LONG way from the childlike faith You first started me off with. I have seen Your fingerprints ALL OVER my life! I have felt Your presence. I have climbed onto Your lap and felt Your arms around me. I have experienced Your tenderness when You held me while I cried. I have learned from Your discipline when You corrected me in my sins. I KNOW of Your faithfulness and FULLY BELIEVE that EVERY promise in Your word is true; past, present and future. Keep building my faith Father. I want it to last for a lifetime and then some!