Just as scheming is a symptom of unbelief, so waiting is a symptom of trust.
David, on at least two occasions during this long period of running from King Saul, reverts temporarily to unbelief. Earlier on in his running David acts like a mad man in order to protect himself while among the people of Gath. Unthreatened, Achish, the king allows him to remain among his people (1 Samuel 21). In the final months before God fulfills His promise to him David, once again, finds himself living among the people of Gath. He doesn't act like a mad man this time, he just acts deceitfully and in unbelief. He thinks that he must do what he can to protect himself (1 Samuel 29).
David experiences several brief lapses in faith. Really, though, who wouldn't? Walking by faith is difficult. That's why the "Hall of Faith" in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews is relatively short. Slimy pits, mud and mire separate the men from the boys. David proves to be a man of faith. Most of his life David walked by faith, trusting God, and seeing God's will accomplished in his life. God still looks for men and women today who will simply hear from heaven and then pray "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." And then wait on God.
Questions for today's Chronological reading:
- According to this Psalm why was David able to endure the "anguish felt when his enemies were after him"?
- How does distress/stress affect David physically? Emotionally? Spiritually?
- What does David understand about this period in his life?
- What was the one thing that anchored David during this period?
- Read Proverbs 23:7a. In light of this verse why does David spend sixteen months living among the Philistines?
- Why does Achish allow David to live among his people? What is his goal?
- Describe David's activities during this time. What does this tell you about times of unbelief?
- What happens that indicates that Saul's power base is slipping?
- What does this tell you about God's working on David's behalf?
- What do proud people do when they feel threatened?
- What does David do with his fear?
- How do most people respond when they are fearful?
- How does God protect David from fighting against Israel?
- What does this tell you about God?
- How does the defection of the men of Manasseh affect David?
- What characterizes David as he "sits on the edge of his seat in anticipation" of God's fulfilling His promises to him?
- According to verse 12 what effect does sin have on people?
Declare your trust in the Lord. Personalize Psalm 40:1-2 by quoting these verses to the Lord in affirmation of your faith.