Yesterday we focused on Saul's jealousy; today I want to look at David's response.
I think this is so important because I'm not sure we do a good job teaching about persecution and how to handle it. Jesus said that if they persecuted Him, they would persecute us and that we are promised persecution in the days ahead;
9"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, Matthew 24:9-10
Notice that it says we will, not might, be persecuted.
So how did David handle it?
I think it goes without saying the most important thing is that he walked daily in the presence of God.
Think about that, when you hear daily walk you probably think about your 15-30 minutes of daily prayer, quiet time, or devotional, right? And you think "check, I've got that covered". Something you do.
Let me reframe that for you, look at the word presence, do you walk in His presence all day long? That's the key.
That's hard. I was reminded just how hard that is to do in today's culture. We just spent an extended weekend in Orlando watching Drew play tennis and going to Disney.
Drew is at a level in his tennis that he is now playing the best of the best in Florida, which means some of the best players of his age in the nation. At this level it is very easy to make tennis your God and be consumed by it.
Then we go to Disney, nothing against Disney, but it sure is easy to make yourself a god there. I deserve this!
The whole weekend I was aware of how strong the drift, the pull away from the things of God are in our culture and how easy it is NOT to walk in His presence.
I am so grateful that God allows me to be in the lineage of the Levites, priest, or shepherds and I can, if I choose, focus on the things of God the majority of my day.
Because he walked in God's presence David did not become prideful. He heard the praises, but he was still content to show up for duty.
Because he walked in God's presence when attacked he didn't retaliate.
Because he walked in God's presence he wasn't ambitious and did not demand he be given the King's daughter as promised for killing Goliath.
Because he walked in God's presence he wasn't insulted and didn't rebel or cease to serve when Saul gave her another.
Because he walked in God's presence he didn't lose heart in the battle.
Conflicts and attacks are tools God uses to shape the character of His children. For David these conflicts and attacks lasted several years and took him to caves and deserts. But through it all he was being refined to be the king and a man after God's own heart.
It starts and ends with walking in His presence.
Not sure how to do that? The Bible says:
29 But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him. Deut 4:29-30