What do you do when you’ve been overlooked, given the worst place, or even hated? Take the slippery path of complaint and sulking? Go into depression?
David got stuck with the worst job — that of guarding the sheep. A task usually left for the weakest or youngest family members, girls, or servants. Out there in the desert heat, he could have chosen to mope. But he knew it was really God choosing for him. So he praised God. And through his help vanquished lions and bear. And learned that God protects, keeps, and watches over his own.
Or what do you do if someone hates you for no reason?
Treating you badly (or at best) ignoring you, even after you’ve tried to make peace? Do you try to get even? To make them pay? Or do whatever you can to defend yourself?
Not David. Certainly he wouldn’t have chosen to hide out in caves. Living on the run to hide from King Saul, the enemy determined to kill him and prevent his kingship. He could have killed Saul, for twice he held the king’s life in his hands. But David had learned that both his life and his future were safe in God’s hands.
And he had learned that he could let God, who only wanted his best, choose for him.
God sometimes led him along a dangerous troubled path. But he always gave him times of rest and peace. And David learned that God always chooses best. So even in the midst of being overlooked, getting the worst place, and being hated, David trusted and sang praises to God.
This is not to say he never had internal battles or times of questioning. The Psalms record many of them. But he always turned back to resting in God, and letting God choose.
And out of David’s times of testing and waiting, came many of the Psalms — songs of praises to our God. A source of lifelong encouragement, blessing many generations. And all because David chose to let God choose for him.
Many things come in to our lives which we don’t understand and find hard to accept. Friends betray, families forsake us, marriages dissolve, and children live in rebellion. We start wondering if God has forgotten us. Or if perhaps we should take things into our own hands.
We have two choices during such times of trial.
We can choose moping, depression, or trying to get even. Or we can choose, as King David did, to praise God and trust him. Remembering that he chooses well. David trusted, waited, and praised. And God, who looks at the heart, brought him into kingship.