In 1 Samuel 18, we read about Saul’s growing animosity toward David. As king of Israel, Saul was more interested in his popularity with the people than with God. He listened to them rather than obeying what God had told him to do. As a result, God took the kingdom away from his family and promised it to David.
It took many years for the promise to be fulfilled. In the meantime, David slew Goliath and distinguished himself as a fearless warrior as well as a man after God’s own heart. When Saul heard the people praising David over him, he became jealous. Murderously jealous. More than once, David dodged Saul’s spear before concluding he needed to make himself scarce. For the next several years until Saul’s death, David lived on the run, constantly trying to stay out of Saul’s reach. But even when it was within his power to subdue Saul, David chose the high road. Twice he could easily have taken Saul’s life. Instead, he let God be the judge and executioner.
Have you ever been in David’s position? You’re holding on to your integrity, doing your best to honor the Lord. You’re doing everything right, but you’re suffering. Nothing is going right.
There’s no indication that David ever questioned God’s plan. The Bible never tells us that he looked up to the heavens and asked, “Why, Lord? Why is all this happening when I’m faithfully obeying you?” Did he ever tire of fighting the opposition, ever resent the fact that such opposition was undeserved?
The life of David, as well as the Biblical account of Job, Paul, and others contradicts the “health and wealth gospel” that is so popular these days. More than that, it contradicts the modern mindset that if we are “good,” good things will happen to us. If we obey God, He will make our life easy.
This account of David teaches shows us the proper attitude toward our circumstances. We must hold onto our integrity, honor God in our need, and let Him be the judge. We can’t expect everything to go our way even when we’re right with God. Like Saul, our opposition may be struggling with submission to God’s will. Or God may be using people and circumstances to test us and strengthen us. Bad things do happen to good people. It doesn’t necessarily mean the good people did anything wrong. It might just mean they are destined for the Kingdom.