“Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the great mountains; your judgments are a great deep; O Lord, you preserve man and beast. How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 36:5–7
David’s life must have been one of continually changing and frequently unmet expectations.
I don’t know what he expected before his anointing but afterwards he must have expected some change in his life, some elevation in status. What did he get? A return to the sheep and his lonely vigil as he watched over them.
Then one day he gets to take food to an army camp where his brothers are stationed during the war season and what does he find? Strong, confident, faith filled men ready to defend the honor of God and his people on the field of battle? No. He finds faithless and frightened men shaking in their sandals before the taunts of a Philistine because they’ve forgotten the strength of their God. Even the king and his sons were hiding away in their tent.
After God gives him the victory over Goliath he must have expected a hero’s reception. But that expectation is crushed when Saul requires him to pledge himself to him, when he’s already secretly been claimed by God and has pledged himself to be his chosen, and when he refuses Saul he’s basically taken as a slave and not permitted to go home for more than a year.
But David accepts his new circumstances and serves Saul faithfully, playing his harp and fighting in the army and in everything he does the Lord blesses him. You’d think that faithful service would be rewarded with appreciation and trust, and it almost looked like it was going to be except Saul got it into his head that David was plotting against him and ordered him taken and killed so David had to run for his life.
Sometimes the path to the blessings God has for us is a rough one with unexpected obstacles. Faith and trust opens our eyes to see God’s blessings in the midst of the adjustments we have to make and the disappointments we have to cope with.
Our focus text tells us that David, in a life filled with unexpected changes in circumstance and fortune learned to see and rejoice in the constancy and generosity of God’s goodness and justice. God wants to give us the same faith and discernment that he gave David. All we have to do is ask him with a trusting heart and follow that with living a life of thankfulness and praise like David did.
O God, in the midst of this ever changing and uncertain world you are constant and your goodness is sure. Help us to see this everyday and to rejoice in the loving kindness to give.