II Samuel 2:1-4a
I cannot recall how many times I have seen people jump at the first opportunity they get, only to find themselves in situations they wish they had avoided. It happens with jobs, relationships, even ministry opportunities. That is why “enquiring of God in prayer” is so vital. Let’s learn a lesson from David.
This story unfolds at a critical moment in the history of Israel. David, still a national fugitive, is living in the Philistine town of Ziklag with his family and the families of his followers. He gets word that King Saul, and especially Prince Jonathan, have died in battle. The entire nation goes into mourning, even David. “How are the mighty fallen!” (1:19). Here is where our story picks up.
David’s Moment Of Opportunity
We have to remember that David knew this day was coming. Years earlier, God told the prophet Samuel that He had rejected Saul as king over Israel and sent Samuel to anoint David to be the next king. Even Jonathan, Saul’s son, knew that David would be the next king (not him).
“And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons” (I Samuel 16:1).
But what David did not know was when. He kept serving Saul, year after year, playing music, leading the army in battle, earning the respect and trust of the people. David even passed up more than one opportunity to kill Saul when Saul was out to kill him! It wasn’t God’s timing. Now Saul was dead, and David had the opportunity to step in and seize the leadership of the nation. Talk about a job offer! A promotion opportunity!
David’s Response To This Moment
As soon as the time of mourning passed, David went to “enquire of the Lord” (vs. 1). David didn’t assume that it was God’s will for him to go back to Israel. He didn’t presume to know God’s timing for the transition. He turned to God and began asking questions.
“Should I go up to the cities of Judah?” In other words, was it even time to move back at all? God responded, “Go up.” David then asks a follow up question, “Where should I go to?” God replied, “Go to Hebron.” Hebron was that famous town that Caleb wanted when they conquered the Promised Land.
David wanted God to guide every aspect of his decisions. This would affect his future, his family, and his country. David was willing to listen to God’s voice, and wait on God’s timing. Even when the opportunity must have seemed like a “no-brainer” to everyone around him, David still took time to pray about it and seek God’s counsel and direction.
The results were worth it (vs. 2-4a, 11). David was anointed king over the house of Judah for seven years, then would become king over all Israel for another 33 years. He would reign as king for four decades. But the transition came about by David enquiring of God in prayer.
This is how we ought to approach every decision – especially those that will impact the direction of our life and family. Too many times Christians assume that just because they get offered a job or promotion, or because they meet a great guy or girl, or face any “open door,” that it is God’s will. The devil can open doors too! Human wisdom, determination, and ingenuity can open doors. That doesn’t mean it’s God will and God’s time (both are vital). Our most important response to moment’s of opportunity is to turn to God in prayer (guided by His Word) for wisdom, discernment, and direction.