I love reading the stories about King David. There are so many wonderful tales about this man who is called a friend of God. His stories are really relatable.
I mean, there are so many things we can learn from him. Recently though, I noticed in my reading that there is a lot that we can learn from David about quitting.
Yeah I know, you’re probably wondering if I’m talking about the same David from the Bible.
Yes I am.
There are many words we could use to describe King David and quitting isn’t typically one of them.
But I want us to look at his life from a new perspective – we’re going to look at five times in his life when David quit and why we should too.
Read I Samuel 16:1-13
Let’s look at David’s anointing – God had rejected Saul as king because of his blatant disregard for God’s express command (you can read more about that in I Samuel 15).
Fast-forward a bit and the prophet Samuel now has to choose a new king. He goes to Jesse’s house and is impressed by the first son that he saw.
Maybe Eliab reminded him of Saul, maybe he just looked like a king – tall, broad-shouldered, you know, kingly-looking. Whatever it was, God had rejected him.
Samuel went through the first seven sons of Jesse. He was probably getting a little discouraged because of course he could only judge by what he saw before him and he had seen many kingly attributes.
Yet there he was, all of Jesse’s sons had been passed before him but none of them had met God’s standards.
At that point it would have been easy for Samuel to lose faith. After all, all of Jesse’s sons had been rejected. Hadn’t they? Didn’t God tell him that he was to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as king? Had he misunderstood?
“Are you sure you don’t have another son?” Samuel asked.
“Well, there is another one – my youngest. But he’s outside with the sheep. We don’t normally invite him to these types of events.”
“We’re making an exception. Send for your son.”
Now this is my very loose paraphrase of I Samuel 16:11, but you get the point. Let’s look at it from David’s perspective:
The great prophet Samuel was in town, and, wonder of wonders, he’s having dinner at your house.
With your father.
And your brothers.
And your servants.
With everyone but you.
Because you have to look after the sheep. Stupid sheep- Err, sorry, got a little caught up in my imagination.
So there was David, late to the party, a handsome, bright-eyed boy dressed in his shepherd’s garb and smelling of sheep. And nobody is excited – nobody that is, except God.
Now if I had been in David’s position, I would probably have been so busy sulking that I hadn’t been invited to the party and that I had to come smelling all funky to even realize the blessing that had been bestowed on me. And that’s our first lesson:
When people overlook you, quit letting their opinion matter, step into your blessing. Allow the Lord to anoint you.
Read I Samuel 16:14-23, I Samuel 17:12-29
Now, the thing about being anointed king while the old king is still alive is that you don’t get to rule the kingdom immediately. You’ve got to go back to your regular blah life.
If you’re Cinderella, you still gotta wash the dishes. Or, in David’s case, you still have to tend the sheep.
Maybe for a few days after the anointing his family looked at him differently but, after a while, things went back to exactly the way they were before Samuel had come to the house.
Fast-forward another period of time and we see Eliab, Abinadab and Shammah fighting in King Saul’s army. David was Saul’s armor bearer who played the harp to soothe the king when he got agitated.
On the surface it looked as though once again David was getting the short end of the stick. Yet, even here David retained his spirit of service and obedience.
It was this spirit that caused him to be in the camp overhearing the taunts of the Philistine’s champion Goliath.
Now here were these seasoned soldiers running scared before a single man. Giant though he was, David didn’t understand why the men who served the great Jehovah were scared of the “uncircumcised Philistine”, and he said as much. Only to be attacked verbally by Eliab his oldest brother:
“Why did you come here? Who did you leave those few sheep with in the desert? I know why you came down here.
You didn’t want to do what you were told to do. You just wanted to come down here to watch the battle” (1 Samuel 17:28 ERV).
‘Wait, what? I leave my tasks to come here and bring food and supplies for you and I’m the one being idle? You’re the soldier busy running form the enemy and being scared-’
Oh, wait, that’s what I would have said, never mind. What David actually said was:
“What did I do now? I didn’t do anything wrong! I was only talking” (1 Samuel 17:29 ERV).
Then he turned away from his brother and towards another member of the troop and repeated his question.
Don’t you just love David’s response? So do I. Here’s our lesson:
When people are being negative and trying to make you feel small quit listening to them.
Don’t allow anyone to belittle you, live up to identity of who you are in Christ.
Read I Samuel 17:32-51
Have you ever been around someone who did not believe in Jehovah? Like, this was a person who had been through a lot of things but for some reason they had managed to explain away the very existence of the Most High God.
Here was David, surrounded by the children of Israel whom God had adopted as his sons, and there was Goliath a heathen who worshipped pagan gods.
Yet, there they were, trembling on the sidelines waiting for a destiny not ordained by God.
Now David was probably the youngest person there. He had every right to join the majority in fear. But he didn’t. From him we learn that:
When people try to defy the God you serve quit acting like they have a point.
Read I Samuel 18:17-30 – 19:10
For a little while, things seemed to be looking up for David.
He slayed the scary giant, married the king’s daughter and was living in the palace.
He had made a name for himself in the army and had the respect of his peers. His best friend was a prince.
It seemed as though things couldn’t get any better… Until the king tried to drive a spear through his heart. Immediately David ran and took great effort to keep away from Saul.
To be perfectly Jamaican, "David tek whey himself" which is just another way of saying he ran away.
Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where the persons we thought were our friends prove to be otherwise.
‘But I’m his son-in-law,’ David could have said. ‘His son is my best friend.’ ‘I’m his musician.’
Any of these arguments could have resulted in his death. The beautiful thing is that David used none of them. He left everything behind – even his sword.
When we learn to quit like David did, we know that when someone seeks our destruction we quit associating with them.
Read Psalm 3
Fast-forward a few years. King Saul had died and David had finally inherited the kingdom for which he had been anointed as a boy.
In those years, he had gone through a lot. There had been many battles and near-death experiences.
He had married many times and had many children... And now one of those sons wanted to take over his kingdom.
Once again David found himself on the run. Then the whispers began,
‘You can’t win this one, Dave.’
‘God’s not going to help you this time.’
Maybe they thought that there was a limit to the amount of times we could call on God. I mean, David had been in a lot of sticky situations, maybe the people around him thought he had used up all his tokens.
But you know what, David didn’t allow any of them to discourage him. Let us be like David:
When people tell you that your God cannot save, quit letting their opinion get you down.
My friend, I don’t know what your situation is today. But I know that whatever it is God is able to change it. He is able to save.
Here’s a thought from three wise Hebrew boys, even if God chooses not to deliver you, he is still God (Daniel 3:17-18).
Continue to trust him. He knows what he’s doing – he’s been God a long time. Trust that he has your very best interest at heart.
Let’s learn to quit like David and walk about from those things and people that will not cause us to grow in grace and favor with God.
How are you learning to quit like David today? Share with us in the comments below.
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