Map of David’s Kingdom
So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign and he reigned forty years. (2 Samuel 5: 3-4)
By the time he became king over all of Israel, David had been anointed as king three times. First, the prophet Samuel anointed David when he was still a child. The only witnesses, besides God and Samuel, were David’s brothers. (1 Sam 16: 13) The second anointing was by the people of Judah, the southern part of ancient Palestine (2 Sam 2: 4). Only the people of Judah acknowledged David as king. The rest of Israel wasn’t yet united. When David was about 37, he was finally anointed king of all Israel.
David had to wait a long time to become the king that God chose him to be as a child. In his commentary on 1 and 2 Samuel, Eugene Peterson writes, “David knows how to wait. His waiting is not procrastination; it is not indolence. It is poised submissiveness, a not-doing that leaves adequate space and time for God’s initiating actions through others.” (p. 156-57)
Waiting is never easy. We want things to happen now, and we want them the way we want them. Sometimes, even though we hear it again and again, it’s hard to remember that God’s time is different from our time. Sometimes the waiting - the time before something happens - is the time that God gives us to get prepared, to become educated, to grow mature enough to handle the experiences that come our way.
Do you know how to wait? Do you leave adequate space and time for God to work through you and through other people in your life? God has great plans. You might not see what they are right now, but remember that God is working through you even as you wait. God invites you be patient, to learn and grow, and to anticipate what is to come.