What do you do when you’ve been overlooked, given the worst place, or even hated? Take the slippery path of complaint and sulking? Or go into depression?
David got stuck with the worst job — that of guarding the sheep. A task usually left for girls or servants. Out there in the desert heat, he could have chosen to mope. But he knew it was really God choosing for him. So he praised God. And through his help vanquished lions and bear. And learned that God protects, keeps, and watches over his own.
Or what do you do if someone hates you for no reason?
Treating you badly (or at best ignoring) you, even after you’ve tried to make peace? Do you try to get even? To make them pay? Or do whatever you can to defend yourself?
Not David. Even though he hadn’t chosen to hide out in caves. Or to flee from the enemy determined to kill him and prevent his kingship. In fact, twice he held his enemy’s life in his hands, and could have killed him. But he had learned that his life and future were safe in God’s hands.
And that he could let God, who only wanted his best, choose for him.
God sometimes led him along a slippery, dangerous path. But David always found times of resting, and times of peace. And learned that God always chooses best. So even in the midst of being overlooked, getting the worst place, and being hated, David sang praises to God.
This is not to say he never had internal battles, or times of questioning. The Psalms record many of them. But he always turned back to resting in God. Letting God choose.
And out of David’s times of testing and waiting, came the Book of Psalms — songs of praises to our God. A source of lifelong encouragement, blessing many generations. And all because David chose letting God choose for him.
Many things come in to our lives which we don’t understand, and find hard to accept. Friends betray, families forsake us, marriages dissolve, and children live in rebellion. We can start thinking God has forgotten us. And that perhaps we must take things in our own hands.
We have two choices during such times of trial.
We can choose moping and depression, trying to get even. Or we can choose, as King David did, praising God and trusting him. Remembering that he chooses well. David trusted, waited, and praised. And God, who looks at the heart, brought him into kingship.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God, (Psalm 43:5).
Will you let God choose? Can we really trust him that much?