1 Samuel 16: 14-23
Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.
Saul’s attendants said to him, ‘See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better.’
So Saul said to his attendants, ‘Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.’
One of the servants answered, ‘I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.’
Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, ‘Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.’ So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul.
David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armour-bearers. Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, ‘Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.’
Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
David, a nobody who nobody noticed, is one day is picked out by God and anointed as the next King of Israel. The only small problem is that Israel already has a King, his name is Saul, and he’s not planning on going anywhere soon. But when God has spoken and declared something is going to happen - nothing or no one can stop it. When God has called you to do something – all Hell standing against you can’t stop God’s Word being fulfilled. It might not happen overnight. It may even take years and years, as in the case of David. But God’s Word will come to pass.
In Rev 3:8 God says this to His people:
“I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”
When God opens a door for you, no one can shut it. He is able to get us into the places where He wants us, even when it seems there’s no possible way in. We don’t have to push or force our way in – we simply have to step forward when the time is right and allow God to do that which only He can do.
God is at work behind the scenes, in places that we don’t even know about, moving things and shifting things to get them into place for something He wants to do in the future. And He can and will use anyone to accomplish His sovereign will and purposes.
Our problem is this: If we can’t clearly see what God is doing, we assume He’s not doing anything. Isn’t that right? Unless there’s clear, in your face evidence of God at work – we naturally assume that He’s forgotten about us, that He’s ignoring us and what we’re going through.
God is always at work in our lives – sometimes in obvious visible ways, and sometimes in the background, in more subtle ways.
And God was at work in David’s life, even when David was just a teenage boy, on a lonely hillside, looking after his dad’s sheep.
God was training David, God was preparing David, and when the time was right, the next door would open for David, and he would be ready to go through it.
The first door that opens is that David is called to the Palace to play his harp for Saul. The King is going a bit mad and thinks some nice slow soothing music might help. Someone just happens to recommend this young fella David he’s heard about, and next thing you know it, David is in the palace, seeing how things are done, how does a King live, what a king do on a day to day basis. Imagine 15-20 years later when David became King himself – how much easier must it have been to step into the role having seen all that he got to see while ministering to Saul with his harp?
There are times in life when you end up doing something, maybe a job or volunteering somewhere, or learning something – and at the time you feel like it’s a bit waste of time, it seems completely pointless. But then later on in life you find that the skills you learned at that job are the very things that God starts to use in a different way. You look back and you see how nothing is wasted with God. It’s all been part of His preparation process.