David was a humble, yet powerful leader.
His humility was evident in how he rose from a shepherd boy to become a king. Along the way, he needed great courage because he would fight battles against Goliath, Saul, the Philistines, and… need I mention any more?
The battles, in other words, were constant. And sometimes they were against people who were supposedly his allies: his generals, his soldiers, even his own children.
Then there were the battles with his own sinful nature. Think Bathsheba. Or numbering his troops.
David didn’t always like the opposition, but he did learn to accept it. I think the realization came early that life and work would offer opposition, when David — as a mere shepherd boy — learned to fight bears and lions.
Our problem is that most of us have not grown up as shepherds. Opposition can take us by surprise. After all, in our own minds, we have the best of intentions. Our hearts are totally in the right place, aren’t they? Our mission is the most important mission in the world! What could there possibly be to oppose?
Opposition can wear us down. It can discourage our hearts and deflate our enthusiasm. And if it comes unexpectedly? Well, that’s especially disconcerting.
That’s why it’s best if we expect opposition — anywhere, anytime, from any person. Like David learned to do — humble and powerful as he was; kind-hearted and well-intentioned as he was.
That’s also why David always turned to God for courage and comfort. God was his peace in times of trouble, his courage in times of fear. God was his constant companion — and God was for him — even when everything and everyone else seemed to be against him.
“Then people will say, ‘Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth.'” (Psalm 58:11, NIV).
Our Bible reading for Saturday, May 9, is Judges 9:1-57, John 6:1-24 and Psalm 58:1-11.
Lord, help me to expect opposition. Most of all, help me to know that I will face serious spiritual opposition in life. Whatever opposition I might face, help me to know that it can come from anywhere, at anytime, and from any person. But most of all, help me to be like King David — always at peace, and filled with courage, knowing that you are with me.
Header image based on "opposition" by Abhi, CC By 2.0