Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 5 PART 3 – Patience (Psalm 37:7)
LESSON: PATIENCE is putting our trust in God.
Memory Verse: “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.”– Psalm 37:7
BIBLE LESSON: Saul and David
Things started out really well for David; David had been anointed by the prophet Saul to be the next king; he was given an opportunity to sit close to the royal family as the king’s musician and the armor-bearer, then he became the local hero after killing the giant named Goliath, and soon after that, he got promoted to being a commander of the king’s troops. He had great success in everything he did, and while most of the people were pleased with him, king Saul had become jealous of all the attention and praise David was getting. Eventually, Saul’s jealousy had become so great that he attempted to kill David himself by hurling a spear at him while David played the harp for him. Saul also tried to trick David into going into battle hoping that their enemies would kill him, but to Saul’s dismay, David would always win. Saul even sent men to go to David’s house and kill him, but they too failed in their mission.
David had every reason to seek revenge. He had done nothing wrong to the king; in fact, he had done much good by giving the kingdom of Saul many victories in their battles with their enemies. He wrote some of the Psalms asking God to protect him from his enemies, because David had to flee – he ran from Saul and for 7 years, he had to endure many hardships because of the threat on his life.
On one occasion, Saul pursued David and his men in the desert of En Gedi. Saul went alone inside a cave to relieve himself, but he didn’t know that David and his men were actually inside that cave hiding! While Saul was distracted, David quietly crept up to him and cut off a piece of Saul’s robe. As soon as Saul left the cave, David called out to him and humbly showed Saul the corner of the robe he cut. He tried to make Saul see that David never intended any harm to Saul, so Saul had no reason to pursue him and try to kill him.
“11Your Majesty, look at what I’m holding. You can see that it’s a piece of your robe. If I could cut off a piece of your robe, I could have killed you. But I let you live, and that should prove I’m not trying to harm you or to rebel. I haven’t done anything to you, and yet you keep trying to ambush and kill me.
12 I’ll let the Lord decide which one of us has done right. I pray that the Lord will punish you for what you’re doing to me, but I won’t do anything to you.” – 1 Samuel 24:11-12(CEV)
David found himself with an opportunity to kill Saul, but he chose not to. David instead chose to show the meaning of “grace.” “Grace” is underserved favor; it means receiving something good even if we did not deserve it. Instead of complaining, he prayed. Instead of killing Saul, David tried to show Saul how he honored him as God’s chosen king. Instead of taking revenge for all the bad that Saul had done to him, David has chosen to show him grace by just cutting the edge of Saul’s robe instead of killing him. David hoped that by proving that he did not intend to harm Saul, he could persuade Saul to stop trying to kill him.
David also showed how to “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” David could have killed Saul when he had the chance and so become king; this would be to fulfill through his own actions the promise of God to him when Samuel anointed him. But did David do this? No. David chose to wait patiently for the Lord’s time because he knew that the Lord will always uphold the good and the righteous; he will punish the evil and make things right. We may not know when and how God is going to do this, but we can trust that God will always do what He says He will do; we need only to trust Him. Just like David, we should not be angry or frustrated, because anger can lead to sin. All sinners will disappear and be destroyed, but if we trust the LORD, we will be blessed. God hears all our prayers and His goodness and justice will prevail.
Read: Psalm 37
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.
*photocredit: Idea from http://thebibleisonebook.blogspot.com/2011_02_01_archive.html