Example of Endurance

 But he who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:13

This passage mirror’s Luke’s writing in Luke 21:19, before both, Jesus shares all the things that could lead His follower’s astray. These scriptures were His encouragement to endure through the trials.

As I red the passages before I immediately thought of all that David walked though in the Old Testament. I think David is one of my go to stories because of all he walked through. It mimics much of what Jesus warned His disciples they would face.

David had people who tried to lead him astray and encouraged him to do things against God’s chosen, yet David endured.

He came to the sheep pens by the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were staying in the innermost parts of the cave. David’s men said to him, “Behold, the day of which Yahweh said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.’” Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe secretly. Afterward, David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt.  He said to his men, “Yahweh forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, Yahweh’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is Yahweh’s anointed.”  So David checked his men with these words, and didn’t allow them to rise against Saul. Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way. David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth, and showed respect. I Samuel 24:3-8

David was tested over and over again with people encouraging him to respond in revenge to the actions that were taken against him by King Saul. Yet through it all, David was not lead astray. He responded with honor for the man that God had anointed as king over Israel, even though it was a position that David was anointed to take.

Then David arose, and came to the place where Saul had encamped; and David saw the place where Saul lay, with Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his army. Saul lay within the place of the wagons, and the people were encamped around him. Then David answered and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother of Joab, saying, “Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp?”Abishai said, “I will go down with you.” So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the place of the wagons, with his spear stuck in the ground at his head; and Abner and the people lay around him. Then Abishai said to David, “God has delivered up your enemy into your hand today. Now therefore please let me strike him with the spear to the earth at one stroke, and I will not strike him the second time.” David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against Yahweh’s anointed, and be guiltless?”  David said, “As Yahweh lives, Yahweh will strike him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall go down into battle and perish.  Yahweh forbid that I should stretch out my hand against Yahweh’s anointed; but now please take the spear that is at his head, and the jar of water, and let’s go.” So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul’s head; and they went away. No man saw it, or knew it, nor did any awake; for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from Yahweh had fallen on them. Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of the mountain far away, a great space being between them;  and David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, “Don’t you answer, Abner?” Then Abner answered, “Who are you who cries to the king?” David said to Abner, “Aren’t you a man? Who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not kept watch over your lord, the king? For one of the people came in to destroy the king your lord.  This thing isn’t good that you have done. As Yahweh lives, you are worthy to die, because you have not kept watch over your lord, Yahweh’s anointed. Now see where the king’s spear is, and the jar of water that was at his head.” Saul recognized David’s voice, and said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” David said, “It is my voice, my lord, O king.” He said, “Why does my lord pursue his servant? For what have I done? What evil is in my hand?  Now therefore, please let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If it is so that Yahweh has stirred you up against me, let him accept an offering. But if it is the children of men, they are cursed before Yahweh; for they have driven me out today that I shouldn’t cling to Yahweh’s inheritance, saying, ‘Go, serve other gods!’  Now therefore, don’t let my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of Yahweh; for the king of Israel has come out to seek a flea, as when one hunts a partridge in the mountains.”  Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Return, my son David; for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes today. Behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.” David answered, “Behold the spear, O king! Then let one of the young men come over and get it. Yahweh will render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness; because Yahweh delivered you into my hand today, and I wouldn’t stretch out my hand against Yahweh’s anointed.  Behold, as your life was respected today”  Then Saul said to David, “You are blessed, my son David. You will both do mightily, and will surely prevail.” So David went his way, and Saul returned to his place. 1 Samuel 26:5-25

In 1 Samuel 17 we can read the story of the young shepherd David killing the Philistine giant warrior Goliath. David knew his identity and was not willing to allow someone to speak ill against the God of Israel. He was willing to stand in for that army that should have known their identity in Christ against the warrior and his army. His was concerned because he knew who he was in Christ.

David said to Saul, “Your servant was keeping his father’s sheep; and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after him, struck him, and rescued it out of his mouth. When he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, struck him, and killed him.  Your servant struck both the lion and the bear. This uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.”  David said, “Yahweh, who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go! Yahweh will be with you.” I Samuel 17:34-37

David became a mighty warrior as nation rose against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. God gave him victory. I Chronicles 18 shares the various wars that Dad was part of during his life. To name a few, David defeated the Philistines, he took Gath and its towns. He defeated Moab.  David took Zobah to Hamath. David struck twenty-two thousand men of the Syrians. From Tibhath and from Cun, cities of Hadadezer, all the nations; from Edom, from Moab, from the children of Ammon, from the Philistines, and from Amalek, David was successful in war. It was not just rumors of wars that David faced, it was his realty. Yet with God’s strength, he endured.

The disciples were warned of pestilence and famine what would come. 1 Samuel 21:1 says “There was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the face of Yahweh. Yahweh said, “It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” and 1 Samuel 24:15 tells “So Yahweh sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning even to the appointed time; and seventy thousand men died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba.” David saw both famine and pestilence and yet he endured.

The Disciples were told they would be delivered up for tribulation, putto death and hated. David faced many years of tribulation running from King Saul.

  • 1 Sam. 18:11Saul threw the spear, for he said, “I will pin David to the wall!” David escaped from his presence twice.
  • 1 Sam. 18:21Saul said, I will give her to him, that she may be a snare to him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Therefore Saul said to David a second time, “You shall today be my son-in-law.”
  • 1 Sam. 19:1Saul spoke to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David.
  • 1 Sam. 19:10Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear; but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, and he stuck the spear into the wall.
  • 1 Sam. 19:11Saul sent messengers to David’s house, to watch him, and to kill him in the morning. 
  • 1 Sam. 19:20Saul sent messengers to seize David: 
  • 1 Sam. 19:21  When Saul was told, he sent other messengers,
  • 1 Samuel 23:8 Saul summoned all the people to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men
  • 1 Samuel 24:2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the rocks of the wild goats. 
  • 1 Sam. 26:2  Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.

Despite knowing that the King of Israel, his father-in-law, his best friend’s father, was causing him so much tribulation in seeking his live, David endured.

The disciples were warned that family would rise against family. David’s own son Absalom rose against him after David failed to correct his son Amnon, the son that raped his daughter. The whole story folds out in 2 Samuel 13-19. Despite the brokenness in his family, David endured.

David reminds me of the ability to endure, because he endured through all these things. God referred to David as a man after His own heart in 1 Samuel 13:14 But now your kingdom will not continue. Yahweh has sought for himself a man after his own heart, and Yahweh has appointed him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept that which Yahweh commanded you. That is not a small feat to be called by God a person after His own heart. It is a title not listed for any other saint of old. So David’s story is one that I hold on to when things get tough. God was on David’s side, but the Spirit of God lives in me.

Prayer – Lord, I thank you for giving us old and new tetament saints as examples of how to endure. I know that we have You also as an example, but it too easy for me to say “But Jesus is God.” and forget you are also the son of man. I look at the examples in the Bible that You gave and know that David could endure with just a promise of You, how much more can I endure with you indwelling in me.

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