Really, there’s a sense in which you could argue that life for David was harder than it should have been. As a young man, he had been chosen of God to rule over Israel . . . he knew that. And beyond that, above and beyond his own anointing to be king, was God’s eternal determination that his would be an kingly line forever . . . that from him would eventually rise the King of Kings and the reign to end all other reigns. But ascending to the throne, and keeping the throne, was no “gimme” for David. Though he possessed the promise, the path was anything but easy. Though he had found favor with God, his enemies, before and after ascending to the throne, were many. More than once he found himself in desperate straits crying out to God for deliverance and refuge. As favored as David was, you could make the argument it was harder than we think it should have been.
But such are God’s sovereign purposes. Such is the way to growing in dependent humility on the only One who is sufficient to meet all our needs. Such is the reality of those called of God. True of David then . . . true of believers today . . . true, even of the Savior. Before Christ’s glory, there was the groaning . . . before resurrection, there was death . . . before the crown, there was the cross. Sometimes, it’s just hard.
I’m reminded of this as I read Psalm 17 this morning. A prayer of David. The cry of one needing rescue from his enemies. The plea of one seeking protection in the shadow of the Almighty’s wings. And what particularly stirs me this morning is David’s conclusion to his prayer of need.
As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I shall be satisfied with Your likeness.
. (Psalm 17:15 ESV)
Though it was hard . . . though his enemies seemed to prosper . . . David looked beyond the “here and now” and anticipated the “there and then.”
To meditate on that day when He would behold the face of God. To think on that future reality of awaking to His likeness. It placed David’s harder-than-it-should-be circumstance within the greater context of that which lay before him.
One day, faith will give way to sight. One day, those called of God will behold the God who called them. One day, His face will satisfy every need ever felt . . . His presence will heal every wound ever incurred . . . His glory fill to overflowing every emptiness every known. To quote a favorite song of mine, “It’s gonna be worth it!”
Jesus endured the cross, despising its shame, for the joy set before Him (Heb. 12:2). Paul pressed on, and kept running the race, for the prize set before him (Php. 3:14). David would keep on keepin’ on . . . he would continue to seek refuge in the One who regarded David as the apple of His eye . . . he would stand firmly on the foundation of the One he trusted to be his Rock . . . continually walking in the promise . . . all for the Face that, one day, he would behold.
Might be harder than we think it should be. But one day we will behold His Face. And it’s gonna be worth it all!