"So David went up there (to Hebron) with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel...sons were born to David in Hebron; his first born was Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; his second, Chileab, by Abigail widow of Nabal of Carmel; the third, Absalom the son of Maacah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; and the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah, David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron.
II Samuel 2: 2; 3: 2-5, Amplified Bible
"Many a saint, for want of keeping a tight rein, and that constantly, over some corruption which they have thought they had got the mastery of, has been thrown out of the saddle."
What does it mean to me to be "vigilant"?
Am I waiting for something in my life right now and find that it is difficult to be patient as I wait?
"A wandering heart needs a watchful eye."
"It is morally impossible to exercise trust in God while there is failure to wait upon Him for guidance and direction."
D. E. Hoste
Anyone who knows me very well is quite aware of the fact that I'm not a person who likes to wait. I find waiting extremely annoying.
Many years ago, when my nieces were little girls, I remember planning a trip to town to do some shopping and then having to wait for them to arrive nearly an hour late. I said to my sister, "Why are you so late?" I could tell by the look on her face that she didn't appreciate my question. She gave me one of those "sister" looks as she retorted, "Well, as we walked out the front door to the car, Bethanie vomited on her shirt so we had to change her clothes and then Aimee said she needed to go to the bathroom." I could tell I'd hit a nerve when she continued, "Next time Dorothy, you can get the kids dressed, fed and ready to go and let's see if you're on time."
I got her point! And through the years, I've tried to learn more about using waiting time wisely and patiently.
Because I have worked independently for a number of organizations through the years, I've come to many meetings, only to end up waiting -- sometimes for hours. After a few times being left with nothing to do, I learned to bring other projects with me or a good book to read -- and this made it possible for "waiting time" never to be "wasted time."
In our texts for today in II Samuel 2 and 3 we find that David's life in Hebron was "waiting time." In fact, II Samuel 2:11 states that "David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah for seven years and six months.
This was a long time for him to wait to be king over all of Israel -- all the tribes.
What did David do while he waited? He met and married women! We find that one woman was the daughter of a king -- a princess. What's more, not only was David busy hooking up with women, he was also busy having children -- at least six sons and since daughters didn't count, I'm certain he had some girls, too.
If we take the time to read through the list of wives David collected in Hebron and the sons who were born, we find that this waiting time became woefully wasted time for Hebron was the breeding ground for some of the most destructive family problems ever recorded in Scripture. And they had their beginning with multiple marriages and unhappy children.
Over and over again in the next few months, we are going to find the names that appear in the Hebron hook-ups, coming to the forefront of one of David's family issues after another. It's no wonder! With six different wives bearing six different sons and daughters, too, what a recipe for a dysfunctional family.
It is during the time of waiting in Hebron when David needed to focus on His heavenly Father. Instead, his eyes turned to the women in the land and his heart was led from the things of heaven to the things of this earth.
Until I carefully read every verse in II Samuel 2 and 3, I didn't realize how many seeds of sorrow were planted during Hebron's "waiting time." David's lack of vigilance and his interest in uniting with as many women as suited him laid a shaky foundation for his future reign as king.
And this fact got me to thinking about waiting times in my own life. When years seem to slip by and we don't get what we want, when we want it -- it can become easy to grab for this, that, and the other thing, whether it is in God's will for our lives or not.
I find great instruction and wise advice from the words of Jean Baptiste de la Salle about how to use waiting time in a Godly manner: "Vigilance and prayer are the safeguards of chastity." The lesson of Hebron is a lesson on patience to wait upon the Lord our God.
"Oppressed with sin and woe,
a burdened heart I bear;
Opposed by many a mighty foe
yet I will not despair.
With this polluted heart,
I dare to come to Thee--
Holy and mighty as Thou art--
For Thou wilt pardon me
I feel that I am weak,
and prone to every sin;
But Thou, who gives to those who seek,
Wilt give me strength within.
I need not fear my foes;
I need not yield to care;
I need not sink beneath my woes
for Thou wilt answer prayer.
In my Redeemer's name,
I give myself to Thee;
And, all unworthy as I am,
My God will cherish me."
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus is available where Christian books are sold. They can also be purchased through Paypal at www.transformationgarden.com or by calling our office toll-free at 1-888-397-4348.
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