SEVEN YEARS AND SIX MONTHS

Today's devotion from 1 Chronicles 3. Reading through these genealogies can be enlightening. That's part of their purpose. As we read through the names listed, we remember their stories, both victories and defeats. Chapter 3 takes us quickly through the section of Israelite history dealing with David. As we recall his story, its amazing how much we forget so quickly.

For example, one aspect of David's story that almost always takes me by surprise is his patience. We usually have no problem remembering his patience while Saul reigned, but what of his patience after the passing of Saul? For seven years and six months, David patiently waited for Israel to catch up to God and His plan.

During this time David knew he had been anointed as king over all Israel, but the people had not yet reached the same conclusion. Instead of forcing the issue, David waited. He did not waste the time. Rather, he ruled a portion of the kingdom from Hebron. He ruled in such a way that eventually those not under his reign looked to it and longed for it. For seven and a half years, the kingdom was divided while the anointed king bid his time until finally all came to him and asked him to lead.

As the chronicler wrote these words and recalled the stories associated with each, I wonder what was on his mind. I wonder if he, seeing through the perfect lens of retrospection from the informed perspective of prophecy, envisioned that another king was now waiting? I wonder if he considered various means and methods of one rising to power in Judah, then drawing even Israel back to himself? I wonder if he dared to dream of a possible widening of the scope and scale of the kingdom to surpass that of David? Oh that God could or would do such a thing!

It almost seems silly to think of a king the likes of David waiting, but he did. Even as I ask these questions, I know that a king, The King, is patiently waiting. Seven years and six months are as nothing. Our King has already expanded the Kingdom from the geographical  and political boundaries of Israel to include every tribe, tongue, and nation, yet He patiently waits. While He waits, He works. He works in us and through us and for us. While He works within us, let us seek to honor Him so that others look to Him and long for Him.