“During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the LORD. The LORD said, “It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death.”” (2 Samuel 21:1 ) I found this story to be fascinating. First, because it gives some insight to God’s frequently unusual timing (at least from our perspective).
God deals with things when he wants to. Sometimes it’s immediate (as with Joshua and the Israelites at Ai). But sometimes it’s later, even much later.
So God wanted to deal with this thing Saul did. But it’s long after Saul is dead and buried that God brings it up.
We don’t know when in David’s reign this famine occured. It seems quite possible that it was a decade or more after David was first crowned King of Judah.
I don’t have a clue why God waiting so long before dealing with this issue that he clearly found to be of critical importance. And perhaps that’s the point of this story. There is no way we can know why God does what he does, when he does it.
He brings things up when he chooses to, and we must simply be ready to deal with what he sends our way. We make our plans, but he directs our steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
The second thing I wonder about this situation is this: Did David only ask God’s input after 3 years had gone by? Or did he ask sooner and have to wait for years for an answer?
From the text, it seems that David delayed asking God until 3 years had gone by.
It makes me wonder if there are situations in my life that God wants to bring about healing or deliverance, but I’m busy trying to endure them.
I had some minor health problem that I had been living with, but recently realized I didn’t have to. So I prayed for healing and God did it. I had some of those situations going on for years.
All the while God was just waiting for me to ask.
In the end, God’s timing is going to remain a mystery to me. My job is to ask and trust. And perhaps most importantly, to listen. Because if I can’t know God’s timing, at least perhaps I can know his purpose