“And today, though I am the anointed king, I am weak…” – 2 Samuel 3:39a
There will be days of weaknesses in our lives, such as what David experienced when Joab killed Abner— an action that dashed out plans (at least initially) in the move to unite Israel with Judah. Judah had already proclaimed David as king, but the rest of Israel still regarded Ishbosheth as the rightful heir to the throne.
The murder of the General had repercussions. Abner had pledged his new loyalty to David and was rounding up the leaders of the different tribes throughout Israel in an effort to recognize David as king. Alas, Aber was murdered by no less than Joab. Then Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, was murdered. It may have looked advantageous to those on David’s side, but peace hung on a precarious slope.
Despite the ensuing controversies, David knew his identity. The prophet Samuel had anointed him king way back when David was in his teenage years. This was something he could hold on to. Therefore, we find David saying this line: “And today, though I am anointed king, I am weak…” David acknowledged his feelings of weakness with the loss of Abner and and yet, he knew the truth of the matter: God had anointed him as king.
I find that in moments when our destiny seems to have taken a wrong turn or an inexplicable detour because of circumstance, one of the things that effectively anchors our hope is God’s proclamation of our destiny. In truth, God speaks directly into our identity—what He sees in us—even before the reality of HIS proclamation is seen.
In the Bible, we see instances of this–when God challenged human reality with what He said. He told Abraham he would be a father despite the apparent barrenness of Sarah. He told Gideon he was a mighty man even when he was cowering in fear from the Midianites. He called Simon Peter “friend” (John 21:5) before the latter had a chance to prove it after denying Jesus three times.
It was God speaking out their identity even in the midst of their weaknesses.
Circumstances may not go the way we want them to go; they might even go completely contrary to what we know should happen. And yet, we always have the choice to believe what our eyes tell us, or to remember what God has said about us.
Of course, It might take time for the promises of God for us and about us to be fulfilled in our lives. David didn’t get the throne till years and years after he was anointed. Abraham didn’t get Isaac till he was a hundred years old. Gideon only truly earned his stripes when he attacked Midian. God had proclaimed something over them, and what He said came to pass despite obstacles. Why? Because He is God. Numbers 23:19 says this: “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
We may hear many proclamations of what is happening around us and to us. What matters most is what God proclaims about that situation, and what He proclaims about us. Do we trust Him enough to believe that what He says? Dare we believe that His words are more true than what our eyes see?
He still is God. He still has the last say. Let’s heed what He proclaims.
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.