For you, O God have tested us; … yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance. Ps lxvi, 10-12.
Our God is a faithful and merciful God. He never leaves any loose end while scripting the story of our life. If He leads us into the valleys of life, He will surely bring us to His hilltops from where we’ll shout with the psalmist, “Come and hear … and I will tell what he has done for my soul” (v. 16). If God hadn’t charted David’s course through terrible valleys, would he ever have appreciated the mountain peaks to which God led him?
David wasn’t as elated when he was in God’s crucible. God let him go through a fiery furnace so that he could be purified as silver is tried. God brought David and his men into a net and then laid a crushing burden on their backs. God let people ride over their heads! Nothing can be worse than that. Any punishment that comes directly from God is a million times lighter than the ones that are delivered through the agency of other people. It pains the most when God uses our loved ones as His rod of correction! It could be from a spouse, a son or a daughter, father or mother, or from in-laws. And then, there are unworthy people who suddenly rise above your head only to despise you and to grind your face on the ground. One can only hold one’s breath and endure in silence in such situations.
In David’s case, it was his son Absalom who rose up against him. Shemei, a disgruntled citizen, cursed King David as he fled from his palace. No wonder David described his experience as comparable to going “through fire and through water” (v. 12). If David and his men had been defeated and killed in the fierce Judaean battleground, he wouldn’t have been able to invite his people to praise God saying, “Come and see the works of God …” (v. 5). Right when his enemies thought that he was eliminated, David bounced back to power and lived to talk about it. God led him out of his dire straits into a place of abundance.
God does everything for His glory. If he tests you with fire, he does it so that you will praise Him once He brings you out of it to a place of abundance. If God lets people ride over our heads, it is so that we will have a tender heart to all who are downcast. Instead of harboring bitterness in our hearts against individuals who ride roughshod over us, let us thank God for them. God will deal with them in due time. But His primary interest is in mellowing and shaping us, His children.