The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Patience



The Waiting Game


Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.

Proverbs 16:32


Regarding this verse, John Phillips points out the dif­ference between Joab and David. As David’s chief general, Joab knew how to take a city. In many ways he was the General Patton of the Old Testament. He knew how to fight and he knew how to win. He wasn’t afraid to attack, even if the odds were stacked against him. After all, he earned his spurs (so to speak) by taking the Jebusite fortress, which not even Joshua could conquer. He did it by climbing up the rock-hewn passage from which the Jebusites drew their water supply (see 2 Samuel 5:6-8). Joab knew how to take a city.

But in every way David was a greater man. When provoked by Saul again and again, he refused to retaliate. When he had a chance to kill Saul in the cave near En Gedi (1 Samuel 24), he refused, saying he could not touch the Lord’s anointed. He proclaimed his own inno­cence and then declared, “May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you” (v.12).

There are two interesting facts here: The first is that David was not shy about pointing out the truth. He plainly said that Saul had wronged him. Sometimes in our hurry to reconcile we overlook the fact that wrong has been done. It’s rarely true that “we’re both right and we’re both wrong.” That implies a kind of neutrality that cancels the need to make moral judgments. Such a posi­tion is useful only for those who live in a fantasy world. Saul was wrong. David knew he was wrong-and he plainly said so.

There is a second helpful fact here. David under­stood something many of us never grasp. When it comes to revenge, God is much better at it than we are. That’s because He looks down from heaven and sees all sides of every issue. He knows who is right and He knows who is wrong. So often our perspective is clouded and our judg­ment faulty. We see our side and only our side. But God knows. And He will not forget to avenge the wrongs done to His children.

David understood that God was ready, willing, and able to take care of him. And whenever God got ready, Saul would be out of the way and David would ascend to the throne. If God wanted Saul removed, there were ten thousand ways He could do it. God didn’t need David’s help. Even when David was clearly the better man, even when Saul had gone nuts, even when God had rejected Saul, He still didn’t need David’s help.

How many sins are committed because we are in a hurry, because under pressure we give in to our passions, because in the crunch we cut corners we would never cut otherwise. How many stupid decisions we make because we aren’t willing to wait for God.

I take great personal comfort in this-that God is not so unjust as to forget His children. And when we suf­fer for doing what is right, God sees and He remembers. That’s a promise you can take to the bank.


Lord God, when I am tempted to take matters into my own hands, remind me to wait lest by my impatience I spoil Your work on my behalf. Amen.


Someone has called waiting the hardest discipline of the Christian life. Do you agree?

In what areas of your life are you currently waiting for God to work? Why is it especially important to wait for God when our friends turn against us?


Want instant access to all 100 daily devotionals? The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon is available in ebook format for the Kindle, Nook, or Ipad. Purchase your copy here! 

Latest blog posts

New Sermon: “Sin in the Camp”
Monday, May 20


The Anchor Project
Explaining the Gospel in “Walmart English”

Anchor is a “gospel book” that explains the Good News in a simple and persuasive manner. Read the latest on “The Anchor Project” and how you can be support our work.

Read More
Keep Believing China
Partnering with Chinese pastors and churches

We want to join together with pastors and Christian workers to equip the church in China, broadcasting translated sermons, providing ministry resources for Christians and pastors in China.

Read More

Weekly sermon email
Subscribe for free

Subscribe to the weekly sermon from Keep Believing Ministries. Sign up for our emails and use it to grow in your faith as well as to encourage others.


KBM Podcasts
Weekly audio sermons

Welcome to Keep Believing Ministries’ audio/podcast library. Listen to or download a digital audio version of one of these messages or receive them via our podcast and feed.

Read More

Ebook: Lord of Glory

The Bible contains many names of Christ. His names tell us who he is. His names tell us why he came. His names tell us how he can help us. His names tell us why we worship him. In this devotional series you'll learn of these varied and meaning behind the names, titles and descriptions of Christ.

“Equipping and encouraging people to keep believing in Jesus”

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”