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For most of us, the season of Advent is often accompanied by end-of-the-year deadlines. As a college student, this is the ever-dreaded finals season. Every few days there is another paper due or presentation to prepare for, making it feel impossible to find time to fix my gaze upon the manger. As we prepare for Christmas, we’re often more focused on the stress of doing than the peace of waiting; however, the story of David shows us that we can do both.
David is often revered as the greatest king of Israel in the Old Testament, namely for his military strength and strategic leadership. David’s trust in the Lord sees him through everything from defeating Goliath to conquering Jerusalem. Amidst being the ruler of an increasingly powerful kingdom, David has his gaze fixed upon the Lord.
After conquering Jerusalem, David brought the Ark of the Covenant to the city to be praised by all, and “David came dancing before the Lord with abandon” (2 Samuel 6:14). God recognized David’s choice to glorify Him for his victories, and God blessed David in return with the promise that a future king, a messiah, would come from David’s lineage and instate an eternal kingdom, fulfilling the promise given to Abraham, “I will make of you a great nation” (Genesis 12:2). It was David’s trust in the Lord that allows for salvation to be realized a millennium later through the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Like his predecessor Saul, David’s kingship crumbles when he loses this gaze on God and turns his focus toward himself. The temptations of this world and our inclination toward sin often cause us to do the same, but God keeps His promises with us as He kept his promise with David.
So no matter how big our battles (finals, end-of-the-year deadlines, etc.) may seem, they will never be as big as what was at stake for David; if he can glorify God in the midst of these battles, so can we.
[The Aleteia community is joining the journey of an Old Testament pilgrim each day this Advent, as they lead us to the Christ Child in this holy season. Find the daily reflections here.]