The Saul-David Transition Part 5/8
But he removed Saul and made David their king …
There is a leader-shift occurring in the church. If David is the proto-typical man of God’s government, Saul is the proto-typical man of human government.
Just as Israel opted for Saul, rejecting Samuel the man of the Spirit, the church likewise rejected their men of the Spirit, the apostles and prophets. They opted instead for the `monarchical bishop’: in effect, like Israel, they had said, “Give us a king to be like all the other nations!” (1 Sam 8:5). Human government kicked in, setting the pattern for hierarchical leadership mentalities and structures to this day.
However, in obscurity God prepared a man, David, who in the fullness of time would receive the kingdom. Likewise today—the kingdom is being taken from Saul-leaders and given to a Davidic company prepared by God. There is a shift right now from human to divine leadership. And just as David submitted to wilderness preparations, experiencing many perplexing dealings, so too this emerging company. Their hearts of pride and self-sufficiency have been humbled and broken through life’s experiences. And, like David, they are currently sensing the stirrings of imminent destiny fulfilment, inquiring of the Lord: “Is this the time to go up … ?” (1 Sam 2:1). Timing and spiritual precision is of the essence. Unlike Moses and Saul, who both ran ahead of God, David submitted himself to God’s perfect timing for kingdom advancement.
David was a `processed’ man. He had been through the deep heart searchings and brokenness necessary for true spiritual leadership in the kingdom. In the fullness of time God drew him out of the “valley of the shadow of death” raising him to the throne. Tragically this is not often the case with today’s leaders and was not so with Saul.
While Saul was not a `processed’ man he was “head and shoulders” above his peers (1 Sam 9:2). He stood out from the crowd as a man with all the natural attributes of leadership. Saul-leadership is characterised by the “head” and by the “shoulders”—by human thinking and strength. In man’s estimation he was an obvious choice. In fact, he was effectively the people’s choice (1 Sam 8:5 ff). Contemporary leadership culture in the church either focuses on the “head” through humanist-existentialist theologies or on the “shoulders” through market-driven pragmatism than on a heart processed by God. Intimacy with God and acquaintance with his dealings – that is, a sovereign supernatural call and preparation – generally are not prerequisites for today’s ministry.
David on the other hand was not the obvious choice. The youngest son of Jesse, he was forgotten and clearly not considered a front-runner when Samuel visited looking to anoint the new king (1 Sam 16). After viewing all the obvious choices the Lord reminded Samuel:
Samuel, don’t think Eliab is the one just because he’s tall and handsome. He isn’t the one I’ve chosen. People judge others by what they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts.
1 Samuel 16:7 CEV
God’s choice is not based on human considerations. Who we may think is a natural and obvious leader is not often the one God chooses. He sees through the talent and natural attributes to the heart. This is where the issues of life are decided (Prov 4:23); and it is where the leader-shift in the church is occurring right now. Many in the past season have been making decisions at a heart-level, which will now play out at ground-level. The things that have been hidden will now be made visible.
A judgement is about to be pronounced over the old order:
But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.
1Samuel 13:14 NASB
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