The Saul-David Transition Part 1/8
But he removed Saul and made David their king …
The transition from Saul to David typically foreshadows a shift currently occurring in the church.
As I write in 2005, many across the Western church, including market researchers such as George Barna, are now recognising on empirical grounds (through measuring trends) that a revolution is occurring. Barna forecasts that over the next two decades the 70% of Christians who currently attend traditional church will reduce to 30% and the 30% currently outside of it will increase to 70%!
But what is the cause of this massive shift and where is it heading? Is it just a phenomenon of human reaction to institutional inertia—merely a social movement, or is there something far more fundamental: something not only institutionally subversive, but something of God—something cosmically invasive, and even eschatological?
In this article we will show that David typifies the new order of the kingdom, involving revolutionary transitions in six areas: paradigm, heart, purpose, structure, leadership, and principle. And in conclusion we will discuss the strategy and timing of the Saul-David transition.
The new order of the kingdom
The Scriptures present four representative men to whom we relate: Adam (racially), Abraham (redemptively), Moses (relationally), and David (regally). If we are desirous of a greater understanding of the emerging kingdom David provides its typical representation with Christ, the son of David, as the anti-type. David’s life, therefore, becomes a lesson for the increase of the kingdom.
David was the beginning of a new order. He was the eighth son of Jesse, eight being the number of new beginnings (1 Sam 16:1-13). The eighth note is the first note of a new octave. With the coming of Christ a new sound was heard in the earth. God in Christ invaded history to inaugurate a new order. As the “son of David” (Mtt 1:1) Jesus becomes not only the “seed of the woman” (Gen 3:15) but also the “seed of Abraham” (Gal 3:19), fulfilling all the covenant promises. In his death, as the `last Adam’, he is the terminal point of the old Adam race and in his resurrection, as the `second man’, the beginning of a new humanity—a new order (1 Cor 15:45-47).
As the representative man he makes “all things new” (Rev 21:5). By truly becoming man – the last Adam – he suffered the passion, submitting to the death of the cross, to be powerfully raised in that same humanity – the second man – breaking once-and-for-all the power of death and seated at the right hand of the Father. As the divine Son having perfected humanity through his suffering of obedience he now governs and fills the universe as the God-man (Eph 4:10; Heb 2:10-11). Through his death “old things have passed away” and by his life “all things have been made new” (2 Cor 5:17). By the obedience of faith the believer is placed into Christ — into his death, resurrection, and ascension glory (Rom 6:3-10; Col 2:12-13; 3:1-4; Eph 1:3, 4, 7, 13, 20; 2:4-10). As fellow-heirs with Christ, all that is his in actuality is now the believer’s in potentiality, contingent only upon faith-obedience (Rom 1:5; 8:16-17; Gal 3:29; Eph 4:13).
While recognising the many interpretations of the book of Revelation, the fact remains that the kingdom has come definitively, is coming progressively, and will come consumatively. Therefore, “the tabernacle of God is with men” (Rev 21:3): the new heavens and the new earth – the new creation – have already come! The new order of the kingdom was inaugurated when Christ ascended to the right hand of the majesty on high, the Father declaring to him, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet” (Heb 1:3, 13; Acts 2:31-35; Mtt 22:41-46; Ps 110:1). On that day – the day of Christ’s coronation – he was anointed as king, with the overflow of the coronation oil filling the upper room on the day of Pentecost (Ps 2; Acts 2). The promise of the Father, the Spirit, was thus sent to proactively and progressively subdue every enemy under Christ the king. Consequently, every visitation of the Spirit is nothing less than the coming of the kingdom to earth as the enemies of Christ are progressively made the footstool of his feet until the final consummation when the last enemy, death, is defeated (1 Cor 15:22-26).
And so, now in his ascended glory he is filling the universe—but not on his own; seated at the Father’s right hand,
God has put everything under his feet and has made him the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills everything in every way.
Ephesians 1:22-23 NIV (author’s emphasis)
Now, through the ecclesia, which is his body, he is filling “everything in every way”. Through this corporate expression of the new kingdom order he is making known to principalities and powers the multi-faceted wisdom of God (Eph 3:10; Col 2:15). The new order is nothing less than a cosmic invasion of a new humanity filled with God’s wisdom, having been conformed to Christ’s image.
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