The Saul-David Transition Part 7/8
But he removed Saul and made David their king …
For those sensitive to the Holy Spirit there is a principle-shift.
A principle may be defined as the basic way in which something works.
How we live the Christian life is changing. There is a fundamental shift occurring from the cognitive to the intuitive, or in biblical terms from the flesh to the spirit. The flesh, in the Pauline sense, is unbroken human strength. This centres in the mind and in the will. Autonomous man – self-directed, self-sufficient, and self-governing – has ruled in the church. Coming out of our own understanding, out of cognitive processes – acquiring knowledge through reasoning – we have determined structures and programmes to run the machine we mistakenly call “church”. This was Saul’s error. Saul-leadership is characterised by sense knowledge and human reason. As Samuel confronted him over keeping the best of the flock and sacrificing he asked:
What have you done?’ … Saul replied, `When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling … , I thought, `Now the Philistines will come down … and I have not sort the Lord’s favour.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.
1 Samuel 13: 11-12 NIV
Saul made two fatal mistakes: he saw and he thought. He operated out of sense knowledge (what he saw) and by reason (what he thought). We walk either by sight or by faith. The prophet’s verdict was immediate:
‘You acted foolishly … You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people …
1 Samuel 13:13-14 NIV
Saul’s immediate response was to count his men (v 15). Completely phased by what his eyes saw and oblivious to what the prophet said he could only look to the force of numbers – to his own resources – to human power to win the battle.
God is longsuffering and slow to anger. He came the second time to Saul with another assignment to give him another opportunity to change principles—to operate out of the spirit rather than the flesh (1 Sam 15). But tragically the die was cast; he did not change and the kingdom was taken from his grasp.
Let us hear the warning and make the principle-shift. God is destroying the wisdom of the wise. Now is the time to turn from the wisdom of man to the foolishness of God—from our understanding and trust in the Lord with all our hearts (1 Cor 1:18-25; Prov 3:5).
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