The Saul-David Transition Part 8/8
But he removed Saul and made David their king …
Strategy & timing
The Saul-David transition represents the transition from an old order to the new from human government to God’s. There has been a system of human control over the church, rooted originally in Babel, entering the church in the second, third, and fourth centuries, mainstreamed through the Middle Ages, slipping through the Reformation, and inherited as normative by the contemporary church. However, with the work of restoration begun approximately 500 years ago it is being irrevocably shaken and dismantled. The Reformation is coming to its fullness and the church is coming out of its Babylonian captivity. Nevertheless, how the transition occurred from the old to the new in the Saul-David transition is instructive.
Once anointed at Bethlehem David did not embark on a campaign for the kingdom. He did not politically recruit or organise. “Surely,” we say, “he should have `networked’ the important influencers the courtiers and princes of Saul’s palace, and brought them into his circle! Wouldn’t it be commonsense to form an `alliance’ of military commanders and young warriors!”
Waiting for the appointed time
However, God’s ways are not ours. David is thrust into obscurity to wait the appointed time. Through his fugitive stronghold of Adullam God sovereignly gathers and prepares, in anonymity, a forerunner group—a Davidic company who will establish the new kingdom order.
David and his company had to wait for the Lord and for his timing. Through the often tortuous dealings of Saul’s pursuit David learned to entrust himself to his God. His naturally impetuous nature was disciplined as he waited for the Lord to deliver him and, thus, vindicate the prophetic word that had gone out over his life. Therefore, he could pray:
Into your hands I commit my spirit … My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.
Psalm 31:5, 15 NASB
The times and seasons of our lives are sovereignly determined (Job 14:5; Ps 139:16; Isa 28:24-29; Ecc 3:1-8; Rom 8:28). They are not in our control. As the prophet declared:
Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker– An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?
Isaiah 45:9 NASB
The potter has power over the clay (Rom 9:21). He makes the vessels he desires and applies the pressure of his moulding hands as he wills. As absurd as it is for clay to talk back to the potter, so it is for us to resist the hand of God in our lives. He uses adversity, pain, and disappointment to prepare vessels for honour. Our responses in these delays and disappointments will determine whether we are prepared and ready for the appointed time (2 Tim 2:20-21).
And so it was with David. Through many trials he had to bide his time, waiting for the passing of the old. He was not permitted to react or rebel against it. The moment he lifted his hand to do so his heart convicted him (1 Sam 24:5).
From Adullam to Hebron
However, in the fullness of time Saul fell upon his own sword and died (1 Sam 31). And so, in the timing of God David sought the Lord for specific direction:
Then it came about afterwards that David inquired of the LORD: “Shall I go up to one of the cities of Judah?” And the LORD said to him, “Go up.” So David said, “Where shall I go up?” And He said, “To Hebron.”
2 Samuel 2:1 NASB
In this exchange David became progressively more accurate in his inquiring of the Lord: “Shall I go up?” – “Yes” – “Where shall I go up?” – “To Hebron”.
In obedience he goes up to Hebron, is anointed the second time, and from there leads Judah for seven-and-one-half years (2 Sam 2). After which, he is anointed the third time with all Israel gathering to him. He then takes Jerusalem and receives the fullness of the kingdom (2 Sam 5).
We can see, therefore, that the kingdom did not come to David through any political initiative or skill, but through three anointings, representing the three seasons of his life, each according to the Lord’s sovereign timing.
This is why Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world, or else my servants would fight … “ (Jn 18:36).
The transition to the new kingdom order is a work of God. He will not share his glory with another; and so, no man will be able to lay claim to it. No amount of `networking’ or `organisation’ will do it. Saul lost the kingdom because of unbroken self: self-will, self-seeking, and self-promotion.
This explains David’s oft-perplexing circumstances they were designed to break him and deal with his self-life. For the new order to work David was to be animated by a different spirit.
The Saul-nature will disqualify us for the increase of the kingdom. This may explain some of our own journey and the apparent self-selection of many leaders who begin the journey towards “the city whose builder and maker is God” but do not continue.
A line of demarcation
Therefore, like Paul turning from the Jews to the Gentiles, I submit that the Lord is turning from the leadership of the current system to a new breed of leader—to those with a Davidic heart and calling. There is a line of demarcation falling in the church right now. This is not to say that many will not still come from the system. Many from the synagogues still turned and believed despite Paul’s withdrawal. Moreover, despite Paul’s primary call as the apostle to the Gentiles outside of the established order, it did not preclude his involvement with it (Acts 13:41-46; 18:6; 19:8).
The Lord is creating a new wineskin. This is in preparation to receive the new wine of the next visitation of God’s Spirit. He is the master strategist and the outpouring of the Spirit sent to usher in the fullness of the kingdom will not be wasted. There will be a forerunner people readied by God to receive it—a remnant that will prepare the way for the larger body of Christ. There will be a Joseph people sent ahead for their deliverance. It is significant that both David and Joseph were sent ahead through the betrayal of their brethren, and yet through this, returned to them for their salvation. Jesus suffered outside the camp so that those within it might be saved and called out – as the ecclesia – to pursue “the city whose builder and maker is God”. So let us be ready to bear the reproach outside the city gates if necessary (Heb 13:11-16). This is the record of revival history.
I submit that the appointed time has come, as the prophet declared:
You will arise and have compassion on Zion; For it is time to be gracious to her, For the appointed time has come.
Psalm 102:13 NASB
I see the period of 1950-2025 as the approximation of this kairos moment—the transition from Saul to the new Davidic order of the kingdom.
Even so, like David each of us must wait for the vision to come to pass in our individual lives. Our lives are under preparation until our own appointed time. Though it tarries we are commanded to wait for it (Hab 2:3).
There is a kairos moment of destiny fulfilment for which we must wait. Saul will die and then we will inquire of the Lord as to the timing and the location of our emergence.
An emerging Davidic company is about to pass through the eye of the needle into the kingdom—it is time for spiritual accuracy.
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