The Long Way Part
When Israel demanded a King to judge them like all other
nations, God hearkened to their voice and chose a man for
them. Thus, Saul was quickly given a position as King without
the opportunity of preparation for it. It is not surprising
that his reign was marked by immediate failure and rejection
b the Lord. How true is God's Word in declaring, "An
inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the
end thereof shall not be blessed" Proverbs 20:21.
How often have we seen the tragic results of man reaching
for positions of ministry and authority without regard to
preparation or qualification. This without doubt, is one of
the factors most responsible for the continuous failure of
human government. Like Lucifer, man today is still attempting
to climb to the heights in illegal fashion. It is sad to note
that the pursuit of this folly can be seen in the Church,
as well as in the world.
A different order will characterize the Kingdom of God.
Those who are selected to share the throne with Christ will
have qualified for this. Not everyone will be allowed access
to this realm. In Matt 20:20-23, the mother of James and John
learned that a place of rulership in the Kingdom could not
be had, simply for the asking. Jesus indicated that a qualifying
was involved when he replied, "Are ye able to drink of
the cup...and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized
with...?" Further in the discourse he states, "Those
places are reserved for the persons that my Father selects"
(verse 23,L.B). Needless to say, the Father will not select
arbitrarily, but on the basis of one's qualifications.
In Saul is seen man's way of position without preparation.
But, in David is exemplified God's way of preparation before
position is granted. From his days as a shepherd boy, and
through all the years of persecution by Saul, David was being
molded by the hand of God. In his relationship to Jesse, we
see the development of submission and obedience. In tending
the flock, he learned responsibility, and became willing even
to lay down his life to save the lambs. In Saul's service,
he behaved himself wisely, ministering with the harp to Saul's
troubled soul, serving faithfully as amour bearer, and very
ably leading all the men of war. In all these things, valuable
training and preparation was taking place, equipping God's
man for a place of rulership.
In the long years of persecution which followed, many vital
lessons were to be learned. Exposed to constant threats and
relentless pressure, David learned to rely on the Lord for
preservation and deliverance. God became his refuge, his rock,
and his shield. He learned to depend on God for wisdom and
direction. Every area of self had to be dealt with, so that
only the purity of God's nature would issue forth from His
throne (Rev 22:1). Thus, God's candidate for the Throne had
to drink of the cup of suffering and be refined by a Baptism
Whereas the way man takes is often the way of power without
regard to principle, God's way is that of power harnessed
to principle. The events recorded in 1 Samuel, Chapters 24,
25, and 26 show us how God dealt with David to make him a
man of principle.
First, he was tempted to take a short-cut to the Throne
by being presented with an opportunity to slay Saul. Those
who were with him saw it as the Lord's arrangement. With one
stroke of the sword, he could bring an end to all the persecution
and open the door to the Throne. But, David had, no doubt,
heard a principle of truth concerning the Lord's anointed.
Restrained by this in-part knowledge, he could but cut off
a piece of Saul's robe. The Spirit's conviction of David's
heart shows that even this was done in David's own strength,
and that further dealings were necessary.
Four times in 1 Samuel, Chapter 24 David vows not to lift
up his hand against Saul. But, it is one thing to verbalize
a principle, and quite another to have it established in our
character. In the next Chapter, (25), David is exposed to
another similar test. When the foolish Nabal abused David's
young men and scoffed at his request for help, David reacted
in great anger and determined to get revenge. Even though
he had vowed not to use his own strength against Saul, he
was now ready to take matters into his own hand against Nabal.
But, God's eye was upon his chosen vessel, and He would deal
with him thoroughly. He would not permit the element of revenge
to operate in His Throne. The man in His Throne will have
learned God's ways and will become the perfect expression
of His character and authority.
Once again, David's heart was smitten through the word of
Abigail. He recognized the Lord's intervention and accepted
correction. Beloved, it takes time for God's law to be written
in our hearts and in our minds. There is no magic formula
which can transform us into men and women of character and
make us fit for the Kingdom. It requires growth and maturity,
through a process of learning and chastening.
In 1 Samuel, Chapter 26, David meets his final test on the
principle which God was seeking to establish in his character.
God had arranged the test by causing a deep sleep to fall
upon Saul, making him an easy prey. Those around him encouraged
David not to miss this opportunity to rid himself of his enemy.
But David passed the test. He firmly declared, "The Lord
forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord's
anointed..." 1 Sam 26:11. "...let m (the Lord) deliver
me out of all tribulation" 1 Sam 26:24b.
An important principle had now been established in David's
life. He would carry it with him all the way to the throne.
God was pleased in seeing that in His man, power would now
be harnessed to principle, and would not be abused. In David,
the testimony and honor of the Lord's name would be upheld.
David was now a step closer to occupying the Throne of the
Let us allow the "workings of the Lord" to have
their way in our lives, that we may be prepared to be with
Him in His Throne. "To him that overcometh will I grant
to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and
am set downwith my Father in His Throne" Rev 3:21.