The war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time. The House of David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker. 2 Samuel 3.1
This is a repeated phrase and theme in the Samuel and Kings. I noticed this phrase when I spoke to a group last year on the life of David.
One of the things which struck me is that your trajectory is more important than where you currently are.
That thought has been of comfort to me, and to a couple of other people in that group. To all appearances, Saul had it made. He has the King, he had power, he was at the top of the antheap.
BUT he was consumed with fear and envy and paranoia. He saw the way things were going quite clearly, and hated them. He tried to take matters into his own hands, always a very bad idea. He tries to circumvent what God is doing. Who hasn’t done that occasionally? We see the writing on the wall, we see the way things are working out, we hate it, we indulge in quarreling and fighting because of our jealousy.
(James 41 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.)
One reason, apparently that God’s anointing passes from Saul is his impatience, his rebelliousness, his desire to do his own thing, his willingness to take arms against God when it is clear that the kingdom is going to pass to the House of David. He is a dangerous man with a divided mind–he both loves David, and hates and envies him. One moment, he feels fatherly towards him, the next moment he flings a spear at him. I have both been the victim of feelings like that towards me, and have experienced a similarly divided heart. (Lord, never let me experience either again!).
David, on the contrary, is at the bottom of the ant-heap for several years. He hides in the desert. He has no contacts at court. In fact, they hate him and are out to get him. Anyone who has contact with him incurs Saul’s murderous wrath. He is penniless and powerless. Or is he? Is he?
David grows stronger because the Lord was with him. He does not manipulate. He does not doubt God’s power. He waits for God’s timing. He gets to know the Lord as his shepherd in those desert years.
And to come back to my verse, “The House of David grew stronger and stronger.”
Wow! Is that possible? Can a human being grow stronger and stronger?
That has been my prayer over the last year and a half for myself and for our family to the God who delights in giving all good gifts to whose who ask. That we may grow stronger and stronger.
Spiritually. Physically. Mentally. Intellectually. Emotionally. Financially. In organization.
Like trees planted by streams of living water which yield their fruit in due season, and whose leaf does not wither. Who continue fresh and green into old age, always bearing fruit. (PS 92:14)
That though outwardly our bodies may decay, inwardly we may be renewed day by day. (2 Cor 4:16).