Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Transition of David to Solomon

For the past couple of decades, we've been walking in the pattern of King David.

In the late 1980s, God spoke to the church about a new generation of warriors He was raising up, and He used the young David as the model. The new warriors would be anointed by God in anonymity (1 Samuel 16:13). They would be unafraid of the enemy (17:26), and would be willing to step into the war that the generation of Saul had no heart for (17:32). They would initially be disdained by the church of the previous generation (17:28), then the church would try unsuccessfully to clothe them with the old armor, the old methods of waging the war (17:38-39). After the miraculous victories in the Name of the Lord (17:51), finally the old army pays attention (17:55), and draws them into its influence (18:2), which ends up in a sour match (18:8).

It was in this season that God raised up many young "Davids," and formed key alliances with supportive partners, "Jonathans," and brought the new warriors out of the old form of religion into a new model. While many ministries were birthed in this season, there were far more young warriors that fell from the favor of the traditional churches, and were forced by Divine strategy into the wilderness where they began to learn from God. There, they began to gather with others who were "...in distress... in debt, and ... discontented." (22:2)

Then in the middle of the 1990s, God was speaking of David again, this time from the story of where he brought the ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6 & 1 Chronicles 13 & 15). God taught us that the desire for His presence (the Ark) was good and right, but we must seek for His presence in His way. Jokes were made in pulpits all across the land that the use of "boards and big wheels" (the components used to make a cart, 1 Samuel 6:3) is the wrong way: that's the way of the Philistines. Uzzah (lit. "strength", speaking of man's strength) was killed when he touched the presence of God (the Ark, 6:6,7). David was angry (6:8), afraid & confused (6:9), and put off the project for months or years (1 Chronicles 14). A holy fear came on some as God judged His church.

Later, David submitted to the Law of God & brought the Ark (God's presence) into Jerusalem (the church) using the methods God had commanded (1 Chronicles 15:13), and was lavish with sacrifice (speaking of holiness, 1 Samuel 6:13) and praise (6:14). The house of Saul again expresses disdain, and is judged for it (Michal, in 6:20-23), but the power over the new warriors was broken off: never again would David be subject to the house of Saul.

During this season, the worship movement exploded across America (with Integrity Music & Vineyard Music in their prime), and the cry for holiness was heard, albeit less vigorously. And God's presence did indeed begin to come back into His church. Cities like Toronto and Brownsville became famous for God's presence, but many communities began to see His presence in less publicized outpourings.

The presence of God is hidden away in "David's Tabernacle," which is little more than a pup tent in a back bedroom or courtyard in David's palace, but God's presence is there, and David himself undoubtedly leads the band of palace employees in worship there.

Now there were two places of worship. David and his household worship in God's presence in the back bedroom. But the nation - or those who worship God - still worship at the tabernacle of Moses, which is still in operation on Shiloh's hill. They're obeying the Law there, like their fathers did before them, and God's blessing is on them. The pagentry of the priesthood and the Levites continues in full swing, and the people's offerings support that worship. Israel is obeying God when they worship at the tabernacle. But God's presence, the ark of the covenant, is now gone.

David was the only historic figure who walked in all three anointed offices of prophet, priest and king, and those three ministries are being released on the church again, in the prophetic, intercessory and apostolic movements, and the Lord Himself leads the movements. David's psalmist spirit is being released again, through prophetic song or "ode pneumaticus," the "song of the Spirit."

During the recent years, much was made of the requirements needed to bring the Ark into Jerusalem, but little or nothing was said of what happened to the ark once it got there. In the past few years, God has been speaking of this: there is an established, obedient, liturgical church that is walking in obedience to what God had commanded, and they enjoy power, prestige, position and possessions. But the Ark of God's presence is no longer among them. There is no judgment on them, they are obeying God; but His presence is not among them.

God's presence is more often found in the little bands of God chasers, gathered in small storefronts, converted warehouses and living rooms, led by the Son of David Himself. These are the modern Tabernacles of David.

During those historic years, David worshiped at that little tent in his back yard, but he also worshiped "in the temple" (Psalm 27:4), though it wouldn't be actually built until David was dead and buried. David worshiped in faith, seeing with the eyes of faith that which mortal eyes wouldn't see for another generation. God is beginning to release a faith for the work that God is beginning for the next generation. With eyes of faith, some have seen His outpouring in the generation that is now in its youth. Those visionaries - like David - are beginning to prepare plans, materials and workers for the richest, most glorious outpouring of God since the angels sang to startled shepherds outside of Bethlehem two millennia ago. Many of those preparing and interceding for the outpouring will never see this house with their mortal eyes, but having seen it in faith, that's almost irrelevant: the tidal wave is coming.

This move of God's Spirit, this message, is not yet established in the Church. The preparations are not yet complete, but the waves are coming more quickly now. I believe that another wave of His Spirit is already beginning. This is not the tidal wave, the move of God that will compare to the glory of God in the completed temple, the outpouring that will bring the harvest of perhaps a billion souls in a single generation. This is merely another lesson, and not necessarily the next one, in preparation for that day which is still yet to come.

The vision is certainly not yet clear, but here are some shadows to be discerned in the approaching wave. 1 Kings 1 documents the transition of leadership from the generation of David to the generation of Solomon.

But there comes a challenge for the succession to the throne, and this is where we must now focus our attention. God's purposes call for Solomon, the son of Bathsheba, to be on the throne. But Adonijah son of Haggith ("rejoicing" or "festive") declares "I will be king" (1 Kings 1:5; see also the "I will" statements of Isaiah 14:13), and he has some claim to the title, being the eldest surviving son of David. (He is also brother to the now-dead Absalom, born from the same mother.) He sets up a coronation with a group of leaders, including some from Saul's days: Joab , the great general & traitor, and Abaithar the priest, the last priestly descendant from Eli. Notably absent are the true leaders of David's generation.

The self-coronation is revealed to the prophet Nathan, who involves Bathsheba, a picture of redemption and forgiveness, and King David himself. The plot is stopped, the right son, Solomon, is sat upon the throne (1:35), blessed (1 Kings 1:37) anointed (1:39). Adonijah repents and is spared (1:51-53) for a season. After David instructs Solomon & dies, Adonijah makes a manipulative try for the crown in the guise of proper relationship (2:13-18), but he's found out & executed (2:22, 25).

I believe that God is raising up a "Solomon generation." These will be characterized by wisdom (Solomon's great gift), by peace (the literal translation of "Solomon") inwardly if not outwardly, by God's favor (Solomon was offered something no one else has ever been, 1 Kings 3:5), and by the great outpouring of God's grace (the "tidal wave" mentioned above).

This generation is also known as the "Samuel generation," for like Samuel, God is preparing them from a very early age to move powerfully in the prophetic and to turn the tide of history. While they will not fight the wars of the older generation, they will lead an entire generation into the glory of God. Of course, they will not go unchallenged by the enemy.

When the present generation of leadership is dying off, I expect that my children's generation will be challenged for the right to shepherd the move of God. There will be some who will rise up from a background of religious obedience, or even the evangelical movement (Adonijah means "the Lord is my master"), and some from a background of the renewal movement (Haggith means "rejoicing" or "festive") to lay claim to the leadership of that generation, and indeed they will have the natural right to claim the position; and they are natural leaders. And they will augment their claim with leaders from the Saul generation, persons (formerly?) of influence in the denominational or traditional church structures. But they will not be God's choice to lead their generation.

Those chosen by God will be brushed right by, and it will seem like they never had a chance, but our generation must recognize the new leaders, and place them in the office that is being wrested from them.

It is interesting that although the attack is against the Solomon generation, it is the David Generation that must identify & overcome the enemy at this time. Our prophets must see the challenge (as Nathan did) and speak out, our pastors must cry out (as Bathsheba did), and our apostles (in the role of David) must designate and anoint the leaders whom God has chosen. They must be brought into leadership, even ahead of us, while yet God's grace is still upon our generation (the throne: 1:35), and this process must be public (1:39). The Solomons will sit on the throne, but it is our war to fight, not theirs, which will make that happen. However, the final victory over the Adonijah rebellion will be theirs.

I believe God has reason for bringing this to light now:

* Our generation will require years of preparation before we ourselves are ready to carry out our responsibilities at the end of our time of glory.

* God will anoint the new generation before the old generation is gone. (I told you the waves were coming faster now.) By that point, before we are through with our own ministry, we must have conquered the Philistines, and have handed the kingdom - and the preparations for the great temple - to the divinely chosen leaders of the next generation.

* The plans, materials and workers must be in place before the next generation is ready, or even understands the vision. We must train the children and the youth in the ways that God has given us: intercession, prophecy and apostolic leadership must be in their blood before they reach adulthood.

* We must intercede for the battle over leadership that is yet to come. A war can be turned by little effort spent before battle is joined. If comes to full combat, the cost will be much greater. We must pray for those chosen by God to be raised up instead of the natural leaders.
  




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