An important aspect of our maturity in Christ is learning to discern God’s times and seasons. Just as Israel had to discover God’s holy times, we also need to know what God requires of us during different seasons. This does not mean we are under the Mosaic Law. Rather it means we are led by the higher law of the Spirit. In the same way that Yahweh guided Israel through the wilderness through a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, the Spirit will shepherd us, gently leading us to the places he desires and the length of time he wills us to rest there.
We need to become like the sons of Issachar who knew the times and what Israel should do in them (1 Chron. 12:32). The sons of Issachar came to David in Hebron with a specific purpose: to hand over Saul’s kingdom to him (1 Chron. 12:23). David was a man who waited on God’s timing, but Saul was marked by impatience. When Samuel called him to wait for seven days, the test was too great. The circumstances surrounding Saul led him to sacrifice before the appointed time. Samuel’s rebuke to him was, “To obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Sam. 15:22). The implication: it is impossible to obey without knowing God’s timing. There is a time to sacrifice, but there is also a time to wait and receive. There is a time to go, but there is also a time to train. To go against God’s time is to go against the Lord’s tide—it is to swim in the opposite direction of his current.
David knew all about God’s timing. Even though he was anointed as king, he did not assert his anointing on others. Instead he waited. He held back until Saul’s time was finished. The reason why Saul was anointed had to do with Israel’s impatience in waiting for God’s king. They needed to have a king like the other nations (1 Sam. 8). Yes, it was God’s plan for them to have a king, but not before Samuel’s time was through. Israel’s inability to discern the times led them to have a king that did not know God’s timing. When we mature we grow to know God’s times and what to do in them. We become more like David than Saul.
Prayer: Father, give me discernment to know your times and seasons. Let me be like David and learn to wait on you.