2 Samuel 3:1 NKJV
Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.
Right off the gate, Saul and David are both from the same house of Israel. What does Israel represent? The Israel in the wilderness and in Canaan is the NATION under the Old Covenant of law. The Israel of God is the CHURCH under the New Covenant of grace (Galatians 6:16)
Secondly, Saul and David represent two different set or type of believers. Saul is a believer that depends or rests on his own self-effort, performance, strength and obedience. Saul really conducted his life on his self-effort, his performance, and his doing. He did what he wanted to do. He obeyed when he felt it was right. He lived to please people. He did it his way.
David on the other hand believed in chesed. He was totally reliant on the chesed of the Lord – chesed is the Hebrew word for grace or the commonly used word lovingkindness . His psalms are full of chesed – his reliance and dependence on chesed for everything.
Grace in a nutshell is God’s unmerited favor on those who believe in the performance of Jesus on the cross on their behalf. They know that they get what they don’t deserve not because they were good but because Jesus was good on their behalf. On the other hand, they know that they can’t lose what they don’t deserve because it doesn’t depend on how well they are doing but on how well Jesus is doing right now at the right hand of the Father.
David’s name which means beloved also represents a believer that rests on God’s love for them and not on their love for God. (John 13:23, Colossians 3:12) This believer totally savors and enjoys God’s love for them.
The inevitable thing happens all the time – there will always be war between these two different set or type of believers. These believers will always grate at each other. Throughout scripture there is an ongoing tension between the two usually seen in the lives of people in the Bible.
Jesus faced the same war with the religious leaders of his day (Matthew 12;14, 27:1, Mark 3:6, Luke 6:11, John 5:18, 10:39, 11:53, 11:57) Paul faced the same war against the Judaizers of his day. (Acts 9:23; 16:22-23; 19:23)
This is a war every generation has to fight. Jude says we have to contend for the faith which was once for all time delivered up for us. (Jude 1:3) Contention in this case is the fight to ensure that we stay true to the gospel. This is the good fight of faith that Paul talks about. The fight to stay in grace. The fight to rest on the truth of the gospel. The fight to rest on who Jesus is and what he did for us and as us.
This is the good fight of faith that Paul talks about. The fight to stay in grace. The fight to rest on the truth of the gospel. The fight to rest on who Jesus is and what he did for us and as us.
the war within
This war also takes place in our souls. In my own life I struggle or vacillate between grace and law – Jesus’ performance for me and my performance – Jesus’ obedience for me and my obedience. In certain seasons I feel so good because I have done so well. I have treated Jenny well. I bought her gifts. I helped around with house hold chores. I treated my neighbours kindly. I helped the poor. I gave the beggar at the street lights some few coins. I gave the car-guard outside the mall some few coins. I treated my in-laws with love. I cooked them nice meals when they came around to visit. Generally, I was a good chap. I did most things well.
Then there are certain seasons of my life when I break all the laws. I am nasty and harsh towards Jenny. I don’t pray. i dont read the bible. I don’t care for the poor. I doubt God. I doubt even my own existence. I treat my neighbours and their animals with contempt. I rail against the government. I sin intentionally. I don’t want to see my in-laws at all. I am just bad news to be around.
See, when I’m doing well I usually believe it’s my own doing. I am the one doing good. When I’m on my off days, I quickly believe that I’m so bad. I’m such a sinner. In both scenarios I usually lose sight of grace. Yes I do. In both cases I rely on my own performance, doing, strength and self effort. This is the war within my soul on a daily basis. It’s an unavoidable war. I can’t escape it.
grace grows stronger and stronger
The house of David grew stronger and stronger and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker. Grace grows stronger and stronger. That’s for sure. Grace grows stronger and stronger in our lives to the extent that our dependence on our own self effort, performance or obedience grows weaker and weaker. The goal of grace is to eventually get us to the place where we completely stop relying on our own self effort, ability, performance or doing and completely rest on Jesus’ effort, ability, performance or doing for us and as us.
The goal of grace is to eventually get us to the place where we completely stop relying on our own self effort, ability, performance or doing and completely rest on Jesus’ effort, ability, performance or doing for us and as us.
That’s what grace looks like