Returning the Investment, Giving the Increase: Training For Twelve Twelfths Fullness When Living In A One Twelfth Reality

Today’s selected passage continues in the Old Testament book of Second Samuel which continues to describe the narrative of David as he ruled and reigned over the nation and kingdom of Israel. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters five through nine of this Old Testament book. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find a transition taking place in the life of David. In order to truly understand what is taking place in this particular period during David’s life it is necessary to begin reading with and from the fourth and fifth verses of the fifth chapter. If you begin reading with the fourth verse of this particular chapter you will quickly encounter and come face to face with the reality that David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and that he reigned forty years. In the fifth verse of this chapter you will find that the total duration of David’s time reigning as king in Israel was in all reality split between two distinct periods of time. For the first seven years of David reigning as king he would rule and reign as king over the tribe of Judah from the city of Hebron. A full seven years would pass before David would actually transition from reigning solely over the tribe of Judah from the city of Hebron to reigning over all Israel. What’s important to note is that while David reigned as king over Hebron there was another who was seeking to establish his throne over Israel in the midst of the land. In the earlier chapters of this Old Testament book you will find that Abner who was the commander of the host during the days of Saul set up Saul’s son Ish-bosheth as king over all Israel. This is actually quite unique to think about and consider when you take the time to think about it, for while the LORD was beginning to establish the throne of David in the midst of the land of Israel, there was another who was trying to not only establish a new throne in the midst of the land, but also continue a house which the LORD had purposed to put an end to and utterly destroy. Abner’s attempt to set up Saul’s son Ish-bosheth as king over the nation of Israel was a feeble attempt to keep in existence that which the LORD had determined should be brought to an end. Oh I can’t help but consider the absolutely tremendous and incredible reality that while the LORD was beginning to establish the throne of David in the midst of the land of Israel as a whole, there was another who was seeking to keep something alive which the LORD had determined to die, and would do so by making and setting up one of Saul’s surviving sons as king over the nation and kingdom of Israel. Abner who was Saul’s commander of the host of the army of Israel would take Saul’s only surviving son and would seek to establish within and over Israel that which the LORD had already purposed and determined should be utterly and completely destroyed.

It’s actually quite intriguing to think about and consider the fact that when the LORD began to establish David as king in Israel, He didn’t immediately give him the throne over all the nation and land of Israel. In our natural and finite minds we would think that once Saul the king of Israel was dead and there was no longer one to sit upon the throne in the midst of the nation and kingdom of Israel David would have immediately ascended to the throne. We read the narrative of the life of David and we think about and consider the fact that once Saul was dead, it would signify the end of David’s time of running, fleeing and hiding, and the beginning of his being able to step into that which the living God had called and chosen him for. It would be very easy to think about and consider the fact that as soon as Saul the king of Israel was dead David would be able to automatically ascend to the throne of Israel, and that he would begin ruling and reigning as king over the nation of Israel. The truth of the matter, however, is that even after the death of Saul, and even after David and his men returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, David would not immediately and automatically ascend to the throne of Israel. We read the account of David’s life and we think and consider the fact that with Saul’s death would come his ascendancy to the throne of Israel, and yet what we find in the opening chapters of the book of Second Samuel is anything but that. Within the opening chapters of the book of Second Samuel—not only do we find an attempt to establish one of Saul’s sons as king over the nation and kingdom of Israel, but we also find war and conflict breaking out in the midst of the land between the house of Saul and the house of David. In fact, as you read the words which are written and contained within this passage you will find it mentioned how there was war between these two houses, and how the house of David waxed stronger and stronger while the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker. We must not miss and lose sight of this absolutely tremendous reality, for to do so would be to miss out on what the LORD was doing in the midst of the land of Israel and in the life of David. What we must recognize and understand is that not only was the living God doing something in the midst of the land of Israel as a whole, but the LORD was also doing something in the midst of the life of David.

As I sit here this morning I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that in our natural minds we would think that once Saul was dead David would immediately and automatically ascend to the throne of the nation of Israel. With Saul being dead, the time of David’s running, the time of David’s fleeing, and the time of David’s hiding had come to an end, and he could now once more move freely within the land of Israel and Judah. It would be very easy for us to read the narrative of the life of David and think about and consider the fact that the death of Saul would automatically usher in this period within the life of David when he would begin to step into the fullness of that which the living God had for him. The truth of the matter is that what we find here is to a certain degree David stepping into that which the living God had for him, but not stepping into the fullness of what the LORD had for him. Would it shock and surprise you to hear that it is possible for you to begin to step and begin to enter into that which the living God has for you, and yet not fully and completely stepping into that which the LORD has for you? Would it shock and surprise you to hear and read the words that it is possible for the living God to allow you to begin to enter into and experience that which He has called and chosen you for, yet He does not immediately allow you to enter into the fullness of what He has actually planned and prepared for you? What if I told you that it is possible for the living God to bring you into a place and portion of that which He has ultimately called you to do in order that he might further train and prepare you for what you have ultimately been called to step into? Through and within the life of David during this particular period of time I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that even though Saul was dead, and even though the death of Saul would mean the end of his running, the end of his hiding, and the end of his fleeing—that would not mean that David was yet ready to step into the fullness of what the living God had planned and prepared for him. You would think that after spending more than a decade on the run fleeing and hiding from the murderous hand and threats of Saul that David would immediately and automatically be ready and prepared to sit upon the throne and reign as king over the nation of Israel. The truth of the matter, however, is that just because the time of his running, the time of his fleeing and the time of his hiding had drawn to a close—that didn’t mean that his time to reign had come.

I fully and completely recognize and understand that there are those of you who are reading these words who might have a hard time believing—let alone accepting this particular reality, and yet the truth of the matter is that just because our time on the run has drawn to a close, we might not yet be ready to step into the fullness of what the LORD has for us. We would like to think that once our period of running and our period of fleeing are drawn to a close that we have learned everything we needed to learn, and have been fully and completely prepared to step into the fullness of that which the living God has for us, and yet many of us are shocked and stunned to find out that there is still more that needs to be learned, and still more than needs to be accomplished before we can fully and completely step into that which the LORD our God has for us. We read the narrative and account of David king of Israel, and we think and believe that just because Saul was dead the path to the throne was now paved and perfectly clear for David, and we are shocked to find out that David would not immediately and automatically ascend to the throne of Israel. We find in the fifth verse of the fifth chapter of the book of Second Samuel that David reigned over the tribe of Judah for seven years before he would be made and anointed as king over all the nation and kingdom of Israel. When the LORD revealed and spoke unto David that the time had come for him to return unto the land of Israel, the LORD also revealed and spoke unto him that he and his men and their households should go unto the city of Hebron which was in the land of Judah. It would be in the land of Judah when the men of Judah would come unto David and make him king over them. Upon entering into the land of Judah, and coming unto the city of Hebron David would be made king over all the land of Judah, and it would be there in Hebron where he would begin to reign as king—first over one of the twelve tribes of the nation and kingdom of Israel. Please don’t miss the tremendous significance and importance of this, for there is not a doubt in my mind that the living God specifically ordained this period of time during and within the life of David in order that David might learn how to rule, reign and govern as king. Oh it is true that the LORD might have used the past decade plus within David’s life to humble and break him, but that humility and breaking did not mean that he was yet ready to begin ruling and reigning as king over the entire nation and kingdom of Israel.

HUMILITY AND BREAKING ARE NECESSARY, BUT THERE ARE TIMES WHEN THEY ARE ONLY THE BEGINNING! There is not a doubt in my mind when reading the narrative of David that those years spent running, fleeing and hiding from Saul and his men was necessary to humble David, to strip David of all self-confidence, and all confidence in his own strength. I firmly believe that it would during those ten plus years of David’s life that the LORD would humble and break David, and would teach David to completely and utterly trust and rely upon Him. Though David would spend his time in caves, in strongholds, in wildernesses, in forests, and the like, it would all be part of the divine plan of the living God to humble and break David. Those years David spent on the run would not only be years when he would learn how to trust and rely upon the living God, but they would also be years when David would learn how to command men in battle. If you read the Old Testament book of First Samuel you will find that when David came to the cave of Adullam, the LORD would bring unto him—not only his mother and father, and not only his brethren, but the LORD would also bring unto him four-hundred men who were distressed, in debt and discontented in the nation and kingdom of Israel. From that time forward—not only would David not have to run alone, but David would also learn how to command men in battle, in conflicts, and in different engagements with the enemy and adversary. The more I read and the more I consider the life of David, the more I can’t help but think about the fact that even before David would begin reigning as king over Judah from Hebron, he would need to learn how to command those men which would align themselves to him. By the time we come to the thirtieth chapter of the book of First Samuel we find David having six hundred men who had aligned themselves with him, and who would move in the midst of the earth with him. As you study the life of David you will find that his training would begin with his father’s sheep, and would then transition to his being a captain in the host of Israel under the reign of Israel, as he commanded and led a thousand men in battle against the Philistines. David would learn how to lead men in battle, and would learn how to fight with and alongside men during those days before he would ultimately be forced to enter into a period of time when he would flee, run and hide from Saul. What’s so absolutely amazing about his time fleeing and running, is that even during this time period the LORD would still teach him how to lead men—not only in the place of running and hiding, but also in the place of conflict and battle.

I have to admit that I absolutely love the narrative of David, for although he was anointed as king over the nation and kingdom of Israel as a teenager—that didn’t mean that he was going to immediately begin ruling and reigning as king over the nation of Israel. In fact, when David would be anointed as king over the nation and kingdom of Israel, there would still be a king that would sit upon the throne in land of Israel. We must not forget that when David was anointed as king over the nation of Israel after having been specifically hand chosen and hand picked by the living God, there was still a king that would sit upon the throne there in the land. David would be anointed as king over the nation and kingdom of Israel, however, just because he was anointed, that didn’t mean he was yet qualified and prepared to actually sit upon the throne of the nation of Israel. How incredibly interesting it is to think about and consider the fact that just because David was anointed as the next king of Israel, that didn’t mean that he was prepared to rule and reign as king. Moreover, just because Saul the king of Israel was dead and David was instructed by the LORD to return to the land of Judah and enter into the city of Hebron, that didn’t mean he was ready to rule and reign as king of the entire nation and kingdom of Israel. We must recognize and understand that David’s time on the run as he fled and hid from the murderous hand and threat of Saul king of Israel was part of the divine plan and purpose of the living God for David, and was just as much a part of the divine plan and purpose of the living God as was his being made king over the tribe of Judah in the city of Hebron. Oh I can’t help but read the opening chapters found in the book of Second Samuel as a truly powerful picture of how David was not yet ready to reign over the nation and kingdom of Israel when Saul was dead, and when his time of running, feeling and hiding had come to an end. Oh David would transition from a place of victory and triumph over an ancient adversary and foe in the Amalekites to a place of ruling and reigning as king over the tribe of Judah, and he would remain in that place for seven full years before the time would come for him to be able to rule and reign as king over the nation and kingdom of Israel. Upon studying the narrative and life of David we must acknowledge the fact that even though Saul was dead, there was still a work which needed to be done within the heart and life of David. I fully recognize and realize that this goes against everything we have been taught and believe, for we would think that once the period of running and hiding were over, and once Saul was dead, David would automatically be ready to ascend to the throne of Israel and reign as king over the inheritance and people of God.

YOU’RE NOT READY YET! THERE’S STILL A WORK THAT’S YET TO BE DONE! As I sit here today and think about the words which are written and recorded within the openings chapters of the book of Second Samuel, I can’t help but think about the absolutely reminds us reality that even though Saul was dead, and even though David’s time running, fleeing and hiding from Saul had come to an end, he still wasn’t ready to begin ruling and reigning over the entire nation and kingdom of Israel. When the LORD instructed David to go up unto the land of Judah, and to go up unto the city of Hebron, there is not a doubt in my mind that there was still a tremendous work that still needed to be done within the heart and life of David, as he would need to now learn how to rule and reign as king. For past decade plus of his life David had been living as a fugitive running, fleeing and hiding from Saul king of Israel, and although it is true that he was the commander to six hundred plus men—he would still need to learn what it was like to rule and reign as king. I would dare say that when David returned to the land of Judah, and went he entered into the city of Hebron, he had absolutely no idea that he would be made king over the tribe and land of Judah there in Hebron. Moreover, I highly doubt David thought and believed within his heart that he would spend seven years of his life—from the age of thirty through the age of thirty-seven—ruling and reigning as king over the tribe and people of Judah. Once he returned unto Judah, however, David’s life would take a dramatic turn and would undergo a wonderful and powerful transition as he would now learn what it was like to rule as king—a reality which I would dare say was part of the divine plan and purpose of God for David. There is not a doubt in my mind that when you read of David retuning unto the land of Judah, and when you read of David being made king over the tribe of Judah by the people therein, it was the LORD continuing to prepare him for him to rule and reign as king over the nation of Israel. It is absolutely remarkable and astounding to think about and consider the fact that even after the death of Saul, and even after David’s time of running and hiding had come to an end, he still wasn’t yet ready to rule and reign as king over the nation of Israel. In fact, four chapters in the book of Second Samuel and seven years of his life would pass before David would actually be anointed as king over the nation and kingdom of Israel. It would be after the death of Saul that David would be finally return to the land of Judah and would be made king over Judah in Hebron, but it wouldn’t be until seven years later and after the death of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul that David would then step into that which he had been anointed all those years earlier.

Perhaps one of the hardest things to grasp is that the LORD doesn’t operate according to our time table and according to our agenda. It is absolutely and incredibly difficult to think about and consider the fact that the LORD never operates according to our desires and our agendas, and that He always does that which is good, that which is right, and that which is pleasant in his sight. Even though David’s time of running and hiding had come an end and that chapter of his life had closed, that did not and would not mean that he was yet ready to step into the fullness of what the LORD had for him. Oh there in Judah David did begin to rule and reign as king over Judah, and I can’t help but wonder if David ever thought within himself that this was all God had for him. Was there ever a point and time within the heart and mind of David where he looked upon his reigning as king over the tribe of Judah and wondered if that was all the living God had for him. Were there times when David thought within himself that he would somehow and some way be king over the nation and people of Israel, and yet here he was ruling and reigning over one of the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel. What is so absolutely captivating about the words that are written and found within this narrative and this period of time within the life of David is that it speaks and reveals to us that there are times within our lives when while we might feel as though we are ready to step into that which the living God has for us, that which we are actually able to experience is but a glimpse into what the living God has for us. For David, ruling and reigning as king over the tribe of Judah would simply be another method of preparation in the hand of the living God, as not only would David need to learn how to rule, reign and govern as king, but so also would the house of Saul need to be completely and utterly brought to an end. Despite the best and futile attempt of Abner to establish Saul’s son Ish-bosheth as king over the nation of Israel, it would be short-lived, as the house of David would wage ware against the house of Saul until it would eventually be crushed underneath the foot of the house of David. It’s worth noting and pointing out that even when David began to rule and reign as king over the tribe of Judah, there would still be a period of conflict and strife that would ensue, as his house would be at odds and would be at war with the house of Saul. As the LORD was seeking to establish the throne of David in the midst of the land and people of Israel, there was another pseudo-throne and kingdom that was being established in the midst of the land, as Abner who was Saul’s commander would seek to set up and establish Saul’s son as king over the nation and people of Israel. It’s absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand the tremendous significance of this particular point during the life of David, for during a time when he would rule and reign as king over the tribe of Judah, his throne would also be against a pseudo and false throne of Saul’s son, which had been set up and established by Abner who was the commander of the army during the days of Saul.

One question I can’t help but ask at this particular juncture is what do you do and how do you respond when you find yourself—not stepping into the fullness of that which the living God has planned and prepared for you, but a piece and portion of what the LORD has for you? How do you react when the LORD restores you to your own “Judah” so to speak, and He allows you to catch a glimpse of what you have been called and anointed to do, but doesn’t yet allow you to step and enter into the fullness of what He actually has prepared and planned for you? David would return unto the land of Judah, and would once more live and dwell in the midst of the land that was the place of his nativity, and even though he was and had been restored to the land, he wouldn’t yet be ready, nor would he be prepared to step into the fullness of what the LORD had for him. David would be made king over the tribe of Judah, and he would rule and reign in Hebron seven years before all Israel would come unto him and anoint him as king over all the tribes, and I can’t help but see a powerful prophetic picture into a reality that many of us find incredibly difficult to handle and bear. For David, he would be returned and restored unto the land of his inheritance and nativity, and he would no longer have to run and hide from the murderous hand and threat of Saul king of Israel, yet he would not yet be ready to step and enter into the fullness of what the living God had for him. David would begin ruling and reign as king over the tribe of Judah in Hebron, and would reign as king over the tribe for seven years, and it would be during those seven years when he would not only need to wage war against the house of Saul, but also when he would learn how to truly govern and reign as king. How absolutely astonishing it is to think about and consider the fact that an additional seven years of David’s life were needed before he would finally be able to step into the fullness of what the LORD his God had for him. Most of us would think and feel that David should have been able to step and enter into that which the living God had for him upon the death of Saul, and yet the truth of the matter is that this simply is not and was not the case. Oh it is true that particular period of time during David’s life was over and had come to a close, yet there would need to be additional time that would be needed before David would finally be able to step into that which the living God had for him. David would indeed begin ruling and reigning as king over the tribe of Judah, and yet that would only be a glimpse into that which the living God actually had for him. I can’t help but wonder what went through the heart and mind of David during those seven years as he would rule and reign over one tribe of Israel before all Israel would come unto him and anoint him as king over all the tribes. Oh, what do you do when you are permitted to enter into one twelfth of what the living God has for you? If you study the history of the nation of Israel you will notice that there were twelve tribes which made up the nation and people of Israel. Make note of this, for when David began to rule and reign over the tribe of Judah in Hebron, he was essentially ruling and reigning over one twelfth of that which the LORD had actually prepared and planned for him.

I have to admit that I am absolutely and completely convinced that how we handle, and how we interact with one twelfth of what the living God has actually promised unto us can and will determined whether or not we are ready and prepared to enter into the fullness of what the living God has for us. I recently heard a sermon preached by Tim Dillena who is about to become the new senior pastor of Times Square Church, and he preached a message on training for thirty-one feet. The premise of his message centered upon the reality that when you study a rhinoceros you will find that they can only see thirty feet ahead of them. Despite how fast, how fierce and how ferocious they might charge ahead in any given situation or circumstance, they can only see thirty feet ahead of them. Even when they are charging, and even when they are charging at full speed, they can’t see beyond that thirty foot marker and don’t know what is beyond that thirty foot marker in front of them. Pastor Tim preached about this reality from a spiritual perspective, and how we as Christians are only able to see what is a proverbial “thirty feet” ahead of us, and that it is the living God who sees beyond that thirty foot marker. The underlying reality of it is that even though we might only see thirty feet ahead of us, the living God calls us to live our lives moving forward as though we are able to see that which is beyond that thirty foot mark. Building upon this reality, I can’t help but get the strong sense that what we read within the first four chapters of the book of Second Samuel is David training—not for thirty-one feet, but for twelve twelfths. TRAINING FOR TWELVE TWELFTHS! TRAINING FOR THE FULLNESS! TRAINING FOR EVERYTHING THE LIVING GOD HAS FOR US! TRAINING FOR THE FULL MEASURE OF THE PLAN OF GOD! I sit here today and I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that when David began reigning as king in Hebron over the tribe of Judah—what he was doing was training and preparing for twelve twelfths. Although the only thing he might have been able to see in front of him was one twelfth—essentially one piece of that which the living God had for him—he was actually raining and preparing for so much more. This is actually quite remarkable and astonishing when we think about it, for there are times within our lives when we might only see one twelfth of that which the living God has for us, and we might only be experiencing one twelfth of what the LORD has for us. For David—although he might have only been experiencing one twelfth of that which the living God actually had for him, it is necessary that we recognize that what he was doing was actually preparing and being made ready for the remaining eleventh twelfths of what the LORD had for him.

ADJUSTING TO PART WHEN WE WANT THE WHOLE! Please note and please understand that although the ration and math for David was indeed one twelfth based on twelve twelfth math, that doesn’t mean the same math applies to us within and during our lives. The math for us might not be one twelfth out of twelve twelfths, but one fourth out of four fourths, or one eighth out of eight eighths. The underlying principle is not necessarily found in the math, the percentage and/or the ratio, but in the truth that is highlighted and underscored therein. For David, when he returned to the land of Israel, he returned to the land of Judah and was anointed as king over this single tribe of Judah, which represented one twelfth of that which the LORD actually had for him. There is not a doubt in my mind that what the living God was indeed and was in fact doing during this time was preparing David in the one twelfth reality for the twelve twelfth fullness. PREPARING FOR THE TWELVE TWELFTHS FULLNESS WHILE LIVING IN THE ONE TWELFTH REALITY! When David entered into the land of Judah he was made king over one twelfth of the full reality of that which the LORD had anointed him for, yet even though he was and had been anointed by the living God, that didn’t mean he was quite ready for the fullness or twelve twelfths which was before him at this time. What do you do when you’re anointed for twelve twelfths, and yet when you finally begin stepping into that which the living God has for you you are only able to experience one twelfth of the manifestation and reality the LOD has for you? For David, he was anointed to rule, reign and govern over the entire nation and kingdom of Israel, and yet for seven years the only thing he knew was one twelfth of the total picture which the LORD had for him. I am convinced that how David handled, how David reacted, how David responded, and how David served during those seven years would ultimately determine if and when he would finally be ready to step into the fullness of what the living God had for him. He knew the LORD had chosen him, and he know the prophet Samuel had anointed him as the next king over Israel, and yet his present situation and current reality might not have seemed to line up with what the LORD had anointed him for. Oh, what do you do if you find yourself in this very same place? What do you do if you rind yourself in a place where you might very well have been anointed for something beyond what you are currently experiencing, and yet you have not entered or stepped into the fullness of what the LORD has for you? Do you complain during such moments? Do you grumble during such times? Do you grow bitter and resentful in your heart toward God? Do you grow angry, callous and hard in your heart toward the living God because you somehow aren’t operating in the fullness of what the LORD has called and chosen you for?

I have to admit that I find this particular period of time during David’s life so absolutely compelling, for what we find before us is a picture of one who was anointed and chosen for twelve twelfths, and yet that which he was actually able to experience was one twelfth of that reality and manifestation. There is not a doubt in my mind that there are times within our lives when the living God only allows us to experience a fraction and portion of that which He has called and chosen us for in an effort and attempt to prepare us for the complete fullness of what He actually has for us. For David he spent more than a decade of his life running and hiding from the murderous hand and threat(s) of Saul king of Israel, and even when that period of his life had drawn to a close he was only permitted to enter and step into one twelfth of what the living God had for him. We might think and believe in our natural and carnal minds that once the running stops and once the hiding stops we are and should be able to step into the fullness of what the living God has for us, and yet the truth of the matter is that this simply isn’t the case. There are times when we have been chosen for twelve twelfths, and there are times when we are nominated for twelves twelfths, and yet the LORD only allows us to access one twelfth of what is actually before us. The underlying principle and reality surrounding this reality is what we do during these periods of our lives when what is before us is simply a piece and fraction of the fullness of that which the living God has for us. What’s more, is that it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we understand that the living God does not always reveal to us the whole picture when He calls and anoints us. When Samuel anointed David to be the next king of Israel—neither he, nor David knew what the next decade plus of his life would be like. Neither Samuel nor David knew that once that decade plus was over within his life, he would have to rule and reign for seven years as king over one of the tribes of Judah instead of ruling and reigning over all twelve tribes of Israel. In all reality, I would dare say that not only does the LORD not show us the whole, the full and the complete picture when He calls and chooses us, but even when we do begin to step and walk in that which the living God has for us, it might only be a portion and fraction of what the LORD actually has for us. Not only was David not shown the events that would transpire over the next thirteen years of his life, but David would not be permitted to enter into the fullness of what the living God actually had for him once those thirteen years had actually drawn to a close. Once those thirteen years of David’s life had drawn to a close, he would only walk in, he would only experience, and he would only see one twelfth of what the living God actually had planned, prepared and ordained for him. What we must recognize and understand is the principle which Jesus the Christ spoke and taught, which is that to whom much is given much will be required, and those who are faithful in little will be faithful in much. There is not a doubt in my mind that the faithfulness of David during this particular period of his life helped prepare and make him ready for the next phase in his life when he would actually receive the other eleven twelfths of what the LORD had for him.

FAITHFULNESS IN THE ONE TWELFTH REALITY WHILE WAITING THE TWELVE TWELFTHS FULLNESS! LIVING FOR THE LITTLE WHILE WAITING FOR THE MUCH! LIVING WITH THE LITTLE WHILE NOT BEING ANXIOUS FOR THE MUCH! ARE YOU ABLE TO BE CONTENT WITH LITTLE WHILE YOU ARE PERHAPS WAITING FOR MUCH? ARE YOU CONTENT WITH ABIDING IN FAITHFULNESS IN THE LITTLE WHILE WAITING FOR THE MANIFESTATION OF THE FULLNESS TO EMERGE WITHIN YOUR LIFE? As I sit here this morning I can’t help but think about the words which Jesus who was called the Son of David spoke concerning faithfulness in little, for when speaking unto His disciples and those who walked with and followed Him, He emphatically and unreservedly declared that those who were faithful in little would be faithful in much, and unto those whom much was given much would be required. In all reality, that which Jesus the Christ was declaring unto His disciples and followers was that they should not expect to be given much, nor even to enter into the manifestation of much if they are somehow unfaithful in the little, and cannot be trusted with that which has been placed into the care. I am reminded of that one servant who was entrusted with a single taken, and instead of taking that taken and immediately getting to work in order that he might increase the investment, he buried it in the earth out of fear for his master. Perhaps one of the greatest truths surrounding the parable of the talents is that of increasing the investment of the master—and not only increasing the investment of the master, but returning unto the master that which he had entrusted into your care plus an additional measure. In all reality, I am convinced that David was entrusted with this single tribe of the children of Israel—this one twelfth measure out of twelve twelfths—in order that his faithfulness might be deliberately and intentionally tested and measured by the living God. It is necessary that we recognize and understand this reality, for one of the greatest questions we must ask ourselves is what we are in fact doing with the investment which the living God has in fact entrusted unto us and into our care. The servant who was given five talents immediately went to work and earned five more talents, thus increasing the original investment two fold. Likewise, the servant who was given two talents immediately went to work and increased that original investment two fold. In both the case of the servant who was given five talents, as well as the servant who was given two talents, we find that not only did they immediately set out to work, but they also increased the investment of their master two fold. It was this third servant who was given one talent—that servant who essentially had the least amount of work to increase what he had been given, as he was given one talent—who instead of immediately getting to work with what had been entrusted into his care, went and buried that talent in the earth.

AFTER THE BURIAL! BETWEEN THE BURIAL AND THE RETURN! I sit here and consider the parable of that servant who had been given the single talent, and we know from Scripture that upon receiving the talent, and after his master had departed to set out on his journey, this servant took that talent and buried it in the earth. It’s worth noting that we know what the servant who was given the five talents did after the master set out on his journey, and we know what the servant who had been given the two talents did after the master set out on his journey. When and as it comes to the third servant—that servant who was considered wicked, lazy and unfaithful—we know that he buried the talent in the earth, and yet I can’t help but wonder how long it took him to bury the talent in the earth. I can’t imagine it would have taken him that long to bury the talent in the earth, and with that being said—I can’t help but wonder how much time elapsed between the burial of the talent and the return of the master. BURYING TALENT WHILE WAITING FOR THE MASTER! BURYING TALENT WHILE WAITING FOR THE RETURN! This single servant buried this lone talent in the earth, and the question I can’t help but ask myself is what he did once the process of burying the talent had been completed, and from that time until the time the master returned. Scripture is unclear as to how long the master was away from his estate and away from these three servants, so we are left to speculate and give ourselves to conjecture. Even with that being said, I would dare say that the two servants who were faithful with what they had been given quite possibly could have engaged themselves in working until the time the master returned to call into account—and not only to call into account, but also receive what was his and reckon the faithfulness of his servants. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if these two servants who were faithful with what the master had given unto them engaged themselves in work from the time the master had left the estate and set out on his journey until the time he returned. If perhaps they did not work until the time the master returned, it might very well be said that they worked until just shortly before the master would have returned from his journey. In all reality, I would dare say that these two servants engaged themselves in faithfulness and engaged themselves in work from the time the master left for his journey until the time the master returned from his journey. What’s more, is that I can’t help but wonder if these two servants had essentially made their last trade, and/or their last investment as the master was returning from his journey, thus securing twice as much as what the master had entrusted unto them and into their care. Oh that we would understand and recognize that blessed are those who are found working until the time the Lord and Master returns from His journey. When speaking unto His disciples Jesus spoke of those who are found watching and praying at the time He returns, and with that being said I can’t help but also be gripped and captivated by the fact of those who are found working and increasing the investment which has been entrusted into their care, in order that they might return the Master’s investment two-fold.

The third servant of the parable had received a certain measure which was given unto him according to his ability, and I can’t help but wonder if that which was given and entrusted unto him was done so to the degree and measure of his faithfulness prior to the journey which the master set out on. There has to be an underlying reason why this master would have given one servant five talents—five times what the third servant had received—and had given the second servant two talents—twice as much as the servant who was given a single talent. I would dare say that that which the master entrusted into the hands and care of these servants was based on their faithfulness and their ability prior to the master’s journey and departure as he set out on his journey. This third servant who had been given this single talent was undoubtedly given that single talent as the master had assessed his faithfulness and work ethic prior to his journey, for the master gave unto this servant that which he felt he could handle, and that which he felt he would actually be able to work with. What is so incredibly tragic about this third servant is not only the fact that he buried that which belonged to his master, and that which was entrusted into his care, but also what he did from the time of the burial until the time of the return. Scripture is unclear what this servant did from the time of the burial until the time of the return, and we are left to speculate as to what he had actually done during that time. Did this servant engage himself in those endeavors that were self-centered and self-seeking while leaving the matters of the master untouched and mishandled? There is a part of me that believes this servant buried that which belonged to the master—not merely as a testament to his faithfulness, but also as an indictment to his own pursuits, his own endeavors and his own desires. If this servant buried the talent of the master, there is a tremendous part of me that can’t help but wonder whether or not this servant spent those days living for himself, and seeking to build and establish his own agenda, his own pursuits, and his own endeavors. I would dare say that this servant spent those days living for himself and doing that which was good and pleasing in his sight rather than investing in the desire and passion of the master. Oh I can’t help but wonder how many men and women among us are in this category of the third servant, as we spend more time being caught up and consumed in our own pursuits, in our own endeavors, and in our own kingdoms and empires rather than that which the Master has given and entrusted us. It might very well be said that this third servant really wasn’t interested in the desire, the will, the plane and the purpose of the master, for if he had truly been interested in the desire of the master and that which pleased him, he would have put what his master had given and entrusted into his care to work and would have not only returned the investment, but also increased the investment.

RETURNING THE INVESTMENT, INCREASING THE INVESTMENT! The parable of the three servants and the eight talents is actually quite remarkable and quite astonishing when you think about and consider it, for this parable is not only about returning unto the master that which belonged to him, but also increasing the investment of the master and giving unto him the increase. I am sitting here this morning and can’t help but be astonished at the fact that in the case of the first and second servants—not only did they return unto the master that which he had entrusted into their care, but they also gave him the increase as well. It might have been incredibly easy for these two servants to take of the increase and keep it for themselves, and return unto the master that which belonged to him, and I am convinced that if they had indeed and had in fact done so, they would have fallen into the same category as the third servant who buried the talent. Pause for a minute and consider whether or not there would be any difference between burying that which belonged to the master and returning unto him that which belonged to him and taking what the master had given and entrusted unto you and into your care, investing it to increase it two fold, and keeping of the increase for yourself. What would and what could have taken place in the lives of these first two servants if they did in fact put that which the master had given to them to work, and when it came to the increase of the investment, they kept for themselves the increase, and returned unto the master that which belonged to them. After all, the master had only given unto them five talents, and it was their own work and their own ability that brought about the increase of that which the master had given unto them. Perhaps one of the most remarkable and astonishing realities surrounding the first two servants is that not only did they return unto the master that which belonged to him, but they also gave unto him the increase—that which he himself had not labored nor worked for. These first two servants did not consider the increase and abundance to belong to them, and therefore they purposed and determined within their hearts and minds to not only give unto the master that which was initially and originally given unto them, but also that which his investment had produced. In all reality, we must recognize that that which the master gives us is not only meant to be cared for and looked after, but it is also meant to be put to work and increased. This is perhaps the tragic reality of the third servant, for he didn’t realize that that which the master had entrusted into his care was to be put to work, and was to increase in degree and measure upon the return of the master.

The third servant who had been given the single talent buried it in the earth, and while he spoke unto the master concerning his fear for the master, I can’t help but wonder if there was also a degree and measure of self-centeredness and self-seeking that was present within his heart and soul, as he really didn’t want to be about the Master’s business, and really didn’t want to work to increase that which belonged to the master. This servant did in fact speak and declare unto the master that he was afraid of the master and that the master was one who reaped where he had not sown and gathered where he had not plowed, and as a direct result of this fear, the servant buried that which belonged to the master. What we don’t see and what we don’t find in this parable is what this servant did between the time he buried the talent until the return of the master. I would dare say that this servant spent that entire time living for himself, and seeking his own interests, his own desires, and his own pursuits rather than the master who had left and set out on a journey. The indictment of this third servant is not only that he buried the talent, but his actions once the talent had been buried until the time the master returned. There is not a doubt in my mind that this servant took the time the master was away as a period of respite and freedom from his master’s burdens, commands and instructions, and sought to live for himself and do as he pleased and as he desired. Perhaps he viewed this time as a period of rest, and thought to himself that he would simply take a break from the master’s desires and from that which the master had desired and asked of him. We know for certain this servant would not have given himself to his own devices and his own desires while the master was present within his own estate, and yet it’s amazing what one finds themselves doing when the master departs and leaves us to ourselves and to our own desires and devices. Both the first and second servants lived for the desire and pleasure of their master, as was evident in the fact that they took what the master had given unto them and put it to work that they might increase that which belonged to the master. The third servant, however, cared not, nor was he interested in the pleasures, nor the desires of the master, and as a direct result of this, he took and buried that which belonged to the master. With that which belonged to his master buried safely in the earth, this servant was now free to do as he pleased and as he desired. This servant was now free to engage himself in life on his terms and according to his own interests, desires, pursuits, and pleasures. Oh that we would recognize and understand this, for this servant had the least amount of work to do to actually increase that which belonged to the master, and yet the one who had the least among of work to do was the one who did the least amount of work. In fact, this servant didn’t merely do little work, for this servant did absolutely no work at all during the time his master was away on his journey. As a direct result of this, the servant who had been given the talent could only return unto the master that which belonged to him rather than returning what belonged unto him, as well as giving unto him the increase.

RETURNING AND GIVING! There is an absolutely astonishing principle that is found in this particular parable, and that is not only the principle of returning, but it is also the principle of giving. It should be noted that the first two servants did in fact return unto the master that which he had entrusted into their hands and into their care, but they did so much more than return unto the master that which belonged unto him, and did more than simply return unto the master what had been given unto them. These first two servants did in fact return that which belonged to the master, but they also gave unto the master that which he did not have before he left. RETURNING THE INVESTMENT AND GIVING THE INCREASE! I would dare say that when the master gave unto these servants these talents, he was doing more than giving unto them that which belonged to him, but he was also giving unto them an investment—not only an investment in his net worth, but also an investment in them and their ability. When the master gave unto these servants these talents he was actually investing in them and investing in their ability to take what he had given unto them and begin working and putting it to work. The first two servants not only went to work themselves, but they also took the investment of the master and put it to work as well. THE WORK OF THE INVESTMENT AND THE SERVANT! WHEN THE INVESTMENT AND THE SERVANT WORK TOGETHER! The first two servants not only returned unto the master that which belonged unto him, but they also gave unto the master the increase. It is this principle of giving unto the master the increase that is actually quite unique and astonishing, for in all reality all three servants returned unto the master what he had entrusted unto them, but only one servant failed to give unto the master the increase. The underlying danger surrounding this parable is not failing to return unto the master that which belonged to him, but in not giving unto the master the increase. The underlying danger found in this passage of Scripture is not only failing to take what the master had entrusted into your hands and into your care and putting it to work, but also not giving unto the master when he returned from his journey. This third servant spent that entire time living for himself and living for his own pleasures, his own desires, and his own pursuits, and when the master returned, the only thing he could give the master was what had been given unto him in the first place. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this absolutely tremendous and incredible reality, for to do so would be to miss out on the principles that surround these three servants, and that which we find within the narrative of David king of Israel. It is true that when David was first made king, he was made king over the tribe of Judah, and was essentially walking in only one twelfth of the fullness of what the living God had promised him, and yet the ultimate reality we must recognize and understand concerning David is his faithfulness in the little during those seven years when he was walking in the reality of one twelfth while preparing for twelve twelfths. It was indeed true that David had been entrusted with one twelfth of what he was actually chosen and anointed for, and yet it would be during that time when the LORD would see what he did with that degree, that portion and that measure of what he had been given.

Upon reading the words which are written and recorded within chapters five through nine of the Old Testament book of Second Samuel we find these chapters beginning with David being made king over all the nation of Israel. The fifth chapter of this Old Testament book would begin with all the tribes of Israel—the remaining eleven twelfths of that which David had been called, chosen and anointed for—coming unto him in order that they might enter into and make a league with David to anoint him as king over all the tribes of Israel. By the time the fifth verse of the fifth chapter concludes we find David being anointed as king over all twelve tribes of Israel, and essentially stepping and entering into the fullness of that which the living God had for him. It’s absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this, for everything we find in the remainder of this book describes the reign of David as king—not only over the tribe of Judah, but over all the tribes of Israel. It would be four chapters and seven years later when David would actually be permitted to walk in the fullness of what the living God had for him, as the remaining eleven tribes of Israel would come unto him that they might anoint and make him king over all the nation and kingdom of Israel. What is so absolutely astonishing about the time of David’s reign as is manifested and evidenced in these chapters is that not only did David capture the city of Jerusalem, thus driving the Jebusites from the midst of it, but we also find on two separate occasions David engaging the Philistines when they attempted to rise up against him. The fifth chapter of this book describes how when the Philistines heard that David had been anointed as king over Israel, they came up to seek him and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. David would inquire of the LORD whether or not he should engage the Philistines, and the LORD responded unto him by declaring that he would surely defeat and overtake the Philistines in battle. Ultimately David would smite the Philistines, and would defeat them in a place called Baal-perazim, and would go on to declare how the LORD had broken out upon and against his enemies and adversaries. What’s more, is that in this passage of Scripture we find the Philistines coming up against David one more time, and spreading themselves in the same place, and yet David and the host of Israel would pursue the Philistines from behind them, and would overtake them in the same place where they had previously been defeated. When you come to the end of the fifth chapter—not only will you find David beginning to rule and reign as king over the nation and kingdom of Israel, but you will also find David defeating the Philistines on two different occasions.

As I bring this writing to a close I can’t help but think about the endeavors which David king of Israel set out on, for after becoming king over the nation and kingdom of Israel he would smite the Philistines on two separate occasions when they would encamp against him in the valley of Rephaim. What’s more, is that it would be David who would fetch the Ark of the Covenant of the living God, and would bring it back unto and among the people, and into the city of Jerusalem, which would be the city of David. Moreover, we also find David conquering and subduing the enemies and peoples round about Israel, as David would not only conquer and subdue the Philistines, but would also subdue Moab, Edmonton and Syria. It’s actually important to recognize these early endeavors of David as king over the nation and kingdom of Israel, for he would first capture the city of Jerusalem which would not only be the capital of Israel until this day, but it would also be the place where the LORD would place His holy name, and where the place of the government and glory of the living God would rest. It would be in the city of Jerusalem where the throne of David and the Temple of Solomon would be present, thus indicating and speaking of the place of the government of God (as evidenced in the throne of David) and the place of the glory of God (as evidences in the Temple of Solomon) which would be present in the midst of the people of God. Moreover, David would restore the Ark of the Covenant—essentially returning and restoring the glory and presence of the living God unto and among the people of God. Moreover, David would also conquer and subdue the nations and peoples round about the nation and kingdom of Israel, thus securing the borders of Israel, and bringing about a tremendous period of rest and peace for the people of God. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this absolutely incredible and astonishing reality, for to do so would be to miss out on the faithfulness of David as king over the nation and kingdom of Israel, as David would conquer Jerusalem, subdue the nations and peoples round about the nation and kingdom of Israel, and restore the glory of the living God unto the people of Israel in the earth. The book of Second Samuel doesn’t give us a time frame or time period for how long after David engaged in these actions, nor how long it took David to actually engage in them, but we come face to face with a tremendous amount of faithfulness within the heart of David to execute judgment and justice for the people of God, and to fulfill the desires, the pleasures and the purposes of the living God. Oh that we would encounter and come face to face with this absolutely astonishing reality, for it helps to illustrate the tremendous faithfulness of David to that which the living God desired and purposed for His people and for the nation and kingdom of Israel, as well as that which the living God has called, chosen and ordained for us in our generation.

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