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In the story of David: David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

The one quality that David displayed early on was his zeal and jealousy for God and for Israel, for to him the two were one since he had been brought up in the tradition and knowledge that Israel was God’s chosen people among all the Earth. To him the armies of Israel are the armies of the living God. So Goliath’s defiance was not just defiance against Israel’s army, but against God’s army. David’s attitude in his heart was that Israel belonged to God, Israel’s army was God’s army, and from the overflow of his heart his mouth spoke. Yet he was shrewd enough to enquire of the reward.

David was not just one whose heart was for God, but more importantly, David had a shrewd mind as well, which is what God saw in David. Likewise for those who would enthrone Jesus, it is not only love and zeal that are required, it is also shrewdness.

As David was running from Saul, it is written: All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him. These men who gathered to David were shrewd also, if nothing else, for they were discontented with Saul, and by serving David they hoped to change their own lives. Some of them became leaders of the mighty men of David and were likewise rewarded.

Shrewdness is not something that God despises, neither does Jesus, for of Jacob who lied and cheated Esau out of his inheritance, God said, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” Esau God hated because he cared not for his birthright as firstborn but gave it away as a joke over some tasty food. Jacob was shrewd, the schemer, even the deceiver, who dared to strike a one-sided bargain with God: “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s house, then the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will give You a tenth.”

The audacity of Jacob to say to God, much less anyone else, that he would give Him back a tenth of all that God would give him. See that it is not a tenth of what Jacob would get, but a tenth of what God would give him. On the surface it seems a worshipful thing to do, but look at it and you will see Jacob was getting himself a one-sided deal. Yet God permitted it because of Jacob’s heart for God and for himself. He was shrewd, he was scheming, a crook, a conman, even a liar, but he did what he did to get ahead without neglecting the truth that it is God who gives him everything anyway.

Satan is also cunning (shrewd), scheming, a liar, a con and a crook, you might say, but his one mistake is that he left God out of the deal, he wants it all for himself and none for God.

It is precisely that God looks for shrewdness in a man that Jesus taught His disciples the Parable of the Shrewd Manager who used his master’s credits to ensure for himself a job should he lose his present employment. See that Jesus said, “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly,” commended for his dishonesty because he had acted shrewdly and indeed Jesus went on to say, “For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.”

It is the absence of shrewdness that stops many from being profitable and able to advance themselves to the more than what they are given without offending God. You see, a truly shrewd person would be like Jacob who acknowledged his need and dependence upon God without offending God and yet offered God a lousy deal, giving God a tenth of all God gives Jacob.

Likewise, it takes a shrewd person to see that it is not enough to be zealous and jealous for God, but to also ensure that he knows what is in it for himself as well. David was risking his life against Goliath, even though you can say he had faith in God… yes, faith in God but not blind faith, faith in God but not sheep-like faith that just follows the rest of the flock, but shrewd. For even Jesus commanded us disciples with these words: “Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Unfortunately, many just want to be innocent as doves only, forgetting the first part of the advice… “…be as shrewd as snakes…”

When you have the attitude to enthrone Jesus as King and indeed to bring Him back so that He can be made King as He wishes to be… when you have the heart to give God what He desires to be… then that is the beginning of shrewdness without the poison of a serpent and your innocence is like that of a dove. Innocence not because you are ignorant, not knowing good or evil like Adam, no, innocence because despite knowing good and evil, you are innocent and blameless in God’s eyes because whatever you are thinking, saying and doing, you are doing it for your own betterment, like Jacob did, and more than that, you are doing it for God’s betterment, like David did.

Now just because you want to enthrone Jesus and make Him King, be assured and understand that you are not the first. No, way before you there was a group of people who did want to make Jesus King. Those who were fed by the multiplication of the loaves and fish the first time also wanted to make Jesus King, as John recorded for us: After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make Him King by force, withdrew again to a mountain by Himself.

They were not permitted to succeed because their motive was based on their stomach and the way they intended to do it – by force – is not God’s way. However, that is not to say they were wrong, just that the time was not yet right. You see, there is a right time and a wrong time in God, and they were too early. It is a pity that these same people did not remember what they wanted to do for Jesus and carried out their intentions later.

But now the time is right and ripe, and the Lord, the Lord and the Lord have waited patiently, and anyone who has faith in the Lord, who loves the Lord, who wants to have Him made King, will not be denied by the Lord. You see, a shrewd person also knows to wait for the opportune time, even Satan, for it is written of him: When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left Him until an opportune time.

So can you see the times? Are your eyes open to see what is coming on the Earth? And have you learnt enough yet to know the heart of God and what His immediate will is? What God wants to do next? It is of course to have His Son return with all His glory and to be enthroned in Heavenly glory. As such, the shrewd thing to do now is to be one who has the spirit, the attitude, to see Jesus enthroned first in your heart and then on Earth in Heavenly glory.

If Jesus assured us that we should “…seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well,” then what would those who seek first His Kingship have given to them? For a kingdom cannot be without a king and a people who acknowledges him as king. It is when as one people we acknowledge His Kingship that He has a kingdom, and it is when we have enthroned Him on His own throne, not just in our hearts, that He is the King of all the Earth, for the Earth is of the flesh as Heaven is of the spirit.

So be shrewd and do not run away or hide in fear like the army of Israel did at the Valley of Elah or at Pas Dammim, but see that those who are zealous and jealous enough for the Lord to uphold and defend His honour and have Him crowned King will be far more richly rewarded than David, Eleazar or Shammah. Indeed, if the grace of God is such that those who did not listen to Him, who did not believe Him or obey Him to join Him in Galilee, are today and will be honoured with their names written forever on the foundations of New Jerusalem… and if Israel who did not want Him as their King would have the names of the 12 tribes written on each of the 12 gates of the eternal city… then what would be done for those who have listened, believed and obeyed enough to take the opportunity and the initiative to have Him crowned King on the Earth by effecting the fulfilment of Scriptures with all their heart, soul, might and mind?

To seek first the Kingdom of God and all its righteousness gives you all that pagans run after, for God knows you need them – what to wear, what to eat and drink – but to seek first the Kingship of God to give Him that which He will be, would surely give you all that the pagans have and more than that. As you honour Him so He will honour you, and with the measure you use so it will be measured to you, and if your abiding in Him and His word abiding in you will cause whatever you wish or will to be done for you, then, elect, answer for yourself this question: What will be done for those who make Jesus King of all the Earth?

So now embrace these words of Jesus: “Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” For God loves a Jacob, but an Esau He hates.

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