[Shmuel Bais 3 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)]

1 Now there was long war [milchamah] between the house of Saul and the house of David [Bais Sha'ul and the Bais Dovid]: but David [Dovid] waxed [grew] stronger and stronger, and the [Bais Sha'ul grew weaker and weaker].

His jurisdiction at first was very circumscribed in comparison with the position promised to him as "captain over Israel"-the whole twelve tribes. He was the king of Judah only, while Ishbosheth, Saul's son, was "king over Gilead and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel" (2 Samuel 2: 9).

Here we have to ponder the gradualness of the divine operations, and the faith required of those who are the subject of them. David had been anointed by Samuel as king over the whole house of Israel. It would not have been an unnatural view of this anointing to suppose that it meant the instantaneous installation of David, when the moment arrived for giving it effect, into the full possession of the throne of Saul. Instead of that, David was first the popular head of the army, then the king's son-in-law, next an exile under royal disfavour, next a mountain chieftain, next a Philistine auxiliary, then the accepted monarch of a small section of the kingdom of Israel, before the full development of the divine purpose was reached.

And each step in the process was the natural outcome of David's action in the one going before. This ought to give us an enlarged view of the ways of God in all matters, -whether as to our own individual affairs, or as to the development of the glorious purpose of God upon earth at the coming of Christ.

As Dr. Thomas used to say, "God is never in a hurry: He has plenty of time." There is but little of the flash-of-lightning order in His works in the past, and this is the lesson for the future.

David's patience was tried, and David's faith was rewarded. His star rose steadily in the eastern sky, shining with a brilliancy increasing every moment:

"David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker;"

Until at last the kingdom of Saul collapsed, and David's authority was established in all the land.

Ways of Providence Ch 16.