"the Lord has rejected you as king"

I've been thinking about the story of King Saul again. I've written about it before, trying to understand how to relate to people who have chosen to do what God opposes (in that case asking for a king). Then there's the part about Saul being rejected by God. It seems to have happened not long after he became king (1 Sam 15), but then there were many years of Saul's kingship before he died. So he's been rejected as king by God, and Samuel and David (and perhaps others) know this. But the country continues under his leadership for quite a long time.

What we see, then, is how Samuel and David related to a leader who they knew God was no longer supporting. Samuel apparently grieved, but did not go to see Saul again after telling him of God's rejection. David sees Saul quite a lot and is always respectful. Even when Saul is pursuing him and trying to kill him, David respects him as king and spares his life.

Neither Samuel or David try to bring Saul down. They know he is finished. God is no longer supporting his kingship, so it is certainly ending. But God does not remove Saul immediately, not for a long time. I don't understand why. Maybe to let the people experience the consequences that God warned them about. But it must have been hard for Samuel and David to continue to live under Saul's rule when they knew God had rejected him. Hard to accept Saul's decisions and know the people could be so much better off without Saul leading them. But they waited on God. Trusting that God's word would come to pass eventually. And eventually it did.

I need practice in faith like that.

Perhaps Jesus saw all rulers as Samuel and David saw Saul. He seemed to relate to them much the same way, not trying to bring them down but knowing they they were rejected and finished. Because God said so.