“Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army.This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well. 6 When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres.7 As they danced, they sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” 8 Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” 9 And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.” 1 Samuel 18.5-9
David was a natural warrior. God obviously made him to have great skills in battle. In total’s world he might have been the equivalent of a navy seal or an all star athletic. His skills, which God anointed, made him “so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army.” Regardless of the mission Saul sent him on, David gained success.
The text tells us when he returned from battle the women would sing, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” Consider hearing that as the King of Israel, no wonder Saul was angry and the “refrain displeased him greatly.” The Bible tells us that “from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.”
It’s funny what one persons success can do to someone else’s heart and mind. The jealously and envy that comes with all human nature can rise up and tear us a part or we can accept our own lot in life and celebrate the success of others. Saul had a lot to be grateful. He was the King of Israel with untold wealth, women and warriors at his disposal. He was at the top of the world in terms of material possessions and political power. Yet his jealously of David, just a mere shepherd boy with an instant claim to fame, burned deeply in his soul.
I wonder how we receive each others successes? Do we burn with jealously because another person has more money than us, more influence, more power or greater influence? Do we harbor resentment for those who climb the corporate ladder faster and pass us by? Are we like Saul who became angry over popularity? Or are we willing to find joy and peace in where God has us, for this day, and for this moment?
A secure believer is one who trusts God with his/her station in life. A secure Christ-follower believes that God has a plan for each of us and something good in mind for everyone who trusts in his Son Jesus Christ. Finding our identity in Christ rather than in what the world has to offer is necessary in order for us to live a happy and productive life. We may not paint the Mona Lisa or rise to fame like Justin Bieber (he’s so famous my spellcheck just corrected his name!) — but we can call ourselves children of God.
Regardless of your opinion of Joel Osteen, he always begins his sermons with a series of “I Am” statements. Statements which we can hear as the voice of the Lord speaking directly to our hearts today:
“I am blessed. I am prosperous. I am successful.” “I am victorious. I am talented. I am creative.” “I am wise. I am healthy. I am in shape.” “I am energetic. I am happy. I am positive.” “I am passionate. I am strong. I am confident.” “I am secure. I am beautiful. I am attractive.” “I am valuable. I am free. I am redeemed.” “I am forgiven. I am anointed. I am accepted.” “I am approved. I am prepared. I am qualified.” “I am motivated. I am focused. I am disciplined.” “I am determined. I am patient. I am kind.” “I am generous. I am excellent. I am equipped.” “I am empowered. I am well able.” “I am a child of the Most High God.” (The Power of I Am: Two Words That Will Change Your Life Today)
“O Lord God, you have given each of us one life to live, one moment to breath, one heart to beat. I thank you that I might realize that today, I am living in the moment of your grace. You are with me, near me, beside me. You are the one I love and the one I serve. As I look out upon the mountains of Colorado, I see your beauty around me. I thank you for allowing me to draw near to you and find hope in your hands. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen